Eight years ago, Stack, who has a master’s in education in training and development, founded the Say Yes Institute, and, after opening an office in Newburyport, she moved to the small-business incubator the Enterprise Center at Salem State University five years ago. She’s now coaching clients both in the nonprofit and for-profit world to develop their “emotional intelligence skills.”
“The skills and tools I use in this book, their emotional intelligence, it’s people skills. It’s basically how do you work with people,” Stack said.
It was the response she got from her talks that gave rise to the book. After all, Stack said, relationships are what causes the most stress in people’s lives.
“In every training I do,” Stack said, “there is someone sitting there who raises their hand and then says: ‘this is great for work, but this is going to change my relationship with my 17-year-old daughter, my husband, my sister-in-law.”
While her strategies for becoming a good leader are not confined to the nonprofit world, it helped that she worked in that environment where people skills are especially important, where people feel overwhelmed by the constant demands of the job.
“It’s key that nonprofit staff show up, and they are able to be fully present for what people they work with,” Stack said. “It’s a tough job. You have to be able to give, and give and give and show up and keep showing up, and it’s not easy, it’s not a linear process. So people need to have skills and tools to do. And I was dealing with a lot of burnout.”
The title for the book, “The Dream Boss,” comes from the phrase that kept coming up in workshops to describe the perfect leader, Stack said, the kind of boss you would work nights and weekends for.