Ryan G Polly, PhD

I help people and teams get unstuck by mastering the skills they need to navigate through challenging situations — and come out the other side with growth that aligns directly to their core mission.

I have had the privilege of speaking at dozens of events, always with a singular focus:  teaching skills on resilient and authentic living. I have also worked closely with countless individuals through training and coaching, and have acted as a partner to executive leadership assisting in developing a culture of authenticity, resilience, and courage.

Okay, that’s the official version. Let me tell you about what I have found rests at the core of every stuck individual and organization…

When you acquire the courage to learn and explore, the resilience to navigate adversity, and the mindset to live and lead with authenticity, you will transform. Not transform into something unrecognizable, but quite the opposite. You will look into the mirror for the first time, and truly feel as though the world is seeing who you are — your skills, your achievements, your potential.

The effects of this reshapes your life, and for companies, reshapes their organization in profoundly meaningful ways. Your stress levels will decrease. You have more time and energy for what’s important. You comfortably respond to roadblocks and easily navigate new and changing realities.  You are consistently learning, viewing problems as opportunities. You generate innovative solutions that get results.

I have worked in the fields of higher education, leadership, and organizational development for the past 16 years. I have completed a Bachelors and Master’s degree with an education focus and completed a PhD with a transformation focus. I have also completed numerous advanced certifications in areas such as emotional intelligence, neuroscience, power and systems, coaching, and diversity & inclusion. In 2013 I was honored by the Association for Talent Development, Vermont Chapter, as a leader in Learning & Development.

I am currently writing a memoir detailing my personal experience with being stuck and feeling shame and regret. The book outlines my journey to self-acceptance and authenticity.

This is why I do the work that I do.  I know what it’s like to be stuck.

I lost both of parents by age 18. I watched my grandmother die in front of me at age 12. I was raised by an abusive step-father. I was a “weird fat kid” who always got made fun of and bullied simply because I was different. My first child was born when I was just 16 years old. I have a chronic health condition. I have been homeless. I have been divorced. I have been laid-off.

Yet, none of these things define what I am capable of. Through my research and workshops, I have found this to be true for every single person I have worked with.

We all have challenging moments that have shaped us in some way. Consider your moment, what have you learned from it?  How does it shape you?  And how will you use that to give back and help someone else?

I believe that all moments, no matter big or small, are learning moments. It is up to us to have the courage to explore, the mindset to live our life with authenticity, and the resilience to navigate these moments and transform ourselves towards positive success.

I live in Vermont with my spouse and our five children (blended family but I love them all!). In my free time I enjoy playing music and theater as well as adrenaline pumping movies. I also spend time volunteering helping people less fortunate develop skills and abilities to move towards a self-sufficient life.

For my professional bio please click here.

15 Random Things About Me:

1     I was born in California (moved to the Pacific Northwest when I was a teenager and I moved to Vermont in 2008)

2     My favorite ice cream is Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough…and I may like it a little too much

3     I am a musician and have a natural ear towards music. I can pick up just about any instrument and play it. My favorite is piano though.

4     When I was 20 years old I played keyboard in a touring band called “The Blues Broads.” We were a 15 piece Blues Brothers tribute band with a twist…we had two female lead singers. Fun times!

5     I love to run. Yes I actually love it, but it took a while to grow on me

6     I have two rescue dogs: one is a bassador which is a cross between a Labrador and Basset Hound (yes you are picturing it right) and the other we aren’t sure but we think maybe some Jack Russel Terrier. Both are black.

7     I am still a Survivor Fan (the TV Show. Been watching it since the first episode years ago)

8     I used to be painfully shy. Hard to believe given I’m a keynote speaker eh?

9     When I get frustrated my ear lobes turn red.

10   I live in Vermont yet I have never been skiing or snowboarding. Largely because I really don’t like the snow.

11   I was home-schooled from 6th grade through high-school.

12   I used to live in the town where the films “The Goonies” and “Kindergarten Cop” were made.

13   When I was a 14 years old I released a tape of 12 songs written and sung by me. I went on a small northwest tour raising money for homelessness.

14   When I was 8 years old I cut off the pinky finger of my right hand. I was cutting a pumpkin without parental permission or supervision. Quick action by my mom led to salvaging my finger (even though she was NOT happy that I disobeyed and cut the pumpkin!) It’s a little tingly and I can’t bend it all the way but I still have it!

15   A few years ago I was playing a “Zombie” in a local zombie race and ended up breaking my ring finger on the same hand. Now I cannot fully bend my ring OR pinky finger so making a fist with my right hand is pretty challenging.

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