Noelle Mykolenko

Noelle Mykolenko

Chief Executive Officer

I am passionate about growth – for people and in business – and have experienced first-hand that trusted relationships powerfully accelerate the achievement of both personal and corporate goals.

When I first attended a workshop by Charlie Green and Trusted Advisor Associates, more than ten years ago, I couldn’t comprehend the vast power of trust in professional relationships – to deliver better results, increase sales and improve organizational performance.

For most of my career, I was a consultant and business leader who sold, managed and delivered complex business solutions in multiple industries. I held director-level roles in business development, marketing and client development at a Fortune 200 IT company. I’ve been on both sides of the desk: selling ideas, solutions and services to clients, and being the one who was “sold to.”

As a client of Trusted Advisor Associates, I experienced how being a trusted advisor improves customer satisfaction and loyalty, enables vast account expansion, and increases employee engagement and business growth.

Today, as CEO of Trusted Advisor Associates, my goal is to help other professionals and organizations achieve similar gains through improved client focus and trust.

Based in metropolitan Washington, DC, I have an MBA from UVA’s Darden Graduate School of Business, and bachelor’s degrees in Business Administration and French.

I have worked with Trusted Advisor Associates since 2009. Among the greatest joys of my life is the opportunity to work every day with people who are committed to building trust.

My Trust Temperament™

The Professor

My Trust Story

In my first role as a project leader, we made a mistake early in our data analysis phase. We immediately corrected it when the client pointed it out. Two weeks later, when the head of the affected department called me in for an early morning meeting, the data errors weren’t even on my mind.

I arrived for the meeting prepared for a typical status update. Without preamble, the client (a retired Army colonel) looked me in the eye and asked, “So, are you stupid, or just arrogant?”

Several thoughts flashed through my mind: “This guy is a jerk!” “He doesn’t understand what we do.” “He’s just trying to protect his turf.” Rather than reacting defensively, I focused on explaining our analysis. I was thorough and articulate, with reams of supporting data. I was (I thought) at the top of my consulting game, using every trick I’d ever learned to persuade him of the “right” course of action.

A funny thing happened: the more I talked, the less he listened. As I left his office after the meeting, I knew he didn’t trust my recommendations. And, much worse, he didn’t trust me.

It was one of the longest, most uncomfortable hours of my consulting career.

I learned a lot about trust from that experience. For example, I learned that:

  • Trust, even in business, is deeply personal.
  • Being a talented consultant and having the right solution is a poor substitute for having a trust relationship.
  • In order to be listened to, I have to listen first, both to be right and to earn the right to be right.

The result? While we didn’t get fired (in fact, I worked with that client for many more years), I’ll always wonder how much better our work could have been, and how much more I could have helped, if I’d focused less on the work and more on the relationship.