"Story's power is twofold: It provides simulation (knowledge on how to act) and inspiration (motivation to act)."

Chip Heath & Dan Heath, Made To Stick

Essence Of Leadership

The core essence of leadership is about understanding yourself and bringing your “best self” forward in every situation you encounter as a leader – the good, the bad and the ugly situations that you may encounter everyday.

It’s about having a vision for how you want to “show up” as a leader and building practices to achieve the results you are looking for on a consistent basis.

It’s also understanding what got you to where you are now and sorting out what serves you moving forward and what else you may need to build to get to where you want to go.


Deb St. John founded Shoshin Group in October of 2006 with the expressed purpose and vision of developing stronger leadership and performance in teams and individuals through a deep understanding of story, creativity in communication and leadership development principles.

Deb’s career background is in branding and marketing for over 25 years.  She has worked with Fortune 100 and 500 brands in a variety of industries including Healthcare, Building Materials, Industrial Supply and more.

A short sampling of companies she has worked with include:  Abbott Laboratories, Ameriprise Financial Advisors, Amgen Biopharmaceuticals, Andersen Windows, AT&T, Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Caterpillar, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, Citigroup, Grainger, KFC, Masco Companies, Owens Corning, and Rubbermaid.

Deb is highly regarded as a business catalyst in leadership, business development and strategic planning. Her proven ability to build & manage brands, develop lucrative business relationships, optimize customer operations and, most importantly, motivate individuals & teams paves the way for her success as an executive coach for managers and executive leaders.


  • Certified Coach through the Strozzi Institute for Leadership Studies
  • Appreciative Inquiry training with David Cooperider
  • Neuromarketing training with Sales Brain, Christophe Morin
  • Leadership coaching cohort through Georgetown University
  • Bachelors degree in Business Administration from University of Iowa
  • Creator of StoryShaping™ – an approach that helps individuals and companies create compelling, story-based vision and strategy for success



Contact us for more information on any of the following services:

StoryShaping (TM)

  • Full continuum StoryShaping (beginning to end)
  • Vision/IdeaShaping
  • Story Mapping
  • Storytelling in New Business/Proposals
  • Story exploration topics

Leadership Coaching/Personal StoryShaping

  • Individual Leadership Coaching
  • Group/Team Coaching
  • Real World Roundtables (for Managers, Entrepreneurs and Non-Profit Leaders)

Training Topics

  • Teambuilding
  • Communication
  • Active Listening & Question Techniques
  • Effective storytelling in presentations


  • Strategic Planning, Vision Planning
  • Executive Retreats
  • Advisory Groups

Assessment Tools (Individual and group debriefs/training)

DISC, TriMetrix, 360 Feedback, StrengthFinders

Talent Selection

  • Prospective Candidates Assessments (TriMetrix)
  • Interviewing (Screening Interviews, Coaching Leaders on Interviewing)
  • Onboarding Consulting (Design Curriculum, Leadership Coaching)