Business consulting firm advises women in leadership positions

As owner of the Hermantown clinic, Northland Psychological Services, Heather Rose-Carlson PsyD, LP offers life coaching and business consulting in addition to the more traditional clinical psychology services.


As women are advancing in leadership positions, all too often they realize that “having it all” may be a best-selling theme in the self-help book section, but real world advice on how to effectively balance a career with a home life, is hard to come by. 

Heather Rose-Carlson PsyD, LP, targets that particular life coaching niche with her consulting branch she runs out of her Hermantown clinic, Northland Psychological Services.

Founded in 2004, it was Carlson’s doctoral thesis that sparked the idea to focus on women in leadership.

In “Influences of life satisfaction of women in upper management and executive positions,” she examined the quality of life for women in leadership roles. Specifically, she reviewed the history of how women evolved with their approaches to working in business and their different leadership styles. 

After looking back, she turned her observing eye forward. During a women in leadership conference she conducted a study on a group of females and took an inventory of how they reached that certain quality of life while having a high level of success in the business world. 

Later she ran statistics on what different variables effectively enhanced a woman’s overall satisfaction with life. 

One statically significant finding the analysis produced was that the demand at work in the leadership role correlated with the hiring of people to help out with domestic responsibilities. 

“The more a woman had help with that, the more satisfaction she had,” explains Carlson. “It didn’t have anything to do with her title or how much money she earned. Whether she had kids or no kids, a husband or no husband. The more her efforts were at work, the more her domestic life needed support.”

While Carlson has an expertise in women’s issues, it is by no means the only clientele she serves. 

Her practice employs two additional therapists and one office manager. The clinic welcomes all patients and offers therapy for adult individuals, couples and families. 

On the other side of the spectrum Northland Psychological Services also serves businesses.  

After she received her bachelors of arts degree from the Psychology College of St. Scholastica, Carlson moved onto obtain her doctorate of clinical psychology from the Minnesota School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University.

During the time when she became a licensed psychologist, one of her supervisors steered her in the direction of corporate psychology. 

Today, Carlson’s business consulting clients range from one-man companies to larger government accounts. 

Together with one of her employees she is certified as a Minnesota Rule 114 Qualified Neutral Mediator, which means she is endorsed by the Supreme Court of Minnesota to facilitate business mediation that will essentially spare conflicted parties from going to court. 

Carlson also has a contract with the Duluth Police Department to facilitate the agency’s critical incident response program.

During her 15 years as a business consultant she has observed some reoccurring issues. One of them being employee retention. More recently she reports that businesses struggle to retain their millennial staff.  

“Millennials are quite different than generations before, especially in the way they define work ethic,” she said. “They expect to get as much as they give. They want to be as authentic as possible and they want their personal gift to be recognized.”

So Carlson’s business coaching tackles questions such as “What type of leadership is the future going to call for?” and “How does the future workforce interact with its leaders and vice versa?”

“Millennials don’t expect to stay at one job and move up the ladder, but rather go from one company to another to get to the next level,” said Carlson. “As a leader, if you want to retain the talent in your company you have to put more effort into having that millennial see a future in your company and give them a clear path on how to get there.”

Relating back to the women in leadership viewpoint, this also involves clarification on how well one addresses demands for flex-time, maternity and paternity leave and paid sick leave.

These are all issues that Carlson, as an employer, has to ask herself, too. And as a highly diversified business professional, what is the one piece of advice that she gives to herself? It boils down to delegation: “To focus on the things that I am good at. And to find people to help me do the things I am not.”