Meet Lisa Pote, Executive Director of Beck Institute for Cognitive Behavior Therapy, right here in Bala Cynwyd. What is Cognitive Behavior Therapy? It’s a psychotherapy directed toward solving current problems and teaching clients skills to modify dysfunctional thinking and behavior. The Institute is a leading international source for training, therapy, and resources in the field. Lisa is in charge of the business operations, outside sales/partnerships, fundraising, and running the team.

Before this, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had? I grew up in my family’s toy business, and after college worked to a level of Director of Training and National Accounts. Beyond being able to work with my dad, I learned business concepts I still apply today in a non-profit environment.

What has been your favorite project or proudest moment at The Beck Institute? This is a hard one because every day something cool presents as a possibility to make a difference.  One example of this is that we are involved in conversations with the armed forces to reduce suicide in the military.  Just engaging in that conversation makes us better at what we do, but if it works, and we can design something that matters in the lives of our soldiers and their families. That would be truly remarkable.

How do you define success?  My mission is to lead an extraordinary life.  So what success looks like for me is having an impact on the world around me, being economically independent and experiencing immeasurable love.

If you had to eat one meal, every day for the rest of your life, what would it be?  Is salted caramel gelato a meal?  It’s an addiction. 

People would be surprised if they knew:  I can shoot pool.  

What do you always want to try and never did? A Ted Talk about the power that comes from saying “Yes.” So many of us get to our 50s and are geared toward saying “No.”  We don’t even realize we’ve rolled over on life.  I’d LOVE to take that conversation on in a way that helped people see their possibility.

What would you do (for a career) if you weren’t doing this? I’d be a writer. I wrote a bravery blog for a bit, but pretty much put my writing aside when I took the leadership role at Beck.  But there’s at least one book in me, yet.

You’re happiest when?  I’m a happy person and live my life in a space of joy most of the time.  That said,  pure happiness happens when I’m with people I love. Love makes me happy.