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Training ground

John Consoli.

Sometimes, even MVPs can use some extra guidance.

Just ask Cheryl Davis Jordan, LA’76. Her executive coaching business, Color Outside the Lines, helps high-performing senior managers hone their leadership skills.

“Pretty good” has never been good enough for Davis Jordan.

This journalism major started building her business background by working in marketing communications at General Electric during the Jack Welch era.

GE was a great training ground, because excellence was the norm there, she says. “You always had to bring you’re A game.”

When her mother became ill, Davis Jordan moved back home to the Washington, D.C., area, opening her own marketing-communications consultancy, then founding Color Outside the Lines in Fort Washington, Md., in 1999.

Davis Jordan’s high-profile clients have included the U.S. Executive Office of the President, General Mills and the U.S. Department of Defense.
As she coaches, she asks executives tough questions to help them embrace larger roles. “There’s nothing like seeing leaders embody the learning and own it,” she says.

At Northeastern, sampling a wide variety of co-ops — from working in the Boston Globe classifieds department, to reviewing and classifying books at the Library of Congress — prepared her for success, she says. “My approach was, ‘What different adventure can I explore?”

As a result, “I learned to be comfortable with the unknown, to be comfortable learning from experience.”

It’s a winning formula.