LeAnne Lagasse, Director of Public Speaking at Texas Tech University & Co-owner of ROI Talent Development

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LeAnne Lagasse grew up in Ruidoso, New Mexico. She got her start in the working world at a miniature golf course in her hometown, and she dreamed of one day becoming a news anchor. Life, however, had slightly different plans.

While attending Texas Tech University (TTU), LeAnne discovered her talents and strengths through Gallup’s CliftonStrengths assessment, formerly called StrengthsFinder. Those discoveries led her down a different path than she had ever imagined. Knowing her knacks for discipline, individualization, and achievement gave her confidence to be herself and pursue her passions. Those passions included starting a company that would help others make the same self-discoveries she made, and today, she can proudly say she’s achieved that goal.

LeAnne is now the co-owner of ROI Talent Development here in Lubbock in addition to being the director of public speaking at TTU’s College of Media & Communication. She is a Gallup-certified CliftonStrengths coach; holds a master’s degree in communication; is married to the Executive Pastor of Equipping at Redeemer Church, Ben; and is a loving mother to their three children, Isaac, Eli, and Abby.

At TTU, LeAnne teaches undergraduates to better communicate in all aspects of their lives and trains, supervises, and mentors graduate teaching assistants using a strengths-based approach. At ROI Talent Development, her goal is to help individuals and organizations reach their peaks.

“Helping people and organizations thrive and flourish is always my goal, and I am incredibly passionate about helping people discover and develop the unique talents, values, and strengths they bring to their relationships and workplaces,” she said.

Why LeAnne Is a Lubbock Leader

While understanding who she is, what her strengths are, and how to be successful doing what she loves were key components to getting her where she is today, her greatest passion is helping others uncover those same truths in themselves. Her success is dependent on others succeeding. Her ability to thrive is fueled by giving others the tools they need to do the same.

“I consider myself most successful when I am setting other people up for success,” she said. “At ROI, when I get to watch leaders and individuals use the knowledge, skills, and resources we teach to build high-performing teams and exceptional workplace culture, I feel I've accomplished something that will continue to live on long after I'm gone. As an educator at TTU, I feel the most fruitful when I get to watch my students take the knowledge and skills they have learned and apply it in their personal and professional lives.”

Every part of LeAnne’s career is aimed at serving others. She is a facilitator of hope, passion, and strength. Her clients and students trust her to foster their growth because she sets such a shining example of how to be successful utilizing her own gifts.

Sarah Harris, who nominated LeAnne as a Lubbock Leader, said it all:

“LeAnne is not only amazing to know, she's incredible to work with. She has been a professor at Tech for many, many years, teaching students how to use their Clifton-based strengths to benefit themselves and their teams. She recently co-founded ROI Talent Development out of her love of helping others grow. She has trained and worked with many companies in Lubbock and is really passionate about helping people in Lubbock flourish. I really can’t think of a better person to nominate. Her leadership skills and passion to help others is so encouraging and contagious! She has brought so much value to my work life and my personal life.”

Why ROI Talent Development

ROI Talent Development exists to “help leaders and organizations build happy and healthy workplaces”. LeAnne and her partner, Joy O’Steen, achieve that goal by coaching their clients through the processes of developing their teams and themselves by focusing on their strengths. LeAnne believes that everyone should enjoy going to work and can do so if the workplace properly engages them. That’s where strengths come into play.

Employees who know and use their strengths are more likely to be engaged, have a higher quality of life, and are more productive. Managers who focus on employees’ strengths see decreases in employee disengagement and turnover and increases in productivity and profitability.

LeAnne and Joy use the CliftonStrengths assessment to help leaders ensure their organizations are places employees want to be.

LeAnne hopes that ROI Talent Development continues to grow so the company can further contribute to the Lubbock economy and job market, but also because of her natural inclination to help others thrive.

“I hope that when my career is a thing of the past,” she said, “I will be able to look back and say I worked hard to build up other people, whether it was my students at TTU or Lubbock teams and organizations.”

Why Lubbock

LeAnne has been in Lubbock since 2002, her freshman year at TTU. She said when she arrived, she fell in love with the city and its people.

“Lubbock has the energy typical of a great college-town,” she said, “but we differentiate ourselves because of our traditions and our deeply-planted roots. One of my favorite things about Lubbock is how connected everyone is to each other. We live in a growing city with a thriving economy, but we still possess a small-town nature in many ways. The people of Lubbock are extremely passionate, highly productive, and personable.”

She believes that Lubbock will continue to be a place people want to plant their roots for many years to come.

She said, “In addition to our largest industries like agriculture, healthcare, and education, I think there is so much support in this community for small business owners and entrepreneurs.”

LeAnne is perfectly poised to help the up-and-coming leaders of Lubbock grow and to help the well-established influencers of our city continue to thrive, and she plans to do just that.

“My focus and my calling is to help Lubbock teams and organizations, educators, and leaders to thrive and flourish,” she said. “I want to help Lubbock companies grow, improve their employee engagement and workplace culture, hire the right people for the right roles, and learn to lead with a strengths-based approach, which has been proven to increase both productivity and profitability. As a faculty member at Texas Tech University, I have always set out to equip students with the knowledge, critical thinking skills, and communicative strategies necessary for them to make contributions in their respective industries.”

Her years of experience, natural strengths, and honed skills make LeAnne such a valuable part of the Lubbock community, and I think we will all feel the ripple of her impact on the city in the coming years (if we haven’t already).