About Yvonne

The Technical Leadership Coach reveals all…


Yvonne T. Ryan, Founder and President of Leader’s Edge CA, spent over 25 years developing her understanding of what constitutes good leadership (and how best to apply it in a technical environment). She worked in a variety of positions from engineering team leader to Director of Engineering and acting Vice-President of Engineering, with stints along the way as Program Manager, Project Manager, and consultant. In short, she knows and understands the in-and-outs of middle management in high-tech organizations.

Yvonne’s experience spans a wide range of industries, including EDA (Electronic Design Automation), manufacturing, aerospace, biotechnology, computer language and translator design, and business systems. She is also a trained mediator, a certified Instructor-of-Trainers, and an instructional designer specializing in experiential and online learning. Notable firms that have employed Yvonne’s expertise in leadership, management, and communication include:

  • Management Task Force, Inc.
  • Department of Transportation – UMTA (Washington, DC)
  • Columbine Systems
  • Martin Marietta Data Systems
  • Northrop Aircraft Corporation
  • Anaconda
  • SPR, Inc.
  • Fairchild Advanced Processor Division
  • Valisys Corporation
  • Becton Dickinson Immunocytometry Systems
  • Vantage Analysis Systems
  • Viewlogic Systems, Inc.
  • LSI Logic
  • Cadence Design Systems
  • Synopsys
  • Escalade Corporation
  • Vega Vista
  • Consortium of Girl Scout Learning Facilitators
  • Dining for Women
  • Society of Women Engineers

Yvonne’s experiences as a manager, mentor, and educator, and her ability to aid the recovery of companies and projects in crisis eventually led her to transition into a full-time career in coaching, education, and facilitation.  Yvonne’s success in getting positive results with both technical and non-technical leaders has demonstrated the validity of her practical, no-nonsense approach.

Yvonne’s Vision

Without key coordination and people skills, technical professionals are often handicapped, frustrated, and less effective than they could be.

I have always wanted to promote a better caliber of leadership among those technical professionals who, through their creativity and innovation, are the backbone of our technological and scientific advancement as a society. I believe that technical people can do more than simply survive in the often foreign territory outside their labs and cubicles — they can prosper. Contrary to popular belief, engineers, scientists, and technicians can learn to lead and manage others effectively when given the opportunity, the education, and proper support.

In general, I prefer to work with team leaders, and first- and second-level managers (a.k.a. “middle management”) who have had little or no access to the type of coaching and support that is commonplace at executive levels. My approach facilitates the learning of leadership concepts through practical on-the-job application accompanied by on-going individual and group coaching. My goal, in supporting this approach, is not to supplant or replace the role of upper management in supporting their technical leaders and managers. My goal is to augment management’s efforts through unbiased, experienced, and timely support unfettered by company, project, and client demands, or by corporate politics.

I expect Leader’s Edge CA to be a resource for managers and corporations to call upon

  • when first promoting a technical person into a leadership role,
  • when transitioning a technical manager from one type of leadership role into another, and/or
  • when aiding an existing technical leader to expand or elevate his or her leadership skillset.

I also expect Leader’s Edge CA to be a resource for individual technical professionals who see leadership as the next logical avenue for expanding the scope of their careers.

Why Leader’s Edge CA Exists

Leader’s Edge CA offers a necessary service. Most technical people receive little or no any education in  leadership while pursuing their technical degrees. For technical leaders and managers, math and science are just not enough. To be a better than average leader of technical people, you also need excellent communication coordination, and people skills. After all, a true technical professional is rarely satisfied with being simply “average” at anything. Wouldn’t you rather be among the elite leaders in your field or discipline?

Most of us weren’t born with all of these skills, but luckily they can be learned (if you’re willing to make the effort). Through the resources and services provided by Leader’s Edge CA, my colleagues and I will continue to explore and demonstrate to you how the very technology and innovation being created by technical professionals (maybe even you and your team) can be used to facilitate the learning and application of these incredibly valuable skills in a timely manner and at a price that won’t break your bank!

So, in short, I intend to make Leader’s Edge CA the resource that you, and others like you, will want to consult for practical, no-nonsense education, guidance, and support while striving to take your high-tech leadership to the next level. Whether you are new to leadership, already a leader, embarking on a career transition, or simply someone who wants to make greater strides in your career, I invite you to take a look at what we at Leader’s Edge CA have to offer.