Client Impact Report

Scentsy –Chris Johnson’s Growth to Chief Technology Officer

Being Promoted to Chief Technology Officer

While growing up, children often receive encouragement from their parents to aim high and aspire to great achievements in their future. Many kids follow this advice by pursuing a college education and, upon graduation, securing employment with the intention of advancing within their chosen company. College education equips individuals with a foundation of knowledge, while the company they work for provides opportunities for further learning and growth. However, climbing the corporate ladder to the extent of overseeing multiple departments within a company requires time and experience. This situation can be likened to being a business owner, where one has complete ownership and responsibility for the entire company.

In the case of Chris Johnson, his promotion to Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at Scentsy led him to contemplate the most effective approach for preparing himself for his new role. In order to expedite his learning process, he proactively sought assistance from his professional connections in the consulting industry.

Meet Chris Johnson

Chris Johnson embarked on his journey at Scentsy as a Software Development Manager twelve years ago, gradually advancing within the company over time. Scentsy, a company specializing in home fragrances, was founded by Orville and Heidi Thompson in 2004. Their mission revolves around providing a family-friendly business opportunity that offers innovative, artistic, and high-quality products capable of warming hearts, stimulating the senses, and inspiring the soul.

New Role at Scentsy

Three years ago, Chris Johnson was identified as the successor for the CTO position at Scentsy. He was granted a transition period of six to nine months before taking on the responsibility of overseeing the company’s information technology. Realizing that there were certain gaps or deficiencies in his knowledge that needed to be addressed, Chris understood the importance of seeking guidance from a mentor. Although he had specific criteria in mind, such as finding someone with prior experience as a CTO, an established executive coach, someone with strong leadership and organizational skills, or an individual adept at navigating business politics, Chris explored various options. After meeting with several leads, he ultimately selected Allison, recognizing her as the ideal candidate for the role.

Looking for Guidance

For Chris, assuming the position of CTO was an early realization of a long-held dream. Six years prior, he had expressed to his wife his desire to become a CTO at a large enterprise company before turning 40. Remarkably, at the age of 38, he attained the promotion at Scentsy. While enthusiastic about his new role, Chris was aware that one of his established team members also aspired to the position. This unintentional leapfrog situation immediately caused tension between Chris and his colleague. Determined not to lose the team member and address the issue proactively, Chris approached Allison for guidance. Together, they devised a plan to mend and strengthen the relationship. Within six months of implementing their strategy, trust and camaraderie flourished between Chris and his teammate.

Calling Deliberate Directions

It isn’t typical of Scentsy to outsource needed training, so in order to hire Allison, Chris had to get approval from his higher-ups and show them the value of having Deliberate Directions coach him and his team. Allison met with both the President of Scentsy and the Chief Human Resources Officer and was shortly thereafter granted approval. Thus beginning the Business Executive Coaching with Chris Johnson.


Allison recognizes the value of setting goals, but she firmly believes in the power of SMARTER goals. These goals are Specific, Measurable, Action-oriented, Realistic, Timed, Evaluated, and Reviewed. Chris understands the significance of this approach and ensures that he arrives at each quarterly coaching session with two to three SMARTER goals, whether they are short-term or long-term in nature. A quote that resonates with Chris and serves as a reminder is, “don’t stick with the plan, stick with reality.” This mindset allows him to remain optimistic, even if certain goals are consciously determined to be unfeasible.

One challenge that Chris encounters is effectively following up on his action items, which are established to help achieve his goals. This difficulty arises because some action items lie outside his area of expertise or make him feel uncomfortable. However, Chris has learned to utilize this challenge as motivation to push himself forward and foster personal growth as a leader. Attending coaching sessions necessitates demonstrating actions or results related to his goals, thereby keeping him accountable for his progress.


Allison possesses exceptional listening skills and possesses the ability to discern underlying connections that may go unnoticed by others. She assists individuals in recognizing correlations they may not have realized on their own. Inspired by Allison’s example, Chris is actively cultivating this skill within his own team. Initially, when Chris began coaching, he would often take work situations at face value. However, as Allison would delve deeper during their coaching sessions, he started comprehending and viewing these situations from his employees’ perspectives. This process greatly contributed to the development of Chris’s emotional intelligence. To illustrate this transformative journey, Chris uses the analogy of peeling an onion, wherein he gained insights into the motivations behind people’s actions. Reflecting on this growth, Chris states, “It peeled the onion back to where I got to see that maybe this is why someone is doing what they are doing.”

Now equipped with a different approach, Chris tackles problems by conducting thorough analyses and addressing each situation on a case-by-case basis. This may involve implementing organizational changes, modifying employees’ roles or responsibilities, engaging in difficult conversations, or even adjusting the technology utilized within the company. By employing these strategies, Chris effectively remediates issues that arise, ensuring a more conducive work environment and fostering the growth and well-being of his team.

Allison Dunn’s Coaching

Chris characterizes Allison as a person with a remarkable combination of traits: high energy, passion, and warmth. However, he considers her warmth to be her most significant quality. According to Chris, this quality is what makes people feel at ease and open to sharing in her presence. Chris is particularly impressed by how effectively Allison manages to maintain her high-energy nature while still actively listening and swiftly gathering information.

While Chris lacks prior coaching experience to make a direct comparison, he wholeheartedly acknowledges the immense value he has gained from coaching, which has positively impacted not only himself but also his family and team. He emphasizes that investing in personal development is not limited to business owners. Recognizing a gap in his leadership skills, Chris took proactive steps to address those areas of improvement and, as a result, achieved considerable success. This realization highlights the significance of self-investment and continual learning for personal and professional growth.

Impact from Deliberate Directions

As leaders continue to learn and develop, it is only natural for them to aspire to facilitate the growth and development of others. Chris expresses his next coaching goal, which is to encourage his team members to benefit from Allison’s expertise by sending them to her for coaching.

Chris acknowledges that, due to various reasons such as time constraints or lacking specific expertise, he is unable to personally coach all of his team members. Therefore, he perceives Allison’s Business and Executive Coaching as a valuable complement to his own leadership. While it may not be feasible for every team member to participate in the program, Chris has the ability to identify when a leader within his team has the potential to step up or elevate their performance to a higher level. He describes his team as primarily consisting of proficient managers, but notes areas in which they could enhance their emotional intelligence, ability to read a room, empathy, and communication skills.

In certain instances, Chris has identified managers who possess significant knowledge gaps that need to be addressed in order for them to achieve greater success in their current roles. Chris eagerly anticipates more of his managers undergoing the coaching program under Allison’s mentorship. He believes that this opportunity will enable his team to further develop their leadership skills and bridge the gaps necessary for their continued growth and effectiveness.

Straightforward and Objective

Chris has grown as a leader through Allison’s coaching from all angles and dimensions; accountability, goal setting, new year term challenges, learning to process situations and information, and so much more. Here, we will highlight how Chris has grown in accountability and emotional intelligence.

If you are interested in executive coaching with Allison Dunn, schedule a complimentary session today!