The Chief Encouragement Officer| Debbie Phillips Ph.D, CPM®

Debbie Phillips Ph.D, CPM®


Debbie Phillips’ official title may be Founder and President of The Quadrillion, but her ‘unofficial’ title is CEO – Chief Encouragement Officer.  Once you engage with Debbie, it’s easy to see why this title fits like a glove. She has an infectious spirit and enthusiasm that creates a high-energy environment wherever she goes.

Building A Company

More than 26 years ago, The Quadrillion began with a spark of an idea to fill a need in the industry, and almost 30 years later Debbie has helped global organizations transform their cultures by focusing on talent development and employee engagement. Debbie has spent over 32 years as a leader in the real estate industry, and as an entrepreneur, Debbie has built a multi-faceted career creating world-class leadership development programs and talent management strategies.

Debbie believes that business is about rewarding relationships built on trust and respect. She proudly shares that some of her first clients from when she started her business are still working with her today.

Debbie remembers when she started The Quadrillion, it was not easy for female or minority-owned businesses to get loans. While there has been improvement over the past three decades, Debbie recognizes there is still tremendous opportunity to help entrepreneurs overcome the barrier of undercapitalization.

She notes that although increased advertising of loans for diverse business owners has created a perception that things have exponentially improved, actual funds budgeted for these loans can be limited and the process laboriously cumbersome.

Connecting with Others

According to Debbie, genuinely engaging with people and helping others is probably one of the most valuable things you can do in this world.  As she shared in an interview with GenHERation, “Connecting with others in a meaningful way allows you to expand your influence  and accomplish your goals. When it comes to connecting with people, I want you to remember F.O.R.—Family, Occupation, Recreation—or, the channels you can use to meet people and develop relationships with them. Understanding and learning about one’s family is one example of making meaningful connections. Take your team members or co-workers out to coffee, so you can get to know more about their passions. Join organizations where you can meet people who have similar interests. You’ve got to put yourself out there, whether you connect with people in person or virtually. While it is crucial to interact with others to help cultivate your creativity, it is important that you never make your relationships one-sided. Don’t just take from others; be sure to give as well. Be a “go-giver” as well as a “go-getter.” You might just help someone spark their own creativity! You can be a catalyst for positive change.”

Becoming a Mentor

Debbie has tremendous gratitude and respect for the leaders who helped her recognize her purpose early in her career and attain the success she enjoys today. That’s why one of her most important leadership credos is “pay it forward.”  As a mentor, she freely devotes her time, energy and guidance to emerging entrepreneurs. For Debbie, the payback is priceless. The ability to point to many of her mentees that have gone on to become successful entrepreneurs is its own reward.

The mark of leadership is not what you have done as a leader but what you have helped others become as a result of your leadership. Debbie refers to this as the “fruits” of her labor.

Debbie prefers the word ‘net-weaving’ over networking and prides herself on being a connector. She has a unique, strengths-based approach to mentoring and developing leaders. First, she takes time to dig deep and identify the emerging leader’s strengths. Then she connects them with other, more experienced members of her network who have complementary strengths. This approach allows the more experienced person to come alongside the emerging leader to help build capacity in the mentee.

Defining and Finding Success

Debbie believes that success is defined daily and uniquely by each individual and reflects on how her idea of success has changed over the years. “When I was younger, I thought it was how much money I made or other material possessions. Once you discover why you are put on this earth, it frees you up from having to impress people or be someone you weren’t meant to be. I refer to these lessons as the 3 M’s,” she explains. “The first part of your career, you have to ‘make it.’ You have to put food on the table. The second phase is ‘mastering it.’ That’s when you devote all of your time and energy into fine tuning your craft. You develop a craftsman’s mentality. The third phase is ‘making it meaningful.’ That’s where the juice is! It’s what you wake up to do each and every day. It’s your ‘pull’ vs. your ‘push.’  If you have to force something to happen, it probably wasn’t meant to be.”

This steadfast leader strongly suggests that everyone understand that life is a game of choice and there’s a trade-off in everything you do. You should decide who you want to be and what price you are willing to pay for it. She calls it the “TEA Exchange.” How much time, energy, and attention do you want to invest? What’s the ROI and ROE – Return on Investment and the ROE – Return on Energy? “As women, we are naturally tuned into relationships, and we look at situations as opportunities for transformation not merely transactional. It’s important to learn the value of time. You can always make more money, but you can’t always make more time. Time is your most valuable asset and how you choose to use it is going to be the best indication of where your future is going to take you.”


On the topic of leadership, Debbie says that people want to make a meaningful contribution, but greatness starts at the top. One can’t “outperform” in weak culture. Leaders are responsible for setting the standard of excellence and creating an environment for people to do their best work. Engaged employees drive profits to the bottom line. A satisfied employee says, “I like my work.”  An engaged employee says, “I LOVE MY COMPANY!” People will go to great lengths and use their discretionary time for causes and people they believe in. 

As Debbie shares with her clients who want to recruit and retain high potential talent, immersive coaching, employee development and job fit analysis will be critical. On the flip side, these HPEs (High Potential Employees) will demand high engagement cultures where they can thrive, so there will be significant opportunities to create healthier, more rewarding workplaces. She believes these tenets are especially impactful for those businesses that are dependent on the customer experience to achieve scale and to outperform the market.

While Debbie has received many awards and recognition for her teaching, leadership development, and work in employee engagement, she is most proud of the people she has mentored. She continues to enjoy a front seat in the lives of hundreds of mentees and former students. You will never have a conversation with Dr. Debbie that she doesn’t talk about the achievements of those in her circle and her #1 daughter, Anna Scott Phillips. 


" The mark of leadership is not what you have done as a leader but what you have helped others become as a result of your leadership. Debbie refers to this as the “fruits” of her labor. "

Debbie Phillips Ph.D, CPM®


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