leadership development

Enabling you to access the motivation needed to accelerate performance, re-engage teams, and fuel company-wide success.


Deborah’s coaching holds me accountable to working ‘on my business’, materially increasing my productivity. She is on point, organized (always!), energetic, focused, and smart, with business acumen that I have learned to depend on. She pitches at just the right pace and speed, and has become instrumental to our success.

Samantha Dorsey, President, McEvoy Ranch


When a leader experiences complexity or  high stress, it is vital to take stock and objectively re-assess present and future priorities – from the lenses of what your business needs from you.

We drive an efficient and pragmatic process: our focus is on collaborating with you to build your ‘next act’ as a stronger, healthier leader capable of even more effective decisions and much higher performance. 

Together we will explore new ways of addressing your business and organization priorities and develop your personal toolkit of essential operational and strategic leadership practices.


Leadership alignment creates focus and energy in an organization, driving higher productivity and motivation among all players.  When leaders lose focus – emotions surface and trust breaks down.

Our highly personal approach enables two leaders to map out priorities and moves more effectively, with less overlap: captivating customers, outwitting the competition, managing margin pressures and increasing long-term shareholder value.

We work alongside you to rebuild essential trust and relationship, develop more candor in communications, and more effective decision making frameworks.


When a leader has an exciting opportunity to move from managing a single business to managing a group, this pivot may require new skills and better clarity on how to shift your role – to manage more complex decision making.

We have the knowledge and expertise to engage you and your team in developing strategic leadership behaviors and skills – driving sustainable competitive advantage and stronger enterprise value.



Because of the speed of change, it is impossible to lead a growing organization if you are not continuing to develop as a leader.  

Effective coaching is always a challenging mix of unveiling opportunities for growth; practicing new competencies and behaviors; and applying practical decision making and problem solving techniques.

The net result of better decisions: you grow in impact (and income) and influence – engaging people, igniting change, inspiring action and leaving a lasting legacy for a better world.


‘Resilience: We know we can … overcome any challenge that is presented to us.’

Deborah Steinthal, Managing Director I Scion Advisors I McMinnville, Oregon   This is a follow up to my May 2020 article, ‘How COVID-19 is making ‘warriors’ out of wine entrepreneurs’. I wrote how the events of 2020 ‘would make warriors out of Northwest wine and spirits entrepreneurs: the strong would become stronger through building...

How COVID-19 is making ‘warriors’ out of wine entrepreneurs.

Author - Deborah Steinthal, Managing Director I Scion Advisors I McMinnville, Oregon COVID-19’s toll on the wine industry is substantial, with potential long-term consequences.  Everyone’s context has been scrambled. Things are super fluid. It is impossible to guess at next week, let alone predict next year. For many these are surreal, unsettling...

Learn to control less and delegate more

For the last three years, I have been coaching a wicked-smart, millennial winemaker and G2 winery owner – let’s call him Mark to give him a face. Lately, Mark and I have been working on how to build effective teams during high-stress, high-change periods, such as this super challenging 2019 harvest.   His story is relatable because so many...

17 Points on Strategic Leadership – from food and beverage CEOs

Strategic leadership consists not only of the vision element, but also encompasses other wide-ranging factors. These 17 points from successful CEOs, offer winery leaders a powerful place to start exploring strategic leadership, deepen their practice - to continue raising the bar on their business’ ability to succeed.  These CEO have also...

Fighting windmills? How to manage a constantly changing wine landscape.

U.S. Wine industry CEOs are at the epicenter of persistent and rapid change, and many feel like Don Quixote fighting windmills. So many big questions are being debated right now, mainly – How to manage through ...: 'incessant consolidation in distribution’; ‘accelerating labor squeeze’; ‘relentless regulatory changes’; ‘possible impacts from...

Success has many flavors: three winery ownership transition stories

As the U.S. wine industry matures, increasingly large numbers of winery owners are retiring[1] and are seeking to sell their businesses to third parties or to their children. Either process is fraught with challenges. For those who have successfully achieved these transitions, the financial and emotional rewards are many. Since success comes in...

How wineries can build higher performing teams and improve productivity.

by Deborah Steinthal, Managing Director, Scion Advisors (707.246.6830) Recently, I have noticed that an increasing number of winery owners and general managers are most concerned about ‘how to attract and retain more engaged employees’. They are struggling to improve team productivity and consequent winery performance. A second generation winery...

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