For more than 25 years, Sandie and Greg Lange have pursued their shared passions for design as the owners of Swath Design. Together, they grew a business that became a well-known and respected leader in environmental graphic design and wayfinding. When they started discussing how they might transition out of the business while preserving what they’d worked hard to build, like many business owners, they had no idea where to begin.
“We had a conversation with a colleague in early 2021 about the challenges we were facing in our business, and he told us: You need to go to Aileron.”
After doing some research on her own, Sandie could tell Aileron was exactly what she and Greg needed. They were awarded a grant and used the funds to attend the Course for Presidents—and they haven’t looked back since.
Accountability + encouragement = confidence
Sandie and Greg attended the Course for Presidents in June 2021 and have since worked with many members of the Aileron team to get clear on what they want to do with their business.
“Before working with Aileron, we felt lost in the strategic process. We were reactive when it came to planning—we would react to whatever came across our plate. And that is not the best way to run a company. Now, we are proactive in our planning and strategic thinking, thanks to Aileron’s strategic processes and systems.”
Throughout their work with Aileron, Sandie and Greg have grown their leadership capabilities and confidence, too.
“We were given the opportunity to have someone coach us through what we needed to stay focused on, while encouraging and allowing us to come up with our own answers instead of telling us what to do. It has truly changed the way we approach our work.”
Working on the business, not in it
Many business owners and teams come to Aileron to get away from the day-to-day and work on the bigger picture—and Sandie and Greg are no different. As they grew to learn new and better ways to professionally manage their business, they used Campus as a space to get away from distractions and really focus.
They’ve also leveraged Aileron’s collection of professional management tools, resources, and best practices to solve problems in their business, rather than recreating the wheel.
“It’s so much fun to do this work now that we have the tools and confidence to do so. I am a completely different leader than I was 18 months ago. And that is all thanks to Aileron,” said Sandie.
When asked where their business would be today without Aileron, Greg threw his head back as if the idea was unfathomable: “We would be stuck doing the status quo, in our comfort zone, so afraid to grow the firm because we did not have the confidence or know what our next step should be.”
As Sandie and Greg reflected on their past year, they expressed gratitude for Aileron and the role professional management has played in their lives and business:
“Had we not come to Aileron, we wouldn’t have grown our sales by 150% over the past year. We wouldn’t have added 3 employees. For 30 years we were 6 people; since coming to Aileron, we’re 9.”
“We just can’t say enough about the value Aileron has added to both our business and personal relationship. We are so thankful for Aileron and its impact on our lives.”
We’re shining the spotlight on our community and sharing the stories of our members. Are you interested in sharing your Aileron journey? Reach out to us.