Ella + Michelle, of Wellth Works, are some of the most powerful leaders I know. Both have backgrounds working (very successfully!) in high-stakes settings, and yet they’re approachable, collaborative, and empowering. Their work is in helping women rise in their careers and experience fulfillment and success in largely male-dominated settings — and through that, shifting the paradigm about how we, collectively, approach and dismantle the patriarchy. They are exceptional at hosting powerful conversations, facilitating meaningful inquiry, and navigating negotiations with clarity and confidence to get the outcomes they want. I’m so excited for you to know them.
Who you are and what do you do?
Ella: I’m one half of the external team at Wellth Works, Ella (with my biz bestie is Michelle Langdon). We founded an Executive Coaching and Leadership Company helping ambitious, impact driven women get ahead on their own terms. We are professional coaches, trained facilitators, and sought after speakers on topics surrounding leadership, negotiations, sales and women working in male dominated industries.
Michelle: Michelle here! The other half of Wellth Works with Ella. Ella told you already what we do so I’m going to share why the work we do is so important. There are so many places in the world, but very particularly in the workplace, where women are taught to second guess themselves and told they need to be “more” in order to get ahead. We want to disrupt that pattern and give women a place to build their confidence, express their power and see how much of an influence they can have if they are willing to try.
How do you define leadership?
Ella: “Leaders are simply those who take responsibility for the success of the people around them.” — Simon Sineck
Michelle: Ella and I both live by Simon Sinek’s quote. Everyone IS a leader in some way. There is no title necessary, just an acknowledgement that when you focus yourself outwardly on the success of others you not only lead, but you give yourself the gift of service.
What’s one (yes, just one) thing you’re really good at?
Ella: Holding people to the highest, best version of themselves. (championing and believing in humans to chart their authentic path)
Michelle: Asking the question that needs to be asked at that moment.
Tell us about a time when you realized this is what you were meant to do.
Ella: I’m still surprised every time a client says “you believed in me when I couldn’t believe in myself” and I always find that intriguing. Recently a client said “It wasn’t until I told you I needed a $3M client this year, and you didn’t flinch, and said ‘sure yes, you got this’ and I had just felt it was a totally unattainable number”. I knew she could do it, it never crossed my mind to doubt her or that goal. The privilege of being that reflection and holding people’s vulnerability as a source of power they can use is deeply gratifying.
Michelle: I don’t think there was one moment, but it was some combination of all of my friends and families saying: “that makes total sense that you are going into coaching and advising because you do that for us already” and seeing the a-ha moments my clients started having right fom the start. There is no better feeling for me than watching a client discover their power and their purpose.
What’s one personal value you hold true in your business?
Ella: Women are capable and deserving of running countries, companies and creating families and partnerships the way YOU want. We’re past the point where leaders are synonymous with men and we need to start valuing feminine energy traits on par with masculine ones in order to see a change. This is why we do what we do by teaching women in male dominated industries how to negotiate with confidence, ask for what you want, and sell or assert yourself with confidence and ease. And to do it while creating an internal balance that banishes the burnout cycle.
Michelle: Authenticity. The key to the work we do is teaching women that they already have within them, everything they need to succeed. I probably say on every call some form of: “There is nothing wrong with you,” because so often when we are looking for improvement it starts from a place of “there must be something wrong.” We lead authentically, as our whole selves, so other women can see that their authentic self is powerful and capable too.
What do you do when you’re not working?
Ella: Enjoying experiences: being with friends/family and creating new memories. Love culture (plays, museums, music of all kinds–recently enjoyed the symphony outdoors overlooking the water in San Diego), FOOD (drool emoji), learning about people who think differently than I do. Immersive travel, and quiet time under my weighted blanket.
Michelle: Devouring books both fiction and nonfiction, stalking the discount Broadway tickets app to get to the latest show (I live in NYC), and creating deeper connections with the people I love.
What’s in your 10-year vision?
Ella: The same as our daily vision. S.E.L.F. Letting our work be of Service to others, Easeful, Lucrative, and Fun. Now that may look different in 2031, but at it’s core we want to infuse our lives, and our work, and our relationships with these pieces. In 10 years that may mean we have a team of coaches working with us, that we’ve written books, that we take more of a strategic approach and leave the tactical to others, but at its core, we want to be serving others with ease, while feeling abundant and having fun!
Michelle: Ella and I are BIG on doing vision work so she said it best. We are always looking for ways for our work to be full of ease + fun while at the same time making money and being of service. It’s our mantra and we hope that 10 years from now our work has evolved but stays true to this ethos. My personal vision includes starting a family, writing a book and having a house on the beach, surrounded by community!
Who is one person who has shown you what’s possible in your life or business? What was the “see to believe” lesson they taught you? (This can be someone you know, someone you don’t know, or even a fictional character!)
Ella: Michelle, my rock solid co-founder. She holds clarity and deep presence whenever I’m wandering too far out of the lines. I have a tendency to be less practical and more big picture thinking, and she is incredible at helping us be grounded in the here and now. Her ability to ask deep questions brings me back. We have a beautiful balance of me with wild ideas and her with rational thinking (lol!) and together it’s really helped us stay true to our path and values.
…And recently Sarah Blakely has been incredibly vocal about the importance of feminine leadership holding true to her values across her 20+ year Spanx journey.
[3 answers was me going out of the lines again ;-P ]
Michelle: I was wowed by Sara Blakely’s recent celebration of her 20+ year Spanx journey. First off because she espouses the importance of feminine energy and leadership in a way that completely aligns with our business and view of the world. But also because her journey reminded me that there are no real overnight success stories. You have to believe in yourself and keep going, even in the moments when things feel challenging.
What’s one moment in your life that, looking back on, made you realize you would own your own business?
Ella: Michelle and I both tried other careers–and were super successful by all accounts. We met (that’s a fascinating story in itself beginning in a smoky cafe in Bolivia) and knew we were seeking something we couldn’t find already existing. So with the love and support of our families and the freedom to do research and development over a 20+ country, year long global adventure, we decided to create what we wished we had had! I’ve never been one to think “why us”, I’ve always been taught to think rather: “why not us”. So we did!
Michelle: I had a really close friend pass away at 34, and in the depths of grief I almost instantaneously knew what death teaches: you only have a finite amount of days and you have to make the most of them. I was at a point in my life where I had achieved all of the levels of success that I had set out to achieve, and I still wasn’t 100% fulfilled. It was then I decided that I wasn’t going to waste any time figuring out the next adventure and very soon after I met Ella and we began crafting our BIG idea together.
What are three things you always have on you (beside phone, wallet, keys)?
- Kiehls buttermask lip balm
- Stabilo point 88 colored pens (I use a different color each day for notes as I remember things in colors)
- A giant bottle of soda stream (extra punchy bubble, and environmentally friendly) sparkling water always
- My kindle or a magazine
- Headphones for the latest podcast
This Leaders We Love segment features Ella Chase + Michelle Langdon of Wellth Works.
Before launching Wellth Works, Ella Chase Hyland spent a decade in sales consulting Fortune 200 companies and private enterprises on disaster recovery and business continuity strategy via emerging technology platforms (think about the “cloud” before it was commonplace), closing over $1 Billion in sales. Ella is a dynamic and innovative speaker, facilitator, and mentor. She is a recognized authority on the psychology of leadership, negotiations, and organizational turnaround.
Ella is a certified CTI professional coach, and is a Northeastern University alumnus, having graduated summa cum laude with dual bachelor’s degrees. You can find Ella traveling the globe, exploring new cultures and adventures, especially those that involve being in, or on, water.
Michelle Langdon is a trained professional coach, international economist, and a former advisor to governments around the world. She comes from a big, entrepreneurial family and is passionate about bridging the generational divide and empowering women in businesses.
Michelle holds a Bachelor’s degree from Boston University and a Master’s in International Economics and Development from Johns Hopkins University. You can find Michelle teaching and practicing yoga, traveling, and stepping out of her comfort zone in her spare time.
To read more from Ella + Michelle, click here.
You can follow Ella + Michelle on Instagram @wellthworks.