Bruce Johnsen
About Bruce Johnsen


Growing up as a member of a family business is a special joy, with many challenges to go along with it.  My remembrances are somewhat poignant, as I might have been a lifetime member of our family business, if not for a minor misunderstanding with my Dad.  But it all turned out well, as I gained other great work experiences along the way and have worked for a number of years with my brother, Roger as a part of the heavy-highway contracting business Dad started years ago.

Early in my working life, I spent some years at sea on U.S. Navy ships as a “line officer”. This experience involved serving on 5 different ships, ranging in size from a tiny minesweeping vessel to a large aircraft carrier. Besides traveling the world and participating in the Viet Nam war, I earned a Master of Science degree and also learned to do some very important things:

• Take responsibility for people’s lives and the ship’s very expensive equipment.
• Coach junior officers and enlisted personnel to help them grow and achieve best results.
• Work effectively for and with unpleasant people.
• Motivate people who “had to be there” but didn’t want to be.
• Get along well in many cultures.
• Go beyond my physical and psychological limits in a wartime environment.
• Make the best of difficult assignments.
• Enjoy a shipboard life that could range instantly from wonderful highs to awful lows.

At the time of my mid-life career change, I decided to become a mediator, and ended up specializing in family businesses and partnerships, due to my interest and experience with closely held businesses.  In addition, I had developed executive and business skills along the way in different arenas that allowed me to understand and analyze situations in unique ways.

Along the way, I added to my engineering degree a masters degree in management and a master's degree in counseling, plus training and certification in mediation.  As my consulting practice developed, I saw the need to prevent as well as resolve disputes, and so got training in meeting facilitation and teambuilding. So I am prepared to deal with the wide array of challenges facing members of closely held businesses through individual coaching, succession planning, teambuilding or mediation of disputes.

My approach is simple: Find ways to make difficult situations clear; and then bring out the best in the people and their group through a flexible, humorous style of consulting, based on the clients' deeper needs. It brings me special joy to work with clients who have a strong desire to be better, and are willing to spend the time and effort to get long-term, positive results.

If I can help you or your situation, please call or e-mail me. Thanks for your interest.