How to Help Navigate Crisis | Debra Woog


Connect2 From Crisis to Calm

Ep. 185 - Life is full of crossroads. You don’t have to cross by yourself. Debra Woog is a Crisis Navigation Partner who provides leaders with expertise, structure, and empathy. Debra assists people in processing difficult situations, connect with necessary resources, communicate effectively, and lead with a clear mind and solid strategy. Having experienced her own crises and crossroads, she realizes the importance of an outside resource to provide perspective while navigating difficult circumstances, decisions, and conversations. In this episode, Debra talks about the work she does with women leaders in crisis and shares some of her entrepreneurial secrets. Listen in to learn the importance of staying prepared for crisis as an entrepreneur by having a community, capacity, and communication. You will also learn how to find financial success in your business after shifting from a corporate career.

Key Takeaways:

  • The importance of doing a SWOT analysis before starting a business
  • Why you shouldn’t wait until you’re ready or everything in your life is ready to start a business
  • How to build a career around your brilliance to be financially successful and make a difference
  • Ways you can find financial success as an entrepreneur after leaving your corporate job
  • Why you should start your business as a side hustle first before going full time

"Crisis is inevitable (in a positive way), but if you work on expanding your capacity, improving your communication skills, and building a community,  you're going to be in a much better place when it happens." - Debra Woog

In this episode you’ll discover:

Debra explains how moving around the country as a kid taught her to be resilient and adaptable [0:54]

An example of what Debra does, which is helping women leaders manage work or life crises [2:02]

How she helps women leaders better manage crises that are directly affecting them [4:48]

How she supports and connects people going through hardships to resources that help them [5:45]

Debra shares her advice to women over 50 who want to start businesses [6:58]

She describes the events that led to starting her business and make a difference that matters [8:11]

How her business has evolved and pivoted over the last 23 years and the experience it has been [12:44]

How she has experimented to find financial success over time as a female entrepreneur [15:02]

Debra’s top tips on how to approach business when coming off a corporate career [19:06]

The importance of prioritizing to better manage life and business, especially as a single mom [21:38]

Why you should have community, capacity, and communication to stay prepared for a crisis [23:49]

The importance of team building as an entrepreneur to help others as they help you grow [26:38]

Debra on why flexibility is the part she loves about being an entrepreneur [27:47]


Debra's career path has included conducting research at Harvard Business School, advising tech start-ups on People Strategy, and directing admissions and career development for the MIT dual-degree MBA program Leaders for Global Operations. At Harvard Business School, she conducted primary research for an award-winning book, directed admissions and career development for the MIT dual-degree MBA program Leaders for Global Operations, and advised nine technology start-ups as Director of People Strategy for Cambridge Incubator. In times of crisis or calm, Debra guides women to align their leadership choices and communications with their Brilliance and Unique Definitions of Success, so that they transform from overwhelmed to confident in their difficult situations.


The Boston Globe profiled Debra for her outstanding abilities to select talented candidates, motivate and develop employees, and resolve conflicts between people as well as between organizations. Her work has also been featured in Forbes, Inc, US News and World Report, and more.

MIT Sloan recognized her leadership abilities and community contributions by awarding her the Miriam Sherburne Scholarship.


Debra earned her B.A. in Psychology and American Studies from Wellesley College and an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management.


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