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Lester Thornhill

September 12, 2018

Growing with Purpose Podcast: "The Answer is Around the Corner" with Lester Thornhill

It doesn't happen often, but it happened to Lester Thornhill: his CEO took him out to dinner and asked him to leave his role as IT Director and take over as Chief Executive Officer.

Today on the Growing with Purpose podcast, host Paul Spiegelman talks with Lester Thornhill, President and CEO of Life's Abundance, a company that provides healthy products for people, pets, and the planet. Although he comes from an IT background, Lester has leveraged his unique perspective to build a people-driven culture that isn't tethered to traditional workplace practices. Not only is Life's Abundance an ESOP, they've also done away with the annual review and replaced it with monthly in-depth, personal self-evaluations.

Good photo Paul Podcast


In this episode, hear Lester's passionate approach to leadership and learn how he's cultivated a compassionate, high-performing company culture. Tune into Lester's story here. 


[3:00] IT Director turned CEO

[5:03] A Culture of Communication & Recognition

[8:46] Growing Up in a Family of Teachers in the Carribean

Lester Thornhill is CEO of Life's Abundance

[14:13] Learning About Business and Life in a Dress Shop

[22:39] Writing Down the Culture

[25:21] Creating Ownership Mentality in Employees

[32:54] Don't Panic, Be Patient

Book that Influenced Lester's Leadership:

 Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting Out of the Box by The Arbinger Institute

Looking for more episodes of the Growing with Purpose podcast? Tune in!



About Lester Thornhill

Prior to his tenure at Life's Abundance, Lester Thornhill worked as a business consultant, identifying and creating innovative ways for companies to save time and money. He’s equipped with a strong background in I.T. and armed with an intuitive sense for business. Since becoming CEO of Life's Abundance in 2008, Lester has worked diligently to implement measures to put the company on a clear path to prosperity. Those who know him characterize him as an energetic, positive man of vision. Nothing brings Lester more satisfaction or fulfillment than helping others to succeed, not only in business but in their personal lives, too. As a leader, his tireless optimism, caring and can-do attitude have encouraged the Life's Abundance team to tackle multiple projects that have streamlined business, boosting sales and profits, even through the economic downturn. It’s that kind of people-oriented direction that’s won the admiration of not just his fellow employees, but also that of the company’s extensive network of dedicated Field Reps. Not only has his leadership garnered accolades of his peers, but also the broader business community … in 2012, they were given a ‘Florida Companies to Watch’ award for up-and-coming enterprises. His latest achievement is the successful restructuring of the business to an ESOP, an employee-owned business. Currently, he’s overseeing a rebranding effort that will increase company visibility and accessibility, opening up a world of possibilities for future growth.