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Client Success Story:
Adam Lister

Adam Lister is the founder and principal of One Twelve Strategies, a consulting agency passionate about catalyzing positive change in communities nationwide.

About the Company

Adam Lister is the founder and principal of One Twelve Strategies, a consulting agency passionate about catalyzing positive change in communities nationwide.

One Twelve Strategies understands that success is achieved through meticulous attention to nuance. Its approach is dedicated to mastering the essential elements of leadership, management, and advocacy by strategically focusing on the details others overlook.

The process is collaborative, personalized, and thoughtful, and it is designed to develop comprehensive, creative, and innovative solutions that push ourselves and clients to think outside the box to solve problems.

One Twelve Strategies believes in the transformative power of executing well and consistently in the small but crucial aspects of its work.

The Challenge

As a former nonprofit CEO, Adam understands the challenges and complexities of organizational leadership, development, and strategy. 

He established One Twelve Strategies in 2024 to help leaders and organizations push through their toughest challenges, win difficult fights, and build stronger and more durable foundations for the future.

“I reached out, about a year and a half ago, for a couple of different reasons,” Adam remembers. “I'm involved in a couple of other organizations outside of the entity that I was leading on a day-to-day basis, and it was important that we created some separation between the organization that I was involved in every day and the work that I was doing that was supplemental to it.

Before he could take that step, though, Adam needed a little more support. 

“One of the ways that we needed to create that separation was I needed to be able to talk to somebody to help support some of the operational work who wasn't on my current staff.

“I was managing my work [and] personal calendar[s], and we were getting close to a period of time where I thought there was a change on the horizon for me. I wanted to begin thinking about what that looked like, and I had some specific goals that I wanted to hit both with my current organization and then personally. I needed some additional support.”

Before turning to BELAY, Adam contacted several other services to find the support he needed, but each one came up short. 

“I have gone through three different Virtual Assistant services, both for my personal work as well as organizationally. 

“I've gone through in-house executive assistants [and] virtual [but] wasn't satisfied fully with the other versions of support that I received.

“I hadn't quite moved out of the ditch digger phase of my career into the entirely strategic phase. I needed someone to help train me as much as I needed them to support me in how to use an assistant in ways that were going to help maximize my contribution to my organization.”

That’s when Adam turned to BELAY and got the additional support he needed to transition from his current CEO role to his position at One Twelve Strategies.

That support was BELAY Virtual Assistant Theresa Searcy.

The Solution

“I hadn't quite figured out what I wanted to do and how I wanted to make the transition out of my current company into a new one. It added a little bit of stress in terms of how to come in and make this investment worthwhile and give this person enough to do to feel like we're actually making some progress here. 

“I was able to offload basic level stuff [by asking] ‘Hey, I really want to know a little bit more about this. Can you go do some digging? Can you do some research? Can you bring me back something? And then it also helped create some accountability for me knowing that I needed to move in this direction, but it was harder to delay that progress knowing I'd be talking to a person.”

And by doing this, Adam and Theresa worked together to create a steady task list that could evolve along with his transition.

“In the early stages, it was mostly research, building process recommendations, those sorts of things,” Adams says. “A lot of calendar management, helping to integrate the consultative practice and then my personal life along with the work-based stuff.”

“And then over the course of the coming months, we'll be asking her to engage in helping to refine board minutes, manage billing, and those sorts of things to have a more direct role in the operational aspects of the organization, so I don't get bogged down with those things.”

The Result

“I'm surprised by [Theresa’s] efficiency and just how quickly [she’s] able to accomplish certain tasks,” Adam says. “There's a skepticism that exists when you think, ‘Oh, we're going to essentially reserve 20-something, or however many, hours a month.

“The efficiency there has surprised me, and I've been able to jump on a handful of calls with other members of [the BELAY] team who have been able to assist in some broader marketing and outreach strategies.

“I've [gained] the ability to do the work of the nonprofit I lead as well as the consulting practice we'll be starting.

“We've laid a pretty solid foundation for the standard operating procedure of the practice I'm hoping to create, and that gives me some confidence that at least there's something to respond to and then evaluate and modify as opposed to having to create something.”

Theresa has been a good fit for Adam in more ways than one.

“She [has] kind of a no-nonsense personality,” Adam explains. “She shows up, she does what I ask her to do, she'll offer perspectives and feedback, and is focused on accomplishing the task. She's also been valuable in helping to hold me accountable for other things that aren't the highest priority things for me but are important.

“She's been able to help ensure that there's a comprehensive sense of how I'm keeping all of the ducks in a row.”

Adam has seen much value in the help of a BELAY Virtual Assistant.

“One of the biggest value propositions is that if it doesn't work out, there's zero risk,” Adam says. “What [having a BELAY contractor] allows you to do is have flexibility in your business. 

“I make different decisions when I've got 11 employees who have families and children and mortgages. It allows me to think about the ways I would maximize my time, and put my energy into different things because it's a low-cost investment for a relatively high return on time and flexibility.”

Meet the Specialist

Theresa Searcy



Virtual Assistant