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Holly Sydnor

COOAWL Strategies

Washington, DC

Member Since February 2022


Change Management


Holly is a branding and marketing expert with extensive experience developing strategic campaigns that connect brands with the people they want to reach. She has a passion for helping brands develop their identity in the marketplace and tell stories that create connection and delight their customers. She is a certified Master of Global Marketing Communications and Advertising by the International Advertising Agency, and won a Gold Effie for advertising effectiveness in the disease prevention and health education category for her work on “The Real Cost” campaign.

Published content

Learning to lead effectively in the workplace: 16 tips to success

expert panel

Business experts share what it takes to manage a company and its people. Leading an organization to success can be a tremendous amount of pressure, but managing teams and being a positive influence on how they see the institution can be an even trickier balance to strike—whether you are new or seasoned when it comes to guiding direct reports in the workplace. Here, 16 Fast Company Executive Board members each talk about the most important thing they have learned in their current role about how to lead others in an organization or department.

17 tips to help leaders navigate wavering consumer behavior patterns

expert panel

Here's how to stay on top of changing trends and keep consumers satisfied with your brand. Although innovative technologies continue to evolve in order to keep up with changing consumer trends in the marketplace, sometimes it is still difficult for business leaders to gauge which way their particular client or potential customer may be leaning next. Over the years, the following experts from Fast Company Executive Board have also been impacted by changing consumer behavior patterns and preferences in their specific markets. Below, they share some best practices to help other leaders remain true to their brands while still meeting customer expectations.

15 ways for bootstrapped startups to reward top performers

expert panel

Even if you're self-funded, there are affordable ways to recognize and reward your team for a job well done. For a bootstrapped startup, giving monetary rewards to show appreciation to stand-out employees might not be possible in the very beginning. But there are other kinds of rewards and ways of recognizing hard work that experts have found make a larger impact than money. From shout-outs in all-hands meetings to creating dedicated "kudos" Slack channels, startup founders have created innovative and effective ways to show their appreciation for their employees' hard work without going over budget. Below, a panel of Fast Company Executive Board members provides their best cost-effective ideas for recognizing employees for their excellent work.

Here's how to build a successful power team at work

expert panel

Every single person on your team—in the early days—needs to have an entrepreneurial spirit. If you want to launch a growing business and be successful, it's important to create a strong mission statement and surround yourself with folks who are willing to put in the work because they're passionate about what they do. Business leaders should also look for people who can carry out core values and continue to foster a positive company culture that lives up to the brand that the founder envisions.  It may be difficult to obtain the best talent in the market, so start with the peers in your network who respect what you're already doing and are happy to support what you stand for. Below, 11 expert panelists from Fast Company Executive Board suggest other leading traits business owners and managers should think about when they are trying to match a job candidate within their company. 

11 leadership takeaways on trusting your own business instincts

expert panel

Here's what ignoring industry feedback can teach you. While it's practical for business leaders to lean on each other for inspiration and advice in the marketplace, sometimes the feedback is based on opinions, less driven by the facts. That's a red flag to go with your instincts and continue to do your own research.  If you want to thrive in your industry, it's important to gather a diverse set of information and reach out to your network, but remember that it's you who has the final say when it comes to making the right decisions that will serve your company well. Below are 11 positive lessons that Fast Company Executive Board members have learned by ignoring negative feedback they've received during their time in the business world.

Company details

AWL Strategies

Company bio

AWL Strategies is a woman owned and led consulting firm that provides branding, communications, change management and marketing strategies to innovative, future-focused leaders. We believe that purpose-driven communications drive great business outcomes and support women in business by donating 5% of all profits to organizations helping women ascend to leadership positions.


Corporate leadership

Area of focus

Strategic Communication
Change Management

Company size

2 - 10