Eat to Lead: Meet Exit Planning Summit Power Session Speaker - Luci Gabel

Power Sessions offer the Exit Planning Summit attendees the opportunity to hear presenters challenge the status quo and offer new ideas to professional advisors. In the past, exit planning was seen as a transactional service: an advisor helping an owner sell their business. Our community of advisors, industry experts, and business owners have challenged that idea and have since grown exit planning, and advisory practices in general, to a more transformational experience.

These Power Sessions are similar to a TED Talk and provide the audience with a thought-provoking, inspiring, and motivational experience that transforms the way we think and provides actionable education and insights. 

Summit attendees will hear from experts who represent Experiences, People, and Innovation. Three elements are needed to be a top advisor in the exit planning space.

One of these experts is Luci Gabel, who will speak to the Innovation category.

Who is Luci Gabel?

Luci Gabel, MBA, MA, ACE, ACSM has over 20 years of academic and professional experience in business, leadership, and human health. Her leadership experience spans from the Department of Defense to private companies, to entrepreneur and VC-funded start-up founder. Luci works with companies and individuals, cultivating the attributes of extraordinary leaders developing the critical skill sets required to become someone who has the abilities to innovate, motivate and inspire others, and produce results.

She is the recently published author of Eat to Lead, partner at Tipping Point Strategists, and professor at San Jose State University and George Washington University School of Medicine department of clinical leadership. Luci holds an MBA from Johns Hopkins University, a Master’s in Physiology with an emphasis on Genetics from the University of Maryland College Park, an undergraduate equivalent in Nutrition and Dietetics at the University of Maryland College Park, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Physical and Psychological Health from Binghamton University.

About Luci’s Power Session

You know your food choices are connected to your health, but did you ever think about how your eating habits affect your leadership success? Luci Gabel describes how your food choices are intricately connected to your leadership abilities, your relationship with yourself and others, and your ability to lead organizations to success.

In this session, Summit attendees will learn:

  • Attributes of leaders who people want to follow today
  • How food affects our leadership ability
  • The relationship between food-awareness, self-awareness, and good leadership

What was the inspiration for your book, Eat to Lead?

Luci: I have been in leadership roles most of my life. I worked in the Department of Defense then in private companies, became a venture capitalist and I was just moving a million miles a minute. I wasn’t listening to my body. I was doing whatever it took to succeed. As this continued, I was starting to get sick in ways I shouldn’t be, and my body was just wearing down physically. Once I realized this, I was able to start getting on a more stable schedule and eat meals that will keep me healthy and help me succeed in business as well.  

How would you define a successful leader?  

Luci: To be a successful leader you must have optimal performance all the time. You make so many big decisions each day that you must be able to feel that way every day. I did so much research and sat on a lot of calls to help me figure this out. There were a few things that really stuck out. You need to have authenticity, be transparent, have good integrity, good communication, be fast when making decisions, always be present, have some humility, and be health-conscious.

What women have served as role models to you?

Luci: My grandmothers were my role models, and still are. 

My mom died when I was 7 months old. My dad at only 22, was heartbroken and devastated and was not ready to take care of a newborn. Both of my grandmothers jumped in and took turns taking care of me. Through my childhood I was taught many of their values which have helped me tremendously in my business and personal life: they worked hard, had high standards for their work, paid attention to small details, had a high sense of empathy, and expressed generosity and kindness whenever possible. 

One of the most prominent and helpful lessons I’ve taken from them is to “do to others what you’d want them to do to you.”  When I have a difficult decision to make or a difficult conversation to have, I imagine myself as the person on the receiving end of what I’m about to do. This has been an invaluable exercise and helps me channel my highest self in the most challenging situations.

How have you acted as a mentor for young women?

Luci: In my leadership roles I’ve had the opportunity to be a mentor to women of all ages in various areas. I’ve coached and trained women in business, health, leadership, career, and even personal life. I also instruct at the George Washington University School of Medicine and enjoy helping clinical professionals navigate science, interpret research, and make good decisions for themselves and their patients in an integrative, holistic way.

What advice do you have for women looking to start their own business?

Luci: Be kind as often as you can. Kindness comes back to you in all kinds of unexpected ways, and people remember kindness for a long time.  If you are a leader, you’ll be watched by many, and affect the lives of those you may not even know are watching you now. This is important to keep top-of-mind when making decisions for your business. 

Kindness can be simple and meaningful—like a compliment or words of encouragement. It can also be silent and powerful—like turning down an opportunity that’s beneficial to you but detrimental to another. Be kind to people who are not your customers because they may be your customers someday. Be kind to your competitors because you may want to partner with them someday. Be kind to people who are not kind to you because you will be a role model for them and others on how to behave. 

And, be kind to yourself. To be a good leader and good business person we must accept that we’re human and always a work-in-progress. Because of that, we need to consistently practice and refine our skills at being the person we aspire to be, forgive ourselves when we aren’t perfect, and learn and grow from our mistakes so no experience is wasted.

What interested you in the Exit Planning Summit?  

Luci: My partner got the CEPA credential not that long ago. After discussing the way the process works and how the methodology works, it piqued my interest. I liked how everything was looked at from a holistic perspective instead of tunnel vision. It made me think that this information allows an advisor to be a coach and help keep owners accountable on how they can exit and implement.

What is the one thing you want our Summit attendees to take away from your Power Session at the Exit Planning Summit?  

Luci: I am working on getting everything into a distilled formula because I want this to be meaningful and important for the advisors. I want everyone to take away that it isn’t always about focusing on the profits and money but remember to focus on the people.  

What are you looking forward to the most at the Summit, other than your session, of course? 

Luci: I really am looking forward to networking and getting to know the people in this industry more!  

The 2022 Exit Planning Summit

We are excited to welcome hundreds of Certified Exit Planning Advisors Sunday, May 1 – Tuesday, May 3, 2022, to Scottsdale, Arizona for a conference where top advisors, their teams, and business owners come to build deep relationships, share unique experiences, and uncover innovative solutions for their business.

The Exit Planning Summit is the coming together of the CEPA Community. The best CEPAs from around the world collaborate with their supporting partners and colleagues that are all helping business owners to create more significant companies. CEPAs will develop new or further current relationships, learn best practices, and advance themselves as advisors. Advisors will leave the Exit Planning Summit not only galvanized to accelerate their practice but with the tools and connections to do so.  

Learn more about the Exit Planning Summit and register to reserve your spot today!

Register for the Exit Planning Summit!


As we continue to celebrate Women’s Month, we encourage you to learn more about the other amazing women in the EPI Community