Mary Abbajay, author of the best-selling Managing Up: How to Move Up, Win at Work, and Succeed with Any Type of Boss is the president of Careerstone Group, LLC, a full service organizational and leadership development consultancy that delivers leading-edge talent and organizational development solutions to business and government.

As a sought-after author, speaker, consultant, and trainer, Mary helps clients develop the strategies, skills and sensibilities needed for success in the 21st century. Her expertise lies in helping clients create dynamic and productive workplaces that foster professional and personal excellence and growth. In short, she is committed to creating workplaces where both the organization and the individual can flourish.

Mary Abbajay brings over 20 years of leadership experience, a master’s degree in Organizational Management, and post-graduate certificates from Georgetown University and the Coaches Training Institute. In addition to being an entrepreneur and consultant, Mary has served as adjunct faculty at George Mason University’s School of Management and has taught at both Montgomery College and the Georgetown University Center for Professional Development.

Mary is a frequent expert contributor for television, radio and print publications where she provides practical leadership and career advice. In addition to her role as a contributor, her work and advice have appeared in the New York Times, Harvard Business Review, Fast Company, Forbes, The Financial Times, Money, Southwest Airlines Magazine, Monster, and the BBC.

Mary currently serves on the Greater Washington Market President’s Board of BB&T Bank and is a past Chairman of the Board for Leadership Greater Washington where she has chaired and led the adult Signature program, the Youth Leadership Program and the Rising Leaders Program. She was a volunteer mentor for Mentor’s Inc., an urban youth mentoring program and served for six years on the Board of Directors of the Woolly Mammoth Theatre in Washington, D.C. Additionally, Mary was the co-owner of the Toledo Lounge and Crush Nightclub in Adams Morgan.

In 2010, Mary was named as one of Washington Business Journal’s Women Who Mean Business and was a Smart CEO Brava Award recipient in 2017.



Whether we like it or not, our bosses have enormous influence over our ability to succeed, thrive, and advance in our organizations, in our careers and in our own leadership journey. Establishing strong, productive working relationships with those above us is the single most effective way to accelerate success in any organization. Whether you are reporting to a supervisor, middle manager, VP, top executive, or a board of directors, managing up is a skill that we all need. This lively and interactive presentation provides proven strategies and techniques to increase cooperation and collaboration between those who have different power levels, perspectives, and personalities. Learning to effectively manage up is good for you, good for your boss, and good for your organization.


Women have made tremendous strides in the 21st Century work world. There are more women in the workforce than ever before in American history. In fact, women make up half of the active workforce and more than half the graduates of higher education. Women are moving into significant leadership roles in business, government and the military with increasing stature, influence and salaries. Global studies have repeatedly shown that companies employing women in large numbers outperform their competitors on every measure of profitability. And yet, women’s upward movement is not matching that of their male counterparts. Women are still paid less, promoted less, and elected less. In short—it is still a “man’s world.” In this lively interactive presentation, workplace expert, Mary Abbajay, will discuss the data, research, and trends that impact women’s ability to succeed in the workplace—both positively and negatively. This presentation is a business case for change: the bottom line value of female leadership in the workplace, aka the “Gender Dividend”.


21st Century public sector leaders face a daunting and ever-changing landscape. In addition to rapidly changing technology, political uncertainty, increased competition, shrinking budgets, shifting demographics and a rapidly aging, multi-generational workforce, leaders must learn to attract and retain the best and brightest talent. In this engaging and interactive presentation, workplace expert Mary Abbajay will discuss future workforce trends and the specific skill sets required for successful 21st Century Leadership. This presentation will explore the ADAPT© Model of 21st Century Leadership—the five skills and sensibilities that all leaders and managers must have to be successful in the 21st Century.

Our members haven’t stopped talking about your workshop! We really enjoyed having you back to speak at our Leadership Development Program. Thanks for a wonderful and interactive workshop!
— United Bank