What EXACTLY is coaching?


While executive and leadership coaching share many features with the coaching that managers provide for their employees, there is at least one critical difference. As a manager, you are responsible and accountable for the outcome of what your employee does or does not do. As an executive coach, I’m responsible and accountable for the improvement of the executive, but not for their total work output. While responsibility for the outcomes might be different, the coaching process that we engage is fundamentally the same. For this purpose, clients and managers alike have found great value in understanding our unique, dynamic, and [...]

What EXACTLY is coaching?2019-03-28T22:56:26+08:00

The ABC of Change


I was interviewed about helping leaders make positive changes through executive coaching. One of the questions really captured my attention, “What do you believe causes change?” Through 12 years of coaching intelligent and mature executives, and over my own lifetime of effort, I know that behavior change is difficult. As a facilitator, coach, and trainer I’ve observed a pattern among those who deliberately and successfully alter their behavior; a pattern I refer to as ABC – Awareness, Belief, Collaboration. Awareness: positive change starts with personal recognition and acceptance that something can – and should – be better. In the absence of awareness, we have [...]

The ABC of Change2019-03-28T22:55:46+08:00

How to Develop Courage for Leading


During a hiking trip in a remote mountain range, a narrow but deep canyon cut my trail. I hiked northwards along the canyon lip, but found no passage. An hour later, having retraced my steps and gone further south, I found a lightning-felled Ponderosa pine that spanned the canyon. It was sixty feet long, thick and strong, and anchored in place by its remaining roots. The first ten feet were easy, as the log was on solid ground. During the thirty feet over the chasm, however, I was filled with anxiety. Physically, things were the same – the log was [...]

How to Develop Courage for Leading2019-03-28T22:54:47+08:00

Useless Compromise


We are often told that compromise is a mature sign of negotiation. We are told that marriages are all about compromise. We are told that it’s better to give a little and keep the peace. We are told that compromise is a win-win… I don’t believe any of this! King Solomon is considered to be one of the wisest men of history. His wisdom was dearly tested when two mothers came before his court claiming motherhood rights of the same baby. They both insisted that baby was theirs. Solomon, after hearing them and deliberating the problem, offered a compromise. He [...]

Useless Compromise2019-03-28T22:53:39+08:00

Do Managers Who Coach Improve Profitability?


Good news per Gallup  is that 29% of employees are truly “engaged.” The concerning news is that 54% of poll respondents are “disengaged.” But the scary part is that 17% of employees are “actively disengaged.” By making organizations flat (fewer layers of management) we have significantly increased the busyness of managers, and equally decreased the time and attention that managers and team members share; a fact that has escalated the occurrences of negative workplace relationships. These negative workplace relationships, in turn, are contributing to the majority of American employees being disengaged or actively disengaged, and why so much time, energy [...]

Do Managers Who Coach Improve Profitability?2019-03-28T22:52:08+08:00

Corporations are NOT a Democracy


A senior VP in an organization asked me if I would coach one of his Directors. The Director has spent five years in her position and now is being offered coaching as a way to improve her leadership skills. In over a decade of coaching I have learned to sniff out good coaching candidates, and everything in me signaled this is not a strong candidate. This Director is bright but inattentive to details, she is ambitious politically savvy but not attuned to strong relationships, and she is strategic but easily plays favorites in her department. She has great strengths for [...]

Corporations are NOT a Democracy2019-03-28T22:51:06+08:00

Strategy and Communication – The Art of Alignment


When you stand at the top of your organization or team, you have a perspective that no one else has. And yet you depend on subordinate’s input to inform the overall strategy and mission. And for the input to have value, everyone has to understand and focus on the strategy. I witness many a senior leader who comes up with the great strategy, but fails to help the organization really grasp it; it’s not a strategy, then, it’s just a brainstorm. If you’re not communicating the strategy, you don’t have a strategy. Creating an effective strategy requires a Strategic Planning [...]

Strategy and Communication – The Art of Alignment2019-03-28T22:50:20+08:00

The Folly of Fearlessness


What a terrible mistake it is to aspire to be fearless. Adam Bryant in his book – The Corner Office – shares five habits of highly effective CEOs. There is great material in the book, insights which align with my observations in coaching CEOs and facilitating executive development programs. However, I strongly disagree with the title of his last habit, not with the content. He claims that great leaders are fearless. This is simply not accurate. Striving to be fearless is fruitless, misguided, and unsustainable. Fear is a biological reaction to potential harm. Fear is a the elemental pattern from [...]

The Folly of Fearlessness2019-03-28T22:49:19+08:00

Success and Leadership Maturity – a Powerful Connection


“It is human to have a long childhood; it is civilized to have an even longer childhood. Long childhood makes a technical and mental virtuoso out of man, but it also leaves a life-long residue of emotional immaturity in him.”— Erik Erikson (1902-1994) Eight months ago Myra was promoted from Controller to CFO. I was introduced to her by her CEO when their conversation turned to helping Myra develop “executive presence.” This was an intuitive objective as neither could define executive presence, but both agreed it was necessary. Myra had to grow up fast and she was seeking help to [...]

Success and Leadership Maturity – a Powerful Connection2019-03-28T22:48:02+08:00

The essential question of trust


John Maxwell wrote that “people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” We, the followers of leaders, want to know that we are safe as we travel down a new path or toward creating a new vision or goal. Because a journey of creation always involves some risk, we want to have some measure of faith and are constantly concerned for our safety. The way we feel safe is by telling ourselves that we trust our leader. Trusting our leader comes down to this essential question, “do I believe my leader has my best [...]

The essential question of trust2019-03-28T22:46:56+08:00

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