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Leadership development is at
the center of my practice. And at the center of every effective
leader is a healthy, ever-growing human being-a person who is
intentional, authentic and contributes to the organization in
a highly positive, visible way.
Why do leaders call you?
Leaders often need to change their perspectives,
capabilities or approach. Yet they may not have appropriate resources
within their organizations or social circles to help them grow.
So we bring experience and capacity, plus objectivity, to help
leaders effect these changes.
How do you work?
In working with leaders, I strive for three goals:
- Release and activate the capacity and desires
of the leader
- Share my experience, knowledge, and being to
- Be a partner for thinking and taking action
The methods we use to grow leadership depend upon
the situation. Sometimes we begin with a leadership assessment
to determine needs. I offer onsite support, training and coaching
to help leaders develop and integrate new capabilities. See Executive
Coaching for additional detail.
Can you provide some examples of the leadership
development work you've done?
- Take charge in a new leadership
- Effect succession planning, including leaving
- Identify and make specific performance improvements
- Develop skills to take advantage of a new opportunity
- Establish more satisfying and sustainable life
- Improve communications with staff, board, external
- Align people and resources toward most critical
- Optimize executive team effectiveness
- Optimize personal style to align with the organization's
- Lead critical organizational changes (business
models, merger, downsizing)
What are the core beliefs that guide your work
The beliefs listed here guide
my approach to leadership development. As conceptual as they are,
they are worth considering in that they define the worldview I
bring to my work and the nature of the relationships I develop
with my clients.
- Leadership skills can be developed in each
- Development of leadership competence begins
within, at the core, where values, passion, and beliefs are
- Self-awareness, authenticity, congruence,
purpose and intentionality are critical to effectiveness.
- Leadership is as much about "being"
as it is about "doing".
- Leadership development, like human development,
is an ongoing life process. It can't be mastered. One's effectiveness
increases with thoughtful practice and interaction with others.
- Leadership as a life path is a worthy pursuit.
It can be rewarding and challenging in its responsibilities.
I assume that coaching is a big part of leadership
development. How do you help leaders grow?
We begin from the leader's core, working from the
inside out, and focusing on the universal qualities of successful
leaders. Essentially the leader must:
- Understand the history and current status of
- Create a viable vision and strategy to achieve
- Enlist and motivate others
- Facilitate the process for achieving results
To do this, the leader must use himself/herself
as a catalyst. This means he/she must have an array of capabilities
from emotional intelligence, to public speaking to analytical
abilities. We work with the leader to identify and leverage strengths
and grow capabilities in critical areas. Nearly every project
includes optimizing interpersonal and communications skills. Decision-making
and role clarity work is often required. Some leaders are strong
on visioning but have opportunities to grow when it comes to implementation.
I work with the leader to determine the appropriate focus based
on what is needed to achieve the desired results.
How do you decide whether you want to take on a
new client for leadership development?
Together with the leader, I assess the following
- Clarity of desired results
We need to be able to articulate the business results we're
striving for and how to measure them.
- Leader's investment
The leader must be invested in growth, be willing to change
and be open to influence from his or her staff and me.
- Adequacy of my skills
We need to be confident that I have the skills and knowledge
required to help guide the development path in this particular
We also need an initial compatibility that can grow into a strong
How do you handle a situation in which a leader
For each project we set goals, take actions, measure
progress and adjust. If the leader isn't making progress, we need
to understand why not. This is a natural part of the process.
I believe every person can grow and develop given the appropriate
effort, tools and support. In some rare cases, the assignment
is not a good match for the leader's skills and interest. If I
believe this is true, I talk with the leader and help him or her
choose the best course of action.
Are the leader and the organization's interests
ever aligned differently? What do you do in this case?
My experience is that the needs of the organization
and the interests of the individual can usually be aligned. In
most cases, my agreement is with the client to build capabilities.
In rare instances, I am hired by the organization but even then,
I have an agreement with the leader. Part of the initial contracting
is to ensure that we have clarity about what I can and can't do.
For example, I don't guarantee that a leader will choose to stay
in an assignment. I also can't ensure that an organization will
retain a leader. My focus is on achieving significant results
in the areas we define.
What are the characteristics of your most successful
leadership coaching and consulting engagements?
Several elements increase the potential success
of an engagement:
- Involvement of client, boss and staff in
the overall improvement effort
- Frequent, real-time interaction as events
- Highly-motivated client when critical improvements
- Partnership with the client in the work
- Adequate investment of time to learn new
skills and integrate the capabilities for sustained results