Career Check-up

By Lorraine Clemes, TCP Associate

Careers are organic things that need tending. Often we get so busy in our lives that the years fly by and we forget that we started our careers with dreams or goals in mind. How long has it been since you asked yourself, “Is my career on track?” If it’s been awhile, this new decade may be the excuse you need to get going.

Steps to consider

Careers are personal expressions of our skills, values, interests and personality in the context of our organizations and society. You may have set out on a career that made sense at the time, but that doesn’t fit with the life-stage you’re in now or what’s happening in organizations these days. Factors such as the impact of technology have changed many careers. We owe it to ourselves to be aware of how much personal and professional satisfaction we are, or aren’t, getting from our careers, and to continue reaching for our goals. That’s a win-win for us, the organizations we work for and the people who share our lives.

A check-up requires us to look at both ourselves and the bigger trends around us. It’s often a relief to be honest about how we feel and to put specific action steps in place if they are needed. That’s one way to keep motivation and passion in our lives. Consider the following questions.

Micro/Personal level

Regardless of your past dreams, from your vantage point today, ask yourself:
Do you like what you do?
What are you most proud of in your career?
Where did you expect you would be in your career and life now?
What causes you to get stuck or procrastinate?
What is the most important career goal you have left to achieve?
What is one step you could take to get closer to that goal?

Macro/Societal level

Often we resist accepting changing realities and can end up being left behind or somewhere that doesn’t work for us. Consider:
How might technology, demographics, new laws or another factors change the trajectory of your career?
What has changed in your field since you started your career?
Are you up- to-date with how your career field fits within the larger picture?
Are there actions you could take to be closer to the leading edge or to be a leader in the emerging trends?

Next steps

If it’s time to make your career healthier, here are some suggestions:

  • Join or become more active in a relevant association
  • Ensure your certifications are up to date
  • Research emerging trends
  • Network – which is just good mutual communication in action
  • Hire a coach to dig deeper into your situation and assist you with making the best decisions and getting an action plan started
  • Set time aside for honest reflection on your 3 to 5 year goals and then consider what you need to do to get there
  • If you’re a leader, ensure that you are tracking your team members’ and high potentials’ career aspirations so you can provide the most relevant feedback and suitable assignments possible.

Over my twenty years as a career/leadership coach I’ve observed that most successful people are intentional about their life and career goals.  That doesn’t mean we need to plan everything and expect it all to happen – surprises and serendipity occur continuously. But it does mean that in the midst of our activity, we can benefit from setting time aside to check in, reflect and tune up the direction of our careers. If you’re aware of what’s important to you and how you’d like to engage in your career, then you will be ready to recognize, seize or proactively seek your best opportunities.

Reflections on a Career

By Sue Griggs, TCP Associate

Ten years ago, my husband asked me when I was going to retire. He became quite frustrated and a bit annoyed when I said that I had absolutely no idea when I was going to ‘retire’. I also mentioned that I hated the whole concept of retirement and that I couldn’t possibly plan that far ahead.

To put this question into a context, it is perhaps worth mentioning that I was slightly ahead of the Boomer population so I always had the pick of any particular job I wanted. I was able to satisfy my eclectic interests as I moved from country to country, job to job, full-time to part-time, in-house employee, freelance consultant, corporate to non-profit and back again. I did well at whatever I tackled and loved everything I did. I was lucky – I worked where I wanted to for most of my life. Over the years, I have achieved several degrees along with a couple of diplomas. I have been an early childhood educator, a researcher, a course developer, an organizational effectiveness consultant, a psychotherapist and an executive coach. Of course, the basic theme throughout my work career has been my passion to create an environment for people from ages two to eighty so that they could learn and grow.

Back to the question, “When am I going to retire?”, I preserved family harmony by describing a pie – a pie with eight wedge shaped pieces of different sizes. At that time, I described the wedges as: work, family, my own learning, recreation, travel, volunteer activities, cultural activities and the unknown. I drew a visual picture of my pie and talked about how each ‘wedge’ would change over the years. Ten years later, the design of my life has indeed changed; however the pie analogy still fits. Most of the same wedges are in place, although they may not look the same, and they seem to be more interwoven than ever.

The family wedge has changed dramatically as we have been involved in caring for elderly parents until their deaths, and more recently making a commitment to be involved in the lives of our granddaughters. Of course dealing with health issues and complications of aging bodies has taken a bigger piece of the family pie than previously. The work wedge has also changed although it hasn’t lessened that dramatically. The financial compensation has diminished considerably as we do more and more pro bono work and I use my skills in a number of non-profit ventures around the world. For the most part, work and volunteering have become one and take up a very important part of the pie. Travel has increased somewhat, although more and more of the travel is tied up with non-profit work, volunteering and family as well. Learning and being involved in new things hasn’t stopped. Designing and building a house and attempting to learn a new language have taken considerable time and energy. The wedge involved with the unknown is flexible – holding a space for possibilities and for the unexpected, both of which seem to pop up.  Living a life with meaning and purpose is not always easy; however it is the goal that provides stability to a career – a career, a life and a path which is continuing.

Am I retired? Are we retired? In the traditional sense, mostly. However, when considering the bigger picture, I have not retired from life. Is my ‘career’ over? I feel that as usual, a new chapter and a new career has already started and the journey will continue.

Developing Others

By Susan Wright, TCP President

It is a perfect time of year to think about developing others, how we pass along the gifts given to us so that others can benefit.  When we become Leader Coaches, we make a fundamental transition from looking after ourselves to looking beyond ourselves to serve others, appreciating their unique strengths and development edges, and providing the support and challenge necessary for their continued growth.

We do this at work, of course, as we build high-engagement teams in the organization.  And we do it outside of work as well, in our families and communities in a variety of ways.  It is exciting and rewarding to see others learn and grow.  As Leader Coaches, we often find the more we give, the more we receive in terms of finding meaning and life satisfaction.

As we mature, we tend to extend our perspective on developing others beyond our immediate circle to include those whose growth we can serve in the broader environment, those who are disadvantaged or excluded within our wider communities or people who are struggling in other parts of the globe.  By sharing our gifts more expansively, we take a longer-term perspective on development, making an investment in the future of those we support, their families and communities, and the world in general.   We have seen this natural progression from self to others to the world in many Leader Coaches.  It seems a natural process of development in us that is the by-product of reaching out to develop others.

The Coaching Project and our Associates are involved in many of these efforts locally and internationally.  While they all speak to developing others, one clear example is SchoolBOX (www.schoolbox.ca), a small charitable organization dedicated to providing primary school education in Nicaragua, the poorest nation in the Americas, where less than half of all children complete Grade 5.  SchoolBOX was begun in 2006 by one young Canadian in search of a way to contribute.  One day he gave a little girl a pencil and notebook, and realized he had changed her life because she could now go to school.  With vision, dedicated leadership and single-minded persistence, the organization has grown to support 7,000 students in 30 communities around the country with new and renovated school buildings, dental hygiene and sports equipment, as well as those critical school supplies.

As SchoolBOX President Tom Affleck says, “It is so much more than educational supplies; it is instilling hope in children and their communities to have faith in themselves and a brighter future.”  And by using North American students as interns and project volunteers to build schools and raise funds to furnish and equip them, SchoolBOX also develops these young people as leaders with an awareness of the incredible difference they can make, working alongside members of the local community while learning about their country, culture, and language.

As a Leader Coach, how do you develop others?  In what ways do you contribute to the growth of your team, your organization, your family and your community?   How have you felt this pull toward the deep meaning and satisfaction that come from sharing your gifts more broadly in the world?  During this season of joy and connection, let’s take a moment to reflect on our many gifts and how we might use them in developing others.

Well-Being: The Ultimate Cross-Training

By Susan Wright, TCP President

Well-Being is not something that just happens for most of us. It takes a conscious intention and persistent effort, like most things that bring us joy and reward in life. Well-Being is not complicated.  It emerges simply from intentionally performing a set of integrated practices consisting of disciplined action, repeated custom or regular exercise. It is cross-training in life. By exercising the body, mind, heart and spirit routinely, we get tremendous synergistic benefits.

To begin, think about your current activities on the following dimensions:

Physical: healthy diet, cardiovascular and anabolic exercise, sleep, supplements, massage, chiropractic. The benefits of physical Well-Being are agility, coordination, flexibility, strength and speed. How would you rate your current physical Well-Being on a scale, say, of 1 to 10?

Mental: reading, critical reflection, perspective taking, creative writing, drawing, hobbies. The benefits of mental Well-Being are problem solving, information processing, critical thinking, and the ability to take multiple perspectives. How would you rate your current mental Well-Being on a scale of 1 to 10?

Emotional: relaxation, stretching, reflective dialogue, journaling, yoga, Tai Chi, therapy. The benefits of emotional Well-Being are composure, patience, the development of presence, the deepening of relationships, and learning to deal effectively with stress. How would you rate your current emotional Well-Being on a scale of 1 to 10?

Spiritual: meditation, contemplation, spending time in nature, devotions, centering, prayer. The benefits of spiritual Well-Being are calm strength, stronger connection to self and others and the world, deeper awareness, and moving beyond ego. How would you rate your current level of spiritual Well-Being on a scale of 1 to 10?

These are only a few examples of the thousands of practices that you can tailor to your unique Well-Being plan. The idea is to choose at least one practice in each of the four domains and practice them concurrently. Being dedicated to a few practices will create greater Well-Being than half-heartedly practicing more. Notice, too, that many practices benefit multiple domains, such as yoga or Tai Chi.

Before creating your Well-Being plan, there is one other assessment required. In order to achieve Well-Being, we need to engage in practices in three ways: alone, with others, and out in the world. So, for example, you might choose to read and reflect on your own but begin to attend a meditation group with an instructor. Or you might join a book club and set up a meditation area in your home. You might choose to visit the cathedrals of Europe and learn their history on your own or plan to act as tour guide for family or friends. How would you rate your current practices in relation to these three ways of practicing? For many of us, finding time alone where we can be intentional about practice is a challenge.

Designing your Well-Being Plan

There are five steps involved in designing a Well-Being plan. The first you’ve already done: assessing your current practices. If you practice intentionally in each of the four domains in a variety of ways, and you gave yourself a 7 or more out of a possible 10,  congratulations! You may want to tinker for motivational purposes but you have the essence of Well-Being. If you missed one of the domains or ways of practicing, or gave yourself a lower score, read on. You can create or revitalize your practice with great benefits to your Well-Being.

Step #1:  Assess current Practice
What is your honest appraisal of your current practice status? Do you regularly touch base with all the domains and ways of engaging with your own Being? How effective is the connection with Well-Being?

Step #2: Identify Gaps
Once you have a sense of where you are, it is important to decide where you want to go. What does Well-Being look like to you? What is the quality of Being you are seeking? Think of a word or short phrase that would symbolize the quality of Well-Being that is ideal for you. Perhaps you would like to increase the quality of your Presence or Connection or Energy. What would that quality look like on your rating scale? Would some domains be a 10? Would others not change? Think about the size of the gap on each of the domains and in each of the ways of engaging in practice.

Step #3: Evaluate Commitment
Before moving into choosing practices, take a second look at the commitment you are making. Is it doable? Is it sustainable, at least for a period of time you choose, say 3 months as a start? It is better to commit to a realistic plan you will be successful in practicing than to reach too far or expect too much and fail. If your commitment is unrealistic, scale it back so you feel comfortable that you will be successful.

Step #4: Choose Practices
You probably already have some ideas about the practices you will choose in each domain and how you will engage with them. Some may be practices you have been routinely carrying out for years. For these, you may want to add some new cross-training element. For example, you may add a deep breathing practice to your stretching during your workout. Some practices may be new to you. For these, you may want to join a group to benefit from an instructor and the motivation of practicing in a community.

Step #5: Practice Diligently
Once you have your Well-Being cross-training plan in place, choose a period of time during which you commit to fully practicing all of the elements concurrently. It need not be long – a few weeks or months will reward you with observable change in the quality of Well-Being you have chosen. Feel free to make minor design changes as you practice. As long as you are intentional about your plan, you can adapt your practices to your life circumstances.

Good luck, and let me know how you’re doing!

Employee Engagement Today

By Susan Wright, TCP President

We all read and talk about engagement but what does it really involve?  It is known by many names – flow, motivation, involvement, effort, satisfaction.  It is a business imperative, resulting in improvements in profitability, quality, productivity, revenue, customer satisfaction, innovation, and retention.  It has been defined countless ways, among my favourites the following from Lominger Ltd:

Employee engagement is a mind-set in which individuals take personal responsibility for the success of the organization and apply discretionary efforts aligned with its goals.

This definition highlights the twin criteria for engagement: both desire to contribute to the organization’s success and personal satisfaction in the work role.  Blessing & White in their 2008 study of engagement say engaged employees are “enthused and in gear, using their talents and discretionary effort to make a difference in their employer’s quest for sustainable business success.”   However, their research indicates that less than one-third (29%) of employees are fully engaged and 19% are actually disengaged.  This data was generated over a year ago.  What do you think these figures look like today?  How would your organization compare?  Where would you place yourself in terms of your own engagement?

In an economic downturn, there are particular challenges with employee engagement.  One is the level of uncertainty – how are employees to take personal responsibility for the success of the organization when that success seems so far removed from their control?  And what motivates employees to spend discretionary effort in their work if they’re not sure they will have a job tomorrow?  One of the must-haves for engagement is trust.  Consistency, clarity, predictability – these are the characteristics of a high trust environment.  How do we create that trust in turbulent times?

In virtually every study of engagement, results show that the key relationship is that between the manager and the team.  Managers define the job, represent the culture, set expectations, provide recognition and feedback. In other words, they build the basic trust relationship and through it, create consistency, clarity and predictability for team members. Managers don’t necessarily have the answers and can’t control the broader circumstances, but they can communicate openly and honestly and often, be clear about what they know and don’t know, and give employees as much control over their choices as possible. In other words, they can be Leader Coaches.

Never has there been a better time to be a Leader Coach for your team, your peers, your boss, your colleagues.  The foundation of Leader Coaching is Building Trust, making the appreciative connection with others in every interaction, listening and clarifying using Unconditional Positive Regard, showing up with personal authenticity and vulnerability.  As a Leader Coach, you are a role model for others – your own ability to deal with ambiguity will be mirrored by your team. It’s OK to be nervous; everybody is.  What’s not OK is cutting yourself off from others because you don’t have the answers, or taking your anxiety out on others.  As a Leader Coach, here are five things you can do right now to build trust and engagement in your workplace.

1. Have an individual meeting with each of your team members to find out how they’re feeling, what they need to know, and how you can coach them about their engagement.  Use the three stages in the Leader Coach process for these conversations.

2. Do an assessment of your own level of engagement at the moment.  How personally responsible do you feel about the success of your organization?  How much discretionary effort are you bringing to your work?  What kind of an engagement role model are you for your staff?  If you’re not fully engaged, what is one thing you could do?  For example, who do you trust that you might you get some coaching from to develop an action plan?

3. At your next team meeting, engage your team in their own engagement.  Use an open space or dialogue or world café approach to get your team talking about engagement and creating a list of actions that you can work on together.

4. As Catherine the Great said, “Praise loudly; criticize softly.”  Everyone wants to know what they’re doing well and to be recognized for their efforts. Tough times are an opportunity to dial up the praise, recognize discretionary effort, show compassion and caring.  Take every opportunity to celebrate, and get senior management involved whenever appropriate.

5. Encourage peer coaching.  Peers are powerful coaches for each other – they provide buffers from stress and uncertainty, and create bonds that support both individuals in performing, learning and changing.  Be a matchmaker to help peers connect and support each other.

The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can’t find them, make them.

George Bernard Shaw

Engagement During Turbulent Times: A Case Study

By Gillian Buergin, VP Operations & HR, Algonquin Automotive

“You look great!  Just one last set! You can do this!” As a part time fitness instructor I am passionate about coaching my group exercise participants to set and achieve their personal goals.  During each class I know it is my job to lead the group safely through the journey we will take together and to do it in a way that recognizes individual needs while presenting strong, confident leadership to the entire room.   Being a successful instructor means I must fully commit myself to continuous learning and to mirroring the essence of my program.  More than that, to serve my participants well, I must strike a balance between a highly energizing session and one in which meaningful connections can be formed.  I know that community is retention glue and when my participants feel connected to each other, they are more likely to return week after week, stay motivated and ultimately achieve their fitness goals.

What began as a way to relieve workday stress and improve overall health has grown into an essential adjunct to my life.  Being a present leader, fostering a motivating environment, facilitating the formation of a community; these are lessons that I take from the gym to my role as the executive Operations and Human Resource leader for an automotive accessory manufacturer.

Over the past two years world economic events have converged to create the Perfect Storm for the North American automotive industry.  Having faced a number of downward cycles during my career in this dynamic industry, I felt that I was prepared to weather the storm.  But this time has proven to be very different.  With a weakening Canadian dollar, budget cuts, a tightening credit market and a  consumer shift towards more fuel efficient vehicles, our organization has experienced unprecedented hardship and I have personally faced the most challenging period of my career.

The journey has been arduous and today, our organization is still confronting difficult days as the automotive industry struggles to regain its footing.  Our future still holds great uncertainty but reflecting on this difficult journey I have learned some very valuable lessons.   First, an empowered team is an absolute joy to lead (from behind).  Second, it is possible to engage and motivate an entire workforce to achieve amazing results against incredible odds.  Third, when the number of things beyond your control dramatically outnumber those within it, focusing on process and co-creating SMART goals will bring clarity and confidence.

Is it possible for a Leader Coach to stand in the paradox of creating a motivating environment for personal growth against the backdrop of a declining industry and uncertain future?  To answer, I will share the words of commitment put forth by my management team as they worked to create their Operational goals:

We are the warriors in the battle against waste and apathy

We rely on our team members and trust each other

We honour our core values and remember our past

We keep ourselves focused on the path ahead

We fight for the realization of our vision

We respond to factual feedback

We create an environment in which confidence and expertise can build

We strive to be top performers and remain team players

By inspiring positive change we can take on the world!

Whether I am in the gym or the office, creating the conditions in which an energized, connected team can form is my top responsibility and passion.   I feel privileged to play a part in the successful achievement of so many personal and organizational goals and I know that all that I have learned to this point is simply the precursor to greater experiences.  As a Leader Coach, my journey continues and as for my management team and their direct reports…well…they are ready to take on the world!

Engagement Through Language Coaching

By Andrea Griggs, TCP Associate

Many new Canadians bring valuable skills to the workplace but sometimes need help to improve their communication abilities.  Language coaching, a combination of coaching, communication training and teaching English as a Second Language (ESL), is designed to do just that.  In the current economic climate, it’s imperative for organizations to be able to exploit the talent they have in their employee pool.  Language coaching is both incredibly empowering for the individual and hugely beneficial for the organization.  In this article, I will link language coaching with the TCP Leader Coach process to demonstrate how to help your employees who speak English as a Second Language.  First, a short vignette to illustrate the power of language coaching:

Anna had been in Canada for 8 months and had found a job in her field (IT) almost immediately.  While her technical skills were excellent, she rarely volunteered any information unless directly asked.  She complained that everyone in the office thought she was quiet and serious but that was just who she was in English, not who she really was.  As a coach, I worked with her on developing her small talk skills.  Since Anna spent most of her time at work interacting with her computer, she needed to create more communication situations where she could practice her English and gain confidence.  I challenged her to take it out on the streets by asking her to have 10 small talk conversations before our next meeting the following week.  She was quite nervous when she left, but she came back triumphant, having had a 40 minute conversation with a stranger on the GO train.  This was a watershed moment for her.  From that point on, she started communicating with more people at work, participating in meetings and giving her own opinion.  Now, instead of just doing whatever she is asked, she will give her opinion about what needs to be done, often saving the company time and money.  People at work wonder what happened to the quiet woman they first met but are very happy with the transformation.

In the story above, Anna needed some specific English Language instruction focused on how to make small talk and some coaching on how to gain confidence in applying it.  This process fits seamlessly into the three stages in the Leader Coach model used by TCP.

Building Trust involves creating appreciative connections, understanding the story and gathering information.  In order to create those connections, it’s critical to become aware of our own biases – in this case, our own biases when working with people who speak different languages and come from different cultures.  Anna’s co-workers thought that she was shy and not interested in communicating with them.  We react to most cultural differences on a gut level.  When people don’t follow social conventions, such as not maintaining eye-contact or not making small talk, we think of them as standoffish or rude.  It’s important to be aware of your own cultural “glasses” and investigate further.  While working with Anna, I explored how she felt about communicating with others.  She talked about the difficulty of adjusting to a new culture and not wanting to make a mistake.  She said she was not actually a quiet person; she was very talkative and social.  She explored the frustration of not being able to express that side of herself in English.

Building Awareness involves agreeing on what the gap is, getting feedback, creating a goal.  Giving the second language learner feedback on a communication difficulty is a crucial step.  For example, if they speak too quickly, they need to slow down to be better understood. Or when chatting with other employees, they need to understand that both people are responsible for the small talk conversation and it is helpful when they also initiate questions and comments.  In Anna’s case, she needed to know the important role that small talk plays in the workplace.  We explored what being a more effective communicator would mean for Anna and she made a commitment to improving her English. We explored some resistance when I challenged her to dramatically increase her small talk.  She wanted to do it in Chinese first.  This was the chance for me as coach to challenge her story, to remind her of her goal and hold her accountable.

Building the Future includes implementing the improvement goal and supporting success. Anna agreed to complete the challenge and it was a great chance for me as coach to celebrate her accomplishments.  She’d gone from barely speaking to having 10 conversations with people she didn’t know very well in a week.  And one of them had been for over half an hour!  Taking the time to celebrate is important; it gives us the motivation to continue to work and improve.  The final stage of building the future is, of course, to start over again. What is the next goal?  For Anna, the next step involved making small talk with her manager, speaking up more in meetings, and taking on a greater leadership role within her team.

Coaching new Canadians to help them improve their communication skills is a similar process to working with established Canadians.  Sometimes we feel reluctant to acknowledge language difficulties because we are afraid we might be perceived as discriminatory.  However, we tend to promote only those who have excellent communication skills, so withholding help from people who need it disadvantages them and us.  Generally new Canadian employees are extremely eager to communicate more successfully in English because they know it will help them succeed.  They appreciate the organization supporting them to improve their communication skills.

Leadership as Co-Creation

By Susan Wright, TCP President

Co-creation has become a buzz word in business in the last while, a term that gets thrown around in all kinds of contexts.  For many, it seems like a valuable concept but one that is not terribly useful from a practical point of view.  What does it actually mean to co-create?  Are we really to give everybody a say in decisions?  Let customers and employees set the agenda?

Well, in a word, yes!  Many writers have tackled this issue of co-creation, one of the most recent being C.K. Prahalad, arguably the strategic guru of our day.  His book, written with M.S. Krishnan, is called The New Age of Innovation: Driving Co-created Value Through Global Networks.  He advises that business needs to transform, not just strategically but in process and people too.  His two core principles for this transformation are:

1) the centrality of the individual – how to co-create unique value for each employee and customer, and

2) the access to (not ownership of) global resources – mediated by information and communications technology (ICT).

What Prahalad envisions is nothing less than changing the ‘dominant logic’ of business, the whole way we think about organizations and how they operate.  So what has Leader Coaching got to do with transforming the dominant logic to one of co-creation?

In many ways, it’s a natural fit.  Leader coaches begin by co-creating meaningful relationships with those around them, including employees, peer colleagues and customers, understanding each individual’s unique needs and contributions, working with them to ensure their full creativity and potential are incorporated.  They do this through the Leader Coach® communications process.

Similarly, one of the most successful applications of Leader Coach® co-creation has been in sales organizations where using the Leader Coach® process has resulted in more effective customer relationships and customer service based on a fuller understanding of distinctive customer needs and expectations.

Beyond the individual, Leader Coaches work to co-create teams, again appealing to the unique needs and aspirations of each member and blending them into the best overall performance.  As these teams develop, a Leader Coach® culture emerges which is holographic – each individual within each team within the organization, all individuals and all part of the whole of which they are part.

Co-creation is also one of the four alchemic principles of Leader Coaches – it is the initiating ‘dominant logic’ of both/and leadership.  It is where Leadership Alchemy begins, with each unique voice becoming part of the chorus, whether at the individual level, the team, the organization or beyond to include customers, suppliers and other stakeholders.

Co-creative opportunities abound in both work and life.  As Prahalad points out, information and communications technology (ICT) is the transformative vehicle that makes possible both a global reach and a personal touch.  Leader coaches increasingly work across the globe with dispersed multi-functional teams to co-create innovative solutions to business issues.  New video capabilities have made face-to-face interaction a reality anywhere in the world.  Social networking sites like Facebook and LinkedIn co-create thousands of new connections each day.  Wikipedia has co-created an incredible dictionary database of available information, to name a few examples.  And there is much more to come.

So what’s next?  I invite you to think about one innovative way in which you might add value to your team and organization through a co-creative process.  What is one co-action you might take as a Leader Coach® to drive value?

Co-creating Change in the World

By Sue Griggs, TCP Associate

Two and a half years ago, I heard a radio interview about the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign of the Stephen Lewis Foundation. The focus was on raising awareness and mobilizing support in Canada for Africa’s grandmothers who are raising a generation of children whose parents, their own children, have been killed by AIDS.  The campaign has raised money for community-level organizations in 14 sub-Saharan African countries that provide the “GoGo Grannies” with much needed support, such as food, housing grants, school fees for their grandchildren and grief counseling.  Being a grandmother myself, I was so excited when I heard this idea that I helped to organize and participated in the Grandmothers Gathering that launched the campaign in the summer of 2006. As a result, I became co-chair of a group of 20 grandmothers. However, I soon realized that this was not the best use of my skills or my interest. After helping these grandmothers find another ‘home’, I became involved in other areas of the campaign.

At the Grandmother’s Gathering, I was inspired by the African grandmothers’ stories of their lives and challenges. I plunged in with my usual enthusiasm and with a colleague, initiated the idea of publishing a “More Than An African Cookbook” to create direct connections among the grannies and produce a volume of Canadian and African recipes, stories, photographs, etc. that would have broad appeal and raise money for the campaign. Although the publishing date has been pushed back several times, this project has proved to be significant and so far has involved hundreds of grandmothers across Canada and many others from South Africa. As of November 6, 2008, there are 220 grandmother groups across the country and since they all have friends and family, the possibilities for raising awareness of the issues among Canadians are enormous.

Although I admit it takes a great deal of energy, I have been rewarded by making a difference in others’ lives, by encouraging others and seeing them learn and grow, by the connections to new people and my own learning through the process. Late last year, six other volunteers and I organized the Ontario Regional Resource Group (ORRG) to raise awareness, educate, and connect the over 90 groups in the province. ORRG has held four Regional gatherings so that the grandmother groups can share information and connect with each other. It has been wonderful to see the huge amount of collaboration that been has engendered and the “little victories” that are heart-warming to witness. Women from age 50 to almost 90 are working together and are learning to use computers, to run meetings, to understand group dynamics, to support each other and are becoming empowered in the process.

Other Regional groups, based on the Ontario model, will be starting soon. I now see my role as moving from doing to coaching others, encouraging collaboration and shared leadership rather than stepping in. I want to use more of my coaching skills and my ability to see larger perspectives and systems, contributing to the Canada-wide steering committee. I also want to write about my experience with the campaign as a way of sharing the learning from my involvement. It is a fascinating social phenomenon that has tumbled forward with lots of missteps but all the time growing, inspiring, connecting and collecting grandmothers around the world – it is a story that needs to be told.

One World Dialogue: A Call to Social Action

By Lara Masse, Certified Professional Coach

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” ~ MARGARET MEAD~

Provocative… the word I would choose to describe the last session I attended at this year’s International Coach Federation (ICF) Conference.  The workshop was titled Coaches as Leaders: A Call to Social Action.  An important workshop for me, for the communities in which we live, and for our world.

Masterfully facilitated by Susan Wright and Carol MacKinnon, this session brought the whole conference together for each of the 150 participants in the room. While the theme of the conference was most certainly global, with a much greater level of consciousness being evoked, this final session delivered the ultimate challenge. Susan and Carol inspired us to step into both our individual and collective power as coaches, to take action, to impact the world in which we live through a commitment to being Coach Leaders.

An overview of social change needs, and the social evidence pointing the way for collective action, compelled all participants in the room to consider the degree of influence we hold as coaches. While we can and do support individuals, teams, and organizations in change, there is a much greater opportunity at present. As a global social movement, we have the potential to commit our collective resources to social leadership using our principles, skills, and connections. In doing so, we encourage and inspire those around us to consider their own possibilities.

I often ask the person I’m coaching, “How do you want to show up, and be remembered?” Perhaps I am in fact presenting a greater challenge-an examination of values and the corresponding behaviour that reinforces ‘being’ rather than merely ‘doing’. And each time I ask, I am profoundly aware that while the question is posed to the individual, I am also exploring my own values and behaviour as a matter of integrity. It is at precisely this point that the awakening process begins once again and, as Rumi suggests, we “don’t go back to sleep.”

Being fully present at the moment in which Carol and Susan challenged our thinking, and more importantly, our awareness of the possibilities, it was clear. There is only one direction in which we can responsibly proceed. Through powerful role modelling, meaningful conversation in connection with others, and our very own action within our respective communities, we invite others to unite in a significant global innovation movement-in other words, to co-create social change for the positive, worldwide.

These ‘One World Dialogues’ have been held in a variety of locations, with the idea of sharing in provocative, experiential community-building that challenges us to step into leadership roles, to begin where we are and to stretch beyond our current boundaries.  And, if you’re already taking action and making a contribution, why not share your stories? You can visit www.oneworlddialogues.com where you will find an international community of coaches, facilitators, change catalysts, and social innovators making a broader impact in the world.

The Power of Systems Coaching

By Linda Sadiq, TCP Associate

Imagine this actual client scenario:

  • over the past few years new competitors are redefining the marketplace, making much greater, more creative use of the internet to reach a new client base;
  • until this year your veteran leadership team of 8 remained convinced that the company’s reputation and experience meant that any competition would be ineffective, at best;
  • 6 months ago two members of your leadership team suddenly retire, another leaves the sector entirely and a fourth joins a competitor organization; 
  • you’ve hired one replacement – a capable and motivated leader who, despite a lack of sector experience, is willing and eager to learn; 
  • you’re negotiating with another leader with good sector experience and a conviction that your organization can step more successfully into the challenges of the current marketplace;
  • every year your team participates in a one or two-day facilitated retreat to revisit the vision and mission and plan for the year ahead.  These planning sessions re-focus and re-energize the team though they tend to be more tactical than truly strategic, changing the organization structure somewhat or adding a new client offering;
  • for the past 9 months sales and profits have been down substantially.  Everyone is worried. “Same old” just won’t do; something needs to change!
  • you’ve been introduced to a systems coach whose approach captures your attention immediately.

“The natural tendency in a situation like this,” she says, “is to want to undo or fix what is happening.  I’d like to invite you to consider another perspective. 

What if the changes occurring in the sector and in your organization are only the beginning of something unfolding naturally in the system?  What if there is an inherent wisdom in this situation and your work is to discover what is trying to happen so that you can design the best path forward?”

What she says makes sense to you and you book a day with her and your newly formed leadership team. 

Early in the day an exercise called “the original myth” is especially powerful – you learn that to make conscious choices about the organization’s future it’s important to be aware of where and what the organization system has been.  The model introduced by the coach highlights commonalities, making your organization’s story very visible. 

A follow-on exercise examines current reality.  Once again the model is used to plot what is going on in your system.  This time, the coach puts a chair in the spot you and your colleagues have marked on the model.  She asks: “What is your organizational system feeling about what is currently going on?  What does it know that you do not?  What does it need?  What is trying to happen?”

There is a moment of silence.  Then you feel compelled to occupy that chair, to speak the voice of your system.  You’re surprised that others on your team do the same.  And the words spoken have a clarity, wisdom and emotion quite different from usual planning discussions. 

The final exercise of the day uses your organization’s own values to define the critical elements of its future direction.   Amazingly you have identified a future that is truly “out of the box”.  It feels edgy.  Risky.  Connected to what you now understand about your system.  And absolutely the right way forward.

Integrative Leadership

By Susan Wright, TCP President

In April, I was privileged to attend and speak on Integrative Leadership at the Integral Without Borders Conference in Istanbul, attended by organization and social sector leaders from around the world. The challenge:  how to bring an integrated perspective to the resolution of complex problems.

The philosopher Ken Wilber has written extensively about this integrated view (www.integralinstitute.com) and believes there are four necessary perspectives to seeing in a holistic or integrated way. The four perspectives include an Individual/Collective dimension and an INTERIOR(inside the person)/EXTERIOR(outside the person) dimension, as shown below. If we take his four perspectives from a leadership point of view, they might look like this:

INTERIOR Individual:

Who am I as a leader?

Self-awareness

EXTERIOR Individual:

How do I behave as a leader?

Competency

INTERIOR Collective:

How do we relate to each other as leaders?

Culture

EXTERIOR Collective:

How do we serve our constituents as leaders?

Customers,
Environment, etc.

As I thought about this diagram, I noticed a few things:

1.  We know much more about the right side (EXTERIOR), the world of tangible objects than we do the left side (INTERIOR), the world we experience but can’t see.  For example, we as organizational leaders are most focused on serving our constituents, whether that means, customers, stockholders, employees, or the community and environment in which we do business (Lower Right).  When we think about leadership and its development, we tend to move toward measurable competencies that can be demonstrated through behaviour (Upper Right).  Much less time is spent on leader self-awareness or ‘consciousness’ (Upper Left) or on the relationships and culture that form the invisible subjective contexts in which the organization functions (Lower Left).  These are secondary priorities, we say, because after all, business is business.  Or is it?

2.  If we take this one step further and ask which of the four quadrants receive the bulk of leaders’ attention, we find similarly that the Lower Right (Organizational Systems) is where we focus on strategy in the marketplace, the structure that best meets those needs, and all the functions and activities supporting success.  In progressive organizations, time is also spent to a lesser extent on how success is achieved through leadership culture and behaviour, the Upper Right (Demonstrated Behaviour) and Lower Left (Cultural Values), including how leaders are assessed and developed and how we enact the cultural norms in our leadership style.  Much less attention is given to Upper Left (Consciousness), leaders’ attitudes and motivations, the way we actually experience the world and how that is translated into our every thought and action.

3.  The interesting point about this Upper Left missing piece of the puzzle is that we now know from recent research (Goleman, Schwarmer, Senge, etc.) that our awareness of ourselves as leaders and our impact on others, our level of consciousness about the complex global web of interests and perspectives, is exactly what is required for long term success.  It is the aspect of leadership development that has been under-valued and is therefore under-developed when critically needed.  And more, although there is a growing recognition of the importance of the leader’s interior maturity and worldview, there are very few practical approaches to developing ‘consciousness’.  In fact, some would say it’s a maturation process that takes its own time and can’t be influenced.

So what do we do about it?

As with all development, awareness of the issue is the starting point.  Just being aware that our own level of consciousness or self-awareness determines what we see and how we interpret our own and others’ actions is a great start.

Using the four quadrants as a holistic diagnostic tool in problem solving is another way. What are the components of the issue?  What behaviour is getting in the way?  How might the culture be an inhibitor?  How are my own beliefs influencing my perspective and what other interpretations are possible? How can I stretch and test my assumptions against each of these four perspectives?

A personal reflective practice routine is another necessary element in developing self-aware consciousness.  For example, meditating regularly, walking in nature, any spiritual practice, or some creative expression like art, dance, etc. that allow for reflection are all effective forms of development.

Whatever practice appeals to you, I encourage you to ask “Who Am I as a Leader?” and to spend some time reflecting on how you answer the question.

Integrating Mind/Heart/Body/Spirit

By Carol MacKinnon, TCP Associate

I’d like to talk about a fundamental form of integration – a quaternity or four-part harmony, one that is essential for Leader Coaches to integrate in coaching, in leading, in living. That is the quaternity of Mind, Heart, Body and Spirit. I bought a little bracelet in Lima, a simple string on which were four little wooden beads on each side of a carved X and I’ve worn it on my right wrist to remind myself of the importance of this quaternity in my coaching and living.
 
How does the integration of this quaternity express itself in our Leader Coaching? Let’s look at how an increased awareness of and facility in harmonizing these four elements can influence our coaching. And as we do so, let’s remember that this quaternity is at play for both the Leader Coach and the coachee, simultaneously and diversely, in any coaching conversation and in the ongoing coaching relationship. It’s at play in all of us, all the time, though we are often not completely present to that reality.
 
MIND

Perhaps the most commonly understood and most frequently accessed aspect of the quaternity is the mind. We use language which reflects our mental models to describe where we are now, where we’d like to be, what might be getting in our way and causing our resistance. Our minds have frequently been the key driver in our success in the early years of our career as we’ve developed our technical competencies. Most leaders are highly skilled in problem solving, priority setting, process planning, and have more than enough intellectual capacity for the job.[i] There comes a time in your development as a leader, however, where the Mind alone is not enough. We realize we are not accessing all of who we are and could be, in our coaching conversations. So what else do we include?
 
HEART

In training Leader Coaches, we often find some degree of discomfort with including a second aspect of the quaternity, the Heart, the emotional centre, the place of feelings. Some would claim that feelings have no role in the workplace or that true leaders needs to harness or ignore their feelings in service of personal and organizational goals. We know now about the harmonizing power of the Heart, the capacity of the heart to hold paradox, ambiguity, and the very things that seem to overwhelm and paralyze us when we try to grow and learn in the Mind alone. As we reference in our book, Leadership Alchemy: The Magic of the Leader Coach[ii], Cynthia Bourgeault reminds us: “when properly attuned, the emotional center’s most striking capacity, lacking in the mind alone, is the ability to comprehend the language of paradox.  Logical inconsistencies which the mind must reduce into a simple ‘either/or’ can be held by the heart in ‘both/and’ – and more importantly – felt that way, without the need to resolve, to close down, or protect oneself from the pain that ambiguity always brings.[iii]

John Kotter’s research into organizational change reflects the same Heart perspective: he found after studying hundreds of cases of organizational change, “people change what they do less because they are given analysis that shifts their thinking than because they are shown a truth that influences their feelings.[iv]
Thus it is essential that Leader Coaches master their own emotional language to be in best service to their clients and colleagues in helping them grapple with the intensely complex changes that are continually required of all of us. We might have been encouraged to believe that we should leave our emotions “at the door” when we come to work but we know in fact that’s impossible, and trying to pretend none of us has emotions will only make them more difficult to work with and potentially distracting and possibly even destructive. Getting comfortable with the truth of our feelings, being able to access them and name or identify them, may be the first step in our personal change process. If you or your coachee is having trouble identifying what feeling is present, remember the simple list: at its most basic, a feeling is likely one of ‘sad, mad, glad, or scared’.  And that when we find ourselves saying “I feel that –” we know we’ve actually moved out of our heart and back into our minds. We’re really saying “I think that –” It can take significant discipline to stay with our feelings if this is unfamiliar territory. And the payoff can be enormous.
 
BODY

The Heart may be uncommon ground for Leader Coaches in their conversations; so too are the remaining two aspects of the quaternity we’re exploring here, the Body and the Spirit. I have lots of personal experience and my experience resonates with many other leaders, that as we grew in our careers we grew more and more separated from our bodies. Our bodies tell us what is healthy, what is necessary for vitality, what is endangering our abilities to stay centered and nurture these precious vessels we’ve been given. If we ignore our bodies’ whispers, they shout!

Richard Strozzi Heckler talks of the importance of “embodied or somatic leadership”[v], meaning that leaders must not merely espouse values, they must live them, they must embody them. We’ve begun to see a fundamental shift with the increased presence of new generations in the workforce, to challenge the stereotypical workaholic norms of the Baby Boomers. They can be great mentors to those of us who need a new model for how to live and work. The Body can be a great guide and help in a coaching conversation. Sometimes, it’s as simple as shifting the environment for the conversation from an office to a walk in the park. Sometimes the body can be, as Martha Beck[vi]  suggests, a compass needle helping us to tap into our intuition. Where does that tension about that change express itself in my body? What is my body telling me when I get sore shoulders or a tight stomach or sore legs? What can I learn if I truly listen to my body’s wisdom? Learning to listen to our own body’s messages may well be another important role that Leader Coaches can play in guiding the members of their teams and their organizations to do the same.

SPIRIT

As Leader Coaches, we’ve moved out from the safe territory of the Mind to the more controversial venues of the Heart and Body. But perhaps the most challenging of the four aspects of the quaternity is Spirit. The sceptics might react, “what business is it of yours to inquire into the terrain of my spirit, my sense of wonder, my connection to all things?” And yet, to bring ALL of who we are to what we do, to how we lead, we need to include our connection to the Divine, however we define it.

Our difficulties around Spirit may have to do with our experiences with organized religion. Or it may be that we see through human history the tragedies and traumas that have been wrought on the world in the name of religion. It might be tempting to duck out of the conversation rather than move into it. As you might have guessed, however, we’d suggest you DO move into it with courage and compassion. So what is this notion of Spirit and how does it manifest itself in our coaching conversation? Why should we care about it? My sense is that just as embodied leadership requires that we LIVE our values, BE our values, so spirit-filled leadership requires that we embrace and celebrate the mystery, the presence of that aspect of ourselves not found in Mind, Heart or Body – that ineffable ember that is found deep within that shines through all we are, all we do, all we say. It is our deepest essence, our connection to all things.

It may be helpful to listen, here, to two writers coming from quite different traditions: Benedictine Brother David Steindl-Rast and Ken Wilber who is a practicing Buddhist. They suggest that while we might struggle with definitions and role models of spirituality, “it nonetheless shows up in everyone’s life – in every act of kindness, compassion, and empathy, in every quiet feeling of gratitude, in every heartfelt ‘thank you’ and in every intimate connection we have ever felt with each other and with the world. {These}feelings of gratitude and thankfulness are universal – so universal, in fact, that they form the living bedrock of all the world’s great spiritual traditions, from the beginning of the world until the end of time. As Martin Buber reminds us once again, in the ‘I-Thou’ relationship, God is not some sort of ultimate ‘Thou’ at the end of the universe, but the hyphen that connects you with everyone and everything in creation.” [vii] And how might this express itself in our coaching conversations? Perhaps the most tangible way is to be constantly vigilant, to ensure that we are coaching and being coached, embedded in the principle of Unconditional Positive Regard, the embodiment of Namaste: the divine in me salutes, recognizes, and embraces the divine in you.

I suppose the ultimate integration would be to be continuously aware of the interplay and interdependence of these four aspects of our self, which I’ve described separately here. They are interconnected and their interaction can be alchemic and transformative in our lives. When we engage our entire quaternity in coaching another, we are bringing our whole selves in service to that other person’s whole self and the riches that connection will engender are without limit! So I wear my little bracelet as a visual reminder. It catches my eye and that catches my awareness, to include all aspects of the quaternity whenever I can. It’s working! I’m sure that both my coaching and my living are more complete now, with its reminder.  
 
[i] See Lominger Inc. research on which leadership competencies occur most frequently across a large body of surveyed, successful leaders. www.lominger.com for more information.
[ii] Wright, Susan and MacKinnon Carol, Leadership Alchemy: The Magic of the Leader Coach. West Group Publishing, Egan, MN. 2003.  
[iii] Bourgeault, Cynthia, Telephone, Texas. A Short Course on Wisdom, Praxis, 2002.
[iv] Kotter, John: The Heart of Change.  p. 1. HBS Press, 2002.
[v] See www.strozziinstitute.com for more information.
[vi] Beck, Martha: Finding your own North Star: Claiming the life you were meant to live, p. 106. Three Rivers Press, New York, 2001.
[vii] Integral Naked newsletter, August 18, 2008.

Positivity: The Power of Positive Intention

By Susan Wright, TCP President

There is a lot of focus on intention these days as a concept and practice. New science has shown that what we think about actually creates physical matter. For example, the structure and activity of the brain can change in response to experience, an ability called neuroplasticity. We have known that we construct our reality through our own perceptions and beliefs for a long time but now we know that we also construct the actual physical world around us through our thoughts. For example, Darrell Daybre writes in his book, “The Greatest Secret”:

“Creation of anything in the physical universe is determined by what kind of attention you place on it. In other words, what you think about the most, you bring about. What you focus on, good or bad, you begin to create.”

This has tremendous implication for coaches. We are after all in the intention business. We work with our clients to clarify what they want and then help them to work through their resistance, be it doubt or fear, to focus their intention and action on achieving their goals. In short, we work with the client’s intention to be all that they can be. And we as coaches work from our own intention to bring all that we are to our clients. This article explores both sides of this coin of intention and how our effectiveness in supporting our clients depends on our ability to create and sustain “positivity”.

Positivity in the Client Relationship

So what is positivity? Well, to begin, it is the opposite of negativity. We all have tapes running in our heads all the time. These inner ‘voices’ are sometimes called gremlins or judges or nay-sayers. Whatever your name for them, they are the negative self-talk that keeps us from living at our full potential. They are the self-limiting beliefs that we play over and over in our thoughts. “I can’t do that – I’m not smart enough.” “If I do what I want, others will suffer.” “If I take that job, I’ll fail.” We all have times in our lives when this negative self-talk gets the better of us. The role of a coach is to help us work through it to create a more positive vision of a different future. As coaches, we know that helping clients get their self-limiting beliefs, their negativity, out in the open so they can examine their sources and work on reframing the gremlins into self-fulfilling beliefs is the hard work of transformation. It is changing the client’s story from what Hargrove calls “rut stories” into “river stories”. Rut stories are the negative stuck positions where there appears to be no way out; river stories on the other hand flow from our intentions to our reality – virtually anything is possible.

Positivity is also critical because, as Daybre says, we attract what we focus on, good or bad. I have a colleague who spent two years focusing her intention on being “debt free”. The more she focused on it, the more debt she attracted to herself. Finally, when she realized she had been focused on a negative intention and reframed it to “living in abundance”, she immediately began to attract the kind of work and income that she desired. So part of our role as coaches, as we focus client’s intentions, is to ensure that they are positive and will attract the kind of energy the individual desires.

Positivity is the power that comes from positive thinking, from positive intention. I often tell clients to take 5 minutes at the beginning of each day to set their intentions for the day. How do they intend to behave positively in that important meeting to establish a collaborative climate for negotiation? What positive intention do they have for that difficult conversation with an underperforming employee? It is amazing how setting the intention creates the desired outcome. At the end of the day, I suggest they take another 5 minutes to reflect on their behavior – did they achieve their intention, if not, why not and what do they intend to do differently tomorrow? This simple technique can help clients to begin to change their outlook, to transform their stories from failure, or fear of it, to success in whatever areas they want to address. I also know a coach who calls his clients every morning for a month to set their intentions – only 2 minutes a day helps to change the pattern.

Positivity in the Coach

Positivity is, then, what coaches create in their clients as a transformative agent of change. And it is also the stance that coaches themselves take with their clients. It is the ‘can do’ attitude that helps someone who is stuck to get moving, to see the possibilities, to be excited about a better alternative. Coaches are role models of positivity – they bring their positive energy and intention to the coaching relationship and hold out the possibility for their clients by living a positive life themselves. It is in fact the ability of the coach to embody positivity that allows clients to trust that they too can achieve their best potential.

When working with our clients, we use the term “unconditional positive regard”, a phrase coined by Carl Rogers, one of the grandfathers of the human potential movement. “UPR” is the way the coach shows up for the client, ready to listen, not to judge, to be unconditional in support of the client’s story. It is the intention of the coach to hold the client in unconditional positive regard that gives clients the safety, the trust, to confront the problems or issues they face. The coach does not have to accept or agree with everything in the client’s story – in fact, it is important that the coach be able to see the discontinuities in the story and challenge the client at the appropriate time. The critical point is that the coach is able, despite resistance and setbacks, to consistently hold this appreciative perspective throughout the relationship, and to repair and rebuild it if it is temporarily lost.

Here is a brief exercise in intention you can use with your clients, or by yourself, to reframe your negativity into positivity.

1. Surface the negative voices – get those gremlins out into the open by saying them out loud. Hear how they sound and feel how they make you feel. You may feel defeated, sad or angry at the statements when you say them aloud.

2. Reframe the voices – now take each negative statement in turn and reframe it positively. If you’re the coach, say the negative statement to the client using exactly the same tone of voice. Then ask the client to turn it around and say it positively aloud. Hear how the positive voice sounds and feel the difference in how it makes you feel. You may want to sing it, or dance it, or shout it – be expressive!

3. Make a commitment – to reframing the negative voices each time you hear them into the positive statements you have just made. Monitor your thoughts and know that your positive intentions will attract what you want to you, just as your negative gremlins will keep you stuck in unwanted patterns. And remember, as a coach you can only work with healthy, self-responsible adults. If your clients cannot imagine themselves out of their rut, they may be candidates for therapy instead of or in addition to coaching.

Although the word positivity may be new, the concept is as old as time. As coaches, we can take advantage of this ancient wisdom as well as the new science to support our clients in achieving their dreams, and to live ourselves as models of positive intention.

Begley, S. Train Your Mind, Change Your Brain: How a New Science Reveals Our Extraordinary Power to Transform Ourselves. Ballantine, 2007.

Daybre, D. The Greatest Secret: The Secret to having all you’ve ever wanted. The Center for Extraordinary Living, 2004.

Hargrove, R. Masterful Coaching. Pfeiffer, 1995.

Rogers, C. On Becoming a Person. Houghton Mifflin, 1961.

Breakfast Seminar: Senior Leaders Discuss Critical Issues

For each of the four critical issues we present a brief statement of the challenge, a summary of the need and a description of offerings – processes and programs – from The Coaching Project. Finally, we conclude with excerpts from our table conversations with leaders; they describe their current experience of each of the issues and their views on how they are or could be responding.

  • The Challenge of Employee Engagement
  • The Bursting Boomer Bubble
  • Creating Social Action Linkages
  • The Necessity of Nurturing The Global Mosaic