Executive Coaching – Caring Criticism

Executive coaching is all about asking questions. Executive coaching is about being critical without criticizing. Judging without being judgemental.  Good executive coaches don't tell clients what to do, they get clients to figure out what to do. People have a higher probability of succeeding on plans they've developed themselves than on plans developed for them. When a client asks me, "What would you do?" My answer is, "I could tell you what I'd do and it would work...

Business Climate Change

A few years ago, a goofy senator, from the oil-producing state of Oklahoma, backed by the carbon producing lobby brought a snowball into the Senate as proof that the climate is not warming.  I guess Senator Inhofe confused weather extremes with climate change. There is irrefutable proof that the earth is warming. Just as there is irrefutable proof that as I type this on February 20th it is snowing outside. Whether talking about business or the earth, climate should not be confused with the weather. Weather is what you experience when you step outside on any given day. In other words, it is the state of the atmosphere at a particular location over the short-term. Climate is the average of the weather patterns in a location over a longer period of time, usually 30 years or more. - NOAA Legend says that in 1913 Cecil B. DeMille set out from the east coast to film "Squaw Man" in Arizona. The climate in Arizona, warm, dry, sunny. Unfortunately for Arizona, the weather that week was cold, overcast with some rain. Not conducive for an early film industry that required massive amounts of light (sunlight) to achieve acceptable film images. DeMille, kept moved further west and Hollywood became Hollywood. He...

Culture Evolves

Culture alignment is the single best predictor of career success. When a human is aligned with the culture of their employer, team or tribe, they care more, they feel at home, they are family, and they perform at high levels. As circumstances in healthy growing companies change, culture evolves. Family businesses, small companies, startups may begin as a loyalty culture to a culture of owed-respect. When a company is growing, has more resources and puts a premium on growth, culture evolves from owed-respect to earned-respect, from a loyalty culture to a performance culture. In living, breathing, healthy companies, culture evolves. I was reminded of this during the ConnectPreneur Conference last week where I had the opportunity to sit down for a fireside chat with Dan Berger, the dynamic founder and CEO of Social Tables, one of DC's most healthy growing companies. I first met Don in 2011 and I was one of the first Angel Investors to stroke him a check. I sat on his board and for a while, he was a member of my peer advisory group. In one of our coaching sessions Dan, and I discussed a methodology to define and get team buy-in to a well-defined, intentional corporate culture. Dan was wrestling with...

Design Thinking For CEOs

What do I mean by Design Thinking for CEOs? Let's break that down. What is Design Thinking? According to Wikipedia: Design thinking is a method for the practical, creative resolution of problems using the strategies designers use during the process of designing. Design thinking has also been developed as an approach to resolve issues outside of professional design practice, such as in business and social contexts. The reason I add the CEO qualifier as in Design Thinking for CEOs is many people who run businesses believe Design Thinking is for Software Developers or Product Managers or Interior Decorators and not for them. Design Thinking for CEOs or anyone is a way of thinking. It's constantly asking, "Why am I doing it this way?" It's constantly asking, "Is there a better way?" Everyone benefits from design thinking. Look at something as simple as a water fountain. Water fountains have changed very little in the last 100 years. Yet culture and habits have changed. Due to the emerging emphasis on health (drinking more water) and the environment protection have changed human habits so that many of us walk around with water bottles. In fact, some of us don't walk around with water bottles because 3 years ago...

Critical Leadership Traits

What can I say about Leadership Traits? I've worked for leaders, been a leader and coached leaders for over 40 years. In that time, I've recognized certain leadership traits are common to the majority of great leaders. That's my subjective observation. In my coaching practice, I use personality assessment tools to help me, coach, understand my clients, and to help them understand themselves and their teams. I compiled a list of all company leaders/ CEOs with whom I've administered a personality assessment in order to objectively determine which leadership traits are most common. The leaders in this survey all run companies ranging from $1 million in revenue to $40 million. Most Personality Assesment tools measure Dominance, Extraversion, Patience, and Formality. Good tools, like Predictive Index, and Ngenio's MPO realize that these traits fall on a spectrum. For instance, in the case of formality, which measures things like precision, attention to detail and rules following. Some people are extremely rigid and precise while others are extremely flexible, and others still may just be slightly precise. For instance, in the case of the Predictive Index the spectrum looks like this: Low -3 -2 -1 Trait +1 +2 +3 High Agreeable Agreeable Humble Unselfish A Independent Resolute Forceful Assertive Amenable Accepting Peaceable Dominance Competitive Autonomous Aggressive Acquiescent Collaborative Caring Self—starting Venturesome Controlling Compliant Pleasing Attentive Resourceful Innovative Self-reliant Accommodating Modest Supportive Inventive Directing Confrontational Obliging Willing Cooperative Determined Challenging Unyielding Reserved Private Imaginative Quiet B Sociable Simulating Expressive Outgoing Standoffish Reserved Sincere Extraversion Persuasive Enthusiastic Gregarious Separate Unpretentious Introspective Talkative Socially poised Enticing Reticent Ruminant Contemplative Open Compelling Outspoken Isolated Insightful Candid Encouraging Eloquent Influential Reclusive Pensive Reflective Eager Animated Convincing Impatient Zealous High-strung Tense C Relaxed Deliberate Extremely steady Steady Volatile Hurried Quick Patience Stable Measured Placid Edgy Intense Hasty Calm Unhurried Habitual Impulsive Fast-paced Prompt Cool Peaceful Easygoing Urgent Abrupt Ready Composed Serene Even-tempered Rushed Rapid Restless Collected Unruffled Mellow Flexibility Spontaneous Familiar Casual D Conservative Precise Dutiful Conforming Unstructured Unworried Uninhibited Formality Thorough Careful Inflexible Extemporaneous Undaunted Easy Respectful Cautious Structured Instinctive Unconcerned Facile Loyal Exacting Strict Impulsive Carefree Flexible Diligent Proper Vigilant Improvising Unfussy Pliable Serious Rigorous Correct What patterns emerge from evaluating my database. Most of the leaders I work with are...

Leadership Versus Management

I had the good fortune to sit down with Jonathon Abermen, Managing Director of Amplifier Ventures, to discuss leadership versus management. Below is the audio of the interview which was broadcast April 27, 2018, on WFED, Fed Radio 1500. Press the little play button to hear the interview: [sc_embed_player fileurl="https://drivenforward.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/WFED_Leadership_versus_management.mp3"] Transcript of Leadership Versus Management Interview ABERMAN: Glen, thanks for joining us. HELLMAN: Thank you for having me. ABERMAN: Leadership. I think a lot of people think they know what it is, but what is leadership? HELLMAN: So, probably the best way to sum it up is the difference between leadership and management. Management is how you take care of two-year-old children or less. You put up gates, you give them systems, you protect them, but you don’t do anything that’s not under your control. Leadership is, if you haven’t taken your 17-year-old and led them, when they’re out in the car alone, on a Friday night, at ten o’clock, you have failed. You can’t manage 17-year-old when they’re not in your view. Leadership is creating an environment around your team where they behave the way you would want them to if you were there. Leadership scales, management fails. Subscribe to the What’s Working in Washington podcast on...

Leaf Branch Root Coaching

Leaf Branch Root, it's a method to coach, empower, and learn to trust your team. Lately, in my coaching, I encounter the micromanager who say they don't want to micromanage and inevitably this is a trust issue. It's part hero issue, I must save the day...