As a corporate Human Resources leader by background and a previous consultant with a Fortune 500 Consulting firm, I am experienced in advising on new processes, providing tools and recommending changes. I'm not hesitant to point out what I see as opportunities in your company or for my leadership clients. In essence, I am a seasoned Organization Consultant.
Now, I predominantly take a Coach approach, however. I support your organization change and personal leadership development initiatives by posing provocative questions, challenging assumptions, holding up your current paradigms for a closer look, and bring out your own best answers to evolve your company and the talent already within your organization. I take this same approach in working with individual emerging and senior leaders. As a thoroughly-trained, professionally-credentialled coach, I work with individuals who are motivated to develop themselves with a strong accountability partner.
I offer coaching at the individual, team and organization level.
I have the honour of working with leaders who have done exceptionally well in their careers. Their drive, smarts and results-orientation have earned them the respect of their employers. These savvy, proactive individuals reach out to me directly, or their managers and human resources partners contact me on their behalf. I notice that the three most common times to seek a coaching relationship are:
1. “We Need to Invest In this Individual and Ramp Him/Her Up Fast!”
The organization has identified a key talent as a high-potential individual who appears to have the capacity to progress considerably further with their leadership. Retention is a concern; the company wants to demonstrate commitment to the developing leader. Often there is also a leadership talent shortage in the company and the additional pressure of upcoming leadership retirements. The company wants to invest in such emerging leaders to ensure their efficient progress and provide them with a professional Coach to both challenge and support their accountability for development.
These employers recognize that one-off training is not the way to best achieve true leadership development. They appreciate that Training is best reinforced with regular, ongoing and deliberate steps over time, with the feedback loop provided by coaching.
2. “This Leadership Stuff is All About People!”
Inevitably, it seems, there comes a point when the approaches that help the technical expert to successfully earn his or her way toward a leadership role suddenly start falling short of what’s required for effective engagement of a team. Progress beyond this level seems to require both letting go of some previously-emphasized skills and building new ones. The job suddenly seems to be all about the people, rather than technical competence. My coaching clients are looking for techniques to add to their tool kit. They want to find ways to more effectively connect with their teams, get things done well through others and be motivational in their communications, all while achieving breakthrough business results. Coaching supports these shifts.
3. “I Seem To Be Getting In My Own Way Somehow”
People who are highly successful early in their career can often be their own worst enemies as their careers progress. Strengths ironically become liabilities. Vulnerability starts to play a critical role in developing true follower-ship. At key career progression stages on the way to appointment to C-suite positions, effective performance at the new level after promotion involves letting-go of specific behaviours and picking-up differentiating new ones. High-potential candidates often benefit significantly from coaching to dial-up their radar and self-awareness, while developing deliberate strategies to evolve their impact.
Leadership Team Coaching
I have coached hundreds of leaders, at all levels, throughout North America, in privately-held, not-for-profit and publicly traded companies of wide-ranging size.
I am trained in a specialized coaching approach called "Organization & Relationship Systems Coaching" which has prepared me for coaching Teams as the client. In this work, coaching questions are posed to the Team, particularly Leadership Teams, as an entity.
- What is this leadership team accountable for?
- How does this team want to be seen in the organization?
- How will this team address conflict within the team itself?
- How does this team ensure all members have a "voice"?
We often begin the engagement with assessments of Team Effectiveness or Behavioural Styles in order to get a better understanding of the ways the Team tends to behave as a whole, as well as to gain an appreciation for the diversity of the Team members.
I have had the good fortune to work with Teams at all levels of the organization-- whether a high-performance team that is eager to continue to evolve or a team that is stuck and having difficulty functioning effectively together. I have worked extensively with C-suite Teams and owners of privately-held companies.
Teams achieve powerful shifts when they are able to see themselves more clearly and take accountability for who they are becoming.
Organizations work with me when they are eager to shift their culture and grow their organizations. I bring a blend of coaching and consulting to supporting companies in fostering greater employee engagement and accountability, while having their own managers take a "coach approach" to leadership.
Here are a few examples:
1. I had the honour of working with 60 leaders of a Construction Management company based in Sacramento, California. The executive team was eager to create a Coaching Culture so we embarked on a one-year program involving onsite workshops and 6 months of group coaching with the 60 leaders working in small groups in teleconference sessions with me. Significant individual and organizational learning occurred, resulting in a new way of managing Project Teams.
2. In our work together, a highway construction company in Guelph, ON became one of Canada's Best Managed Companies in 2010 by focusing on best practices for strategy, communications and sustainability, achieving Platinum level in 2018. Through our work together, this same organization has invested in other companies to grow its capacity and ensure longevity. Managers have become more accountable at all levels, rather than relying on the owners for all key decisions.
3. I began working as a leadership coach to the Executive Director of a small membership Association. We conducted a 360-degree feedback assessment and established goals for development, with accountability to the Board. Over a period of 2 years we then expanded this work to include the full staff, with bi-annual workshops on-site and quarterly online webinars and pre-work taking a coach approach to facilitate their learning. The team strengthened their working relationships, took increased accountability for their professionalism and improved their productivity. The Board and members alike were highly positive about the impact of the development work undertaken by the Association staff.