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Approach

Business leaders must be truly exceptional to succeed in today’s environment. Both men and women leaders must be highly intelligent, distinguished in their subject-matter expertise, ambitious, motivated and able to produce excellent results. These qualities serve most leaders well, up to a point.

 

But the time may come when a higher level of leadership sophistication, refinement and polish is critical to someone’s continued advancement. This turning point may arrive because of a promotion, or when preparing for succession and advancement to a higher level in your organization. As a result, companies often ask me to help refine and polish aspects of an already successful executive’s demeanor and behaviors.  These aspects may encompass:

 

  • non-verbal and verbal communication

  • presentation skills

  • interpersonal relationships

  • savvy in navigating organizational dynamics and

  • strengthening overall executive presence so that a leader comes across as “senior” vs. “junior”.

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My coaching techniques draw upon my unique educational background and experience in business as a corporate executive, and in performing as an opera singer. Having risen through the ranks to the level of senior vice president in information technology for a Fortune 500 financial services company, my business knowledge is deep. I understand first-hand what is required to be a successful leader at various stages of executive development.

 

Based on my own experience as a woman navigating large company organizational dynamics, I am able to recognize and address challenges that are common to women in leadership roles. Early in my career I performed opera and classical music, initially pursuing it as a professional endeavor and now enjoying it as an avocation. My live performance and stage experience has given me unique in-depth knowledge and skill in high performance techniques.  My creative ability to tap into these diverse domains of knowledge and expertise gives me enormous range and flexibility to leverage coaching techniques appropriate to each leader’s unique needs that will help them develop into exceptional leaders.

 

Throughout my career I have coached hundreds of leaders at various levels in organizations.  My experience has shown that many business leaders operate almost exclusively in the intellectual or cerebral domain when at work.  They often are unaware of the additional resources available to them through understanding and leveraging their own physical and emotional reactions to situations.  This especially becomes evident during career significant or stressful situations, such as during high impact presentations, critical meetings or conflict ridden dialogues. When coaching leaders to prepare for these types of events, I use my creative ability to help them discover how to bring more of their whole selves to their leadership role. This means not just relying on their intellectual gifts, but also connecting to their physical and emotional sides.  Using more of their whole self puts them more at ease, and allows them to be more present and open to the situation and the people with whom they are interacting.  This often results in stronger connections, and stronger perceptions of the leader’s overall ability, helping them move the needle from being viewed as an excellent leader to an exceptional leader.

 

The overall approach for my programs to develop exceptional leaders is creative, holistic and pragmatic.

 

My approach is creative through my ability to tap into the two domains of subject-matter knowledge and expertise in business and performing.  Although diverse, both areas have significant commonality in their mutual demand for focus, discipline and excellence as pathways to becoming exceptional.  Having both areas of expertise within my toolkit gives me the latitude to customize coaching techniques to each leader’s unique needs.

 

  • My approach is creative through my ability to tap into the two domains of subject-matter knowledge and expertise in business and performing.  Although diverse, both areas have significant commonality in their mutual demand for focus, discipline and excellence as pathways to becoming exceptional.  Having both areas of expertise within my toolkit gives me the latitude to customize coaching techniques to each leader’s unique needs.

 

  • My approach is holistic in looking at multiple issues of each leader’s situation.  This includes exploring how the leader understands and is aware of his or her inner thoughts and reactions to the outer world.  It involves understanding how the leader is perceived by the outer world, e.g. stakeholders in the organization.  It seeks to identify and align the leader’s qualities and strengths with their organization’s context and expectations of senior leaders.

 

  • My approach is pragmatic and business-focused. In addition to developing a strong relationship with the leader, I work closely with key organizational stakeholders including Human Resources and the leader’s manager to identify key focus areas for development, and to monitor the leader’s progress throughout the coaching engagement. Strategies and techniques learned from coaching are applied to the leader’s actual work situations and opportunities for practice. When feasible, in order to get a first hand view of how leaders perform in their work setting, I observe them in action, delivering a presentation or participating in a meeting. Since each leader’s schedule constraints and learning style varies, I offer flexibility in scheduling coaching sessions to best suit each leader’s needs.   This pragmatic approach ensures that there is a balance of personal learning as well as development that benefits the organization.