For over a decade, I have partnered with CEOs and senior executives who desire to be better, more effective leaders. Yes, we become partners – they are the expert on their company and industry, and I am an expert in helping them see themselves in new ways which open up great opportunities for them to grow and change. It is a privilege to be invited alongside these leaders; many of them have already accomplished so much before they meet me.
I coach and teach leaders, but I also learn so much from working with them and watching them grow. It is from this learning that I want to periodically share with you ideas and frameworks so you can be a better leader.
If you don’t know me already, let me give you just a few themes that show up regularly in my philosophy on leadership growth:
- If you want your organization to keep growing, you have to keep growing.
- Real and lasting change occurs slowly.
- Every leader is unique; cookie-cutter solutions seldom last.
Ideas I share with you in this blog typically come from two sources. The majority germinate from conversations I am having every day with top leaders – they say something profound, or I say something they find useful. I jot it down and turn it into something to share with you. The remainder come from reading a useful book or article which you may not have had time to read. I try to write as if I am having a conversation with you.
I have found that busy, successful leaders don’t have a lot of extra time to read. If you sign up, I promise not to barrage you. I write two to three posts a month. And I work to make them short and to the point. Also, as many of my clients and friends know, I have been working on a book for leaders since . . . forever. If you want to read more from me, that will be available sometime in the not-to-distant future.
From my high school days at The McCallie School in Chattanooga, I have been a student of leadership. After graduating from Wheaton College, I served four years as an Army Armor officer, leading combat-ready forces in Europe. My wife, Marta and I then returned to Washington DC, where I eventually helped run a variety of companies in a variety of industries – financial services, banking, commercial construction, technology, entertainment – for nearly 20 years. I helped shepherd organizations through start-up, turned around troubled companies, and infused new vision into established, mature businesses. My career path seemed to zigzag at the time, but I now see it was perfect preparation for me to coach leaders today in a broad variety of companies and circumstances.
Along the way, I earned an MBA from the Smith School of Business, University of Maryland. And as preparation to be a coach, I completed postgraduate studies in Leadership Coaching at Georgetown University in Washington. That program impacted me personally in many ways. Perhaps most importantly, it taught me how to get out of my story and into the story of the leader I am coaching – my bright ideas count for less than helping them have great insights on their own. I have also earned the Master Certified Coach (MCC) designation from the International Coaching Federation. Less than 5% of all professional coaches worldwide hold this designation. The primary significance of this for my leaders is that a) I have done a ton of coaching, and b) I have been judged by my peers as meeting the highest standards of the coaching profession.
Finally, I believe that none of the above matters if I am not taking care of business at home. To that end, I have been married to Marta for nearly 30 years. She is the best thing that ever happened to me. The next two best things have been Ellie, my daughter, who is in her fourth year at the University of Virginia, and my son, Will, who is a sophomore at Wheaton College. The two of them are transitioning from being just our kids to some of our best friends.
To learn more about me or my practice, visit the connect page.