John A. Brady, Ph.D.

Leading in Turbulent Times

Change is the essence of what executive coaching is all about as personified by Nelson Mandela when he became the first black President of racially divided South Africa in 1994.

Facing seemingly insurmountable challenges, Mr. Mandela acknowledged the tectonic political and cultural challenges facing him saying:

"The most difficult thing is not to change society — but to change yourself.

If leaders cannot change when circumstances demand it, how can they expect others to change?"

President Mandela, at one of the most critical inflection points history, showed us that real change in any organization begins with leaders willing to change and improve themselves.

Leaders who have purpose, conviction, and a vision that reaches beyond what is known and safe, and who are willing to begin change with themselves, are like the rudder of a massive aircraft carrier — Their direction turns the entire ship.

Invest in yourself!

Allow me to assist you to start the change today.

John Brady, Ph.D.

Master Executive Coach


Coaching is an invaluable tool that achieves measurable results in leadership and organization productivity and effectiveness. In my practice, CEOs and senior executives coached report all around improvement in work performance, personal relationships, communication skills, and increased self-confidence.

Coaching benefits are wide-ranging and have a long-term positive impact on an individual’s home life, career, and their organizations. Based on feedback from my executive clients there is a significant Return on Coaching Investment (ROCI) resulting in greater collaboration, cooperation, and a unified purpose that drives exceptional results by eliminating intramural squabbles, turf battles, and 'empire building.'

In a phrase, coaching improves a leader's positive influence, and we call that positive influence The Shadow of the Leader...


I’m always struck with a simple observation from Ralph Waldo Emerson, “An institution is the lengthened shadow of one man/woman.” Warren Bennis said, "Leaders don’t just get the message across; they are the message.”  Summed up, we call it the Shadow of the Leader.

Consider YUM Brands CE0 David Novak's advice, "Every leader casts a shadow, so be aware of the fact that people will do what you do." It is no secret that people in organizations always take their cues by watching their leader's behavior.


The downside of the Shadow of the leader can be seen in the CEO of a prominent U.S. bank in the not too distant past. Under his watch, a fake-accounts scandal broke in September 2016, and the company insisted that its 31-year veteran and insider CEO could fix the broken corporate culture.

That argument was proven dramatically wrong after a lengthy period of employee firings and management purges. The leadership philosophy seemed to be, "The floggings will continue until morale improves." Continuing revelations of bank misdeeds, bad management, embarrassing testimony at Congressional hearings, and regulatory crackdowns resulted in $185 million in fines for "the widespread illegal practice of secretly opening unauthorized deposit and credit card accounts."

During the scandal the bank's prospects dropped like a rock, and the CEO announced that he was 'retiring early.' When he left, the Board rewarded him with $17.6 million in "incentive pay." Ultimately, he walked away with a total of around $130 million. One has to wonder what the average severance was for all the employees and managers who were purged for following orders to 'hard sell' the banks products by upper management?

The top bank expert in the U.S., Fed chairman Jerome H. Powell, said, “What happened at the bank was a remarkably widespread series of breakdowns in leadership.”

The issue in this case is, what kind of leadership shadow does a leader like this banker have on the attitudes and morale of the rank and file? If such a double standard exists in treatment, how are the survivors of the scandal expected to 'trust the system?' The answer is pretty transparent — They won't!


Dr. Albert Schweitzer summed it all up this way, "Example is leadership." Leaders can't decide if they cast a shadow, they can only choose to cast a positive or negative shadow. If you have ever had a really great boss or really horrible one, you know what I mean.

An example: During my career in the U.S. Marines when we were in the field, officers ate last. If you ran out of food, the officers went hungry because it's their job to see to it that there’s enough food. That's true leadership and it sets a great, very visible example and leadership shadow.

Our leadership shadow follows us and sets the tone for how an organization behaves collectively, i.e. ethical leadership behavior = ethical organization behavior, and vice versa. It is not enough for a senior leaders to 'pay lip-service' to positive values, they have to 'walk the talk.' In order to change the way things are (the culture) of an organization senior leaders should check their leadership shadow by asking:

How do others “see” my shadow?

Is my perception of my shadow the same or different from other people's perception of me?

What are my strengths/challenges?

How far does my shadow reach?

Who does it touch – directly and indirectly?

How does it show up in my organization both positively/negatively?

Am I willing to change my shadow to be a better leader?

What is my shadow at home?

Executive Coaching is About Casting a Positive Shadow

Leadership is a perishable skill, and we know that when it comes to leadership effectiveness staying ahead takes a lot less effort than catching up. We provide proven coaching solutions to help you keep your leadership edge and achieve even better results. Check out some executives who 'found a new gear' when they were coached by Dr. John Brady!

How Does Executive Coaching Work?

The Brady coaching approach is based on the unique needs of each leader. We use a "challenge by choice" method that allows the individual to select the areas they feel they want to strengthen. Each coaching relationship is personalized and tailored to the schedule and needs of the client.

› Leadership Practices Development

Our flagship coaching program for executives and senior managers begins with a short retreat that includes:

    1. Personalized leadership assessment
    2. Customized executive coaching plan
    3. One-on-one, confidential coaching sessions
    4. 6 and 12 month leadership modules

An initial 1½-2 day program enables leaders to explore and understand the application of coaching to their needs and to model its use by engaging in supportive coaching conversations with their peers, associates, and organization.

The 6 or 12 month coaching programs provide monthly face-to-face contact with a coach, and networking with other executives in the coaching program.

› Corporate Coaching University - Creating a Coaching Rich Culture

We use our experience to develop a in-house coaches who support organizational and culture change:

  • Coaching Fundamentals
  • Coach Selection and Matching
  • Developing Master Coaches
  • Developing Leader Coaches
  • Developing Team Coaches

A 7-day program to develop people as part-time 1:1 coaches within their organization.