Leading in Turbulent Times
When Nelson Mandela took office as the first black President of racially divided South Africa in 1994, he 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?"
At one of the most critical inflection points in history, President Nelson Mandela showed us that real change in any organization begins with a reflective leader willing to change himself.
Change is the essence is what executive coaching is all about.
Leaders willing to begin with themselves, and who have purpose, conviction, and a vision that reaches beyond what is known and safe are like the rudder on an 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
A WORD ABOUT EXECUTIVE COACHING
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...
SHADOW OF THE LEADER
I’m always struck with a simple phrase by Warren Bennis, "Leaders don’t just get the message across; they are the message.” Add to it an observation from Ralph Waldo Emerson, “An institution is the lengthened shadow of one man/woman.” It is, in essence, 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 as to what is really important by what leaders do and pay attention to.
A CAUTIONARY TALE — THE DOWNSIDE
Earlier this year the second shoe fell for the CEO of a prominent U.S. bank. Under his watch, a fake-accounts scandal broke in September 2016, and the company insisted that the long-time 31-year executive and insider CEO could fix the broken corporate culture.
That argument was proven dramatically wrong recently after a lengthy period of employee firings, management purges, new misdeeds, bad headlines, regulatory crackdowns, and $185 million in fines for "the widespread illegal practice of secretly opening unauthorized deposit and credit card accounts." After an immense amount from internal and external pressure, the CEO announced his "early retirement."
During the scandal as the bank's prospects dropped like a rock, the bank and the CEO parted ways, and the Board awarded the CEO $17.6 million in "incentive pay;" (which was an estimated 291 times the median of the annual compensation of all the bank’s workers). Afterwards, Fed chairman Jerome H. Powell said, “What happened at the bank was a remarkably widespread series of breakdowns in leadership.”
When the CEO officially retired, he waled away with around $130 million. This is not the proverbial golden parachute, but a fortune made up of stocks, cash payouts and other compensation that the CEO amassed during three decades at the bank.
The issue in this case is, what kind of shadow does this kind of treatment for a failed executive have on the attitudes and morale of the rank and file? The answer is pretty transparent! One has to wonder what the average severance was for all the employees and managers who followed orders to 'hard sell' the banks products by upper management, and who were fired during the purges?
Consider that the Shadow of the Leader means, simply, People don't expect perfection, but they do expect their leaders to walk the talk.
HOW DOES THE SHADOW OF THE LEADER WORK?
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:
Personalized leadership assessment
Customized executive coaching plan
One-on-one, confidential coaching sessions
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.