My Journey to Executive Coaching and Consulting
I have been coaching most of my adult life. Anything from football, basketball, fine arts performance, career, marriage and family, and executive coaching.
I am a coach and consultant that worked my way up the healthcare ladder to eventually become a CEO of a Behavioral Healthcare organization offering clinical and educational services for kids and adults in all settings including inpatient, residential and outpatient. We were also granted a Charter School contract and operated a Charter School for 12 years.
I have always enjoyed being a part of helping others reach for their potential by assisting to clear away the brush and make the pathway clear. One of the things I find that is critical for everyone from kids to the highest-level executive is Effective communication. By that I mean not only what we say, but more importantly what message is received.
I remember one year when I was coaching a group of 8-year old’s in football. We won every game leading up to the final one of the season. Before the game I gave my best speech, passionately communicating that a chance at an undefeated season is rare at any level, and if we accomplished that today, together, we would remember it for the rest of our lives. I can still remember becoming more and more fired up and excited as I delivered my best pre-game talk.
When I finished, one of the kids raised his hand and I called on him thinking for sure he would continue to hype up his team. At that moment, he asked, “Coach, who’s bringing snacks today.” We lost the game, but it gave me an illustration I have used more times than I can count.
Can you share stories of Clients you’ve helped?
I had someone who was actually quite successful in their executive role with regards to corporate goals, but they were experiencing a significant amount of cognitive dissonance due to the marriage relationship and it was spilling over into the work environment.
Interestingly, most who might be going through something similar are reluctant to admit it and that can lead to their downfall. As a result of our work, the individual was able to save his marriage and his company.
This next story is quite common. The executive was quite knowledgeable in his particular field. He knew what needed to be done and had the proverbial 30,000-foot view, but was not able to get his executive team on board.
He had tried the strong-armed approach, but only got lip service instead of real buy-in. I was able to work on his understanding of the importance of uncovering and testing assumptions as a team, which led to the implementation of an effective think tank. Ultimately, they succeeded as a team.
Interestingly, the route they took was slightly different from the one he had in mind, but since the team was solid and enthusiastic, they were able to figure out what was important and how to go about accomplishing it. Their relationships were cemented as a result.
Any Professional and Personal goal that you have achieved and made a big impact on your life?
Quite a few. Out of grad school, I developed an interest in motivation and success. I started reading Napoleon Hill, Dale Carnegie, etc. One of the professional goals I set was to become the CEO of a company that I didn't start or own, because (of course), anybody can appoint themselves as CEO of a company they start. I wanted to earn it and be appointed. I wrote that goal down in 1989, and on February 16, 1996, I achieved that goal. I also achieved other goals, such as a Master's and Doctoral degrees.
My most important personal goal that I set as a teenager was that once I got married that I would stay married and that my marriage would produce energy, not drain energy.
A big part of that goal was that I would be a faithful husband, not because I thought it was right, but because I was passionate about my wife. It pleases me to say that I have been married for 37 years and my marriage is filled with passion. In fact, I am in the midst of writing a book about developing and growing passion. I find that this principle is nearly important for the executive.
A value bestowed upon me from my upbringing was security. We knew we were secure. We were also poor from a financial standpoint, but we didn’t know that as kids. My parents always taught us that we were rich in the areas that really mattered.
Now, that was true, but part of that was that my family never risked anything from a monetary perspective. You paid your bills and tried to save enough for a one week vacation at the beach that was a 90-minute drive from home. Of Course, we loved it. The problem for me, from a career perspective, is that would not get me where I wanted to go. With that value, I would have graduated high school and secured a steady job, and then stayed with that company as my dad did for 43 years.
My siblings, cousins, etc. pretty much followed that model. I didn't want that though, so I had to realize that I have to incorporate a risk-taking value, which wasn't easy.Not every risk has worked out, but I was able to get an education, start and sell 3 corporations, and become a CEO. Oh, by the way, I had a colossal business failure, losing nearly 1 million dollars. Okay, nothing is perfect.
The point is that I was able to create value and internalize it. This is what we have to do as companies.