How to keep our leadership skills sharp

I never cease to be amazed at the power of the coaching process to draw out the skills or talent that was previously hidden within an individual, and which invariably finds a way to solve a problem previously thought unsolvable.” – John Russell, Managing Director, Harley Davidson, Europe Ltd.

In-between the bittersweet goodbyes as I completed my latest consultancy as Interim Executive Director for the Santa Barbara Symphony, I’ve been reflecting about my journey during this first year of launching my business.

In simple and profound terms, this has been the best year ever!

Mr. Russell’s quote above beautifully summarizes my experience both as a leadership coach myself and as someone who has been working with a leadership coach.

In my own coaching practice, I have seen first-hand how my clients find their “Dream Jobs,” create new-found momentum and clarity on who the are and thus what they are working towards, and become fearless in their determination to have the impact they are meant to have.

My coach provided key support as I took the “leap” into entrepreneurship, and continues to both challenge and inspire me, and provide tangible tools as well as moments of shift that may come days after our conversations.

I’ve been thinking about why I hadn’t considered working with a leadership coach prior to this year, perhaps for some of the same reasons so many successful leaders I meet, especially in the arts industry, may be resistant to coaching:

  • I’m doing well, I am successful. I don’t need coaching.
  • I don’t have the time.
  • I don’t want my Board/Staff to think that I don’t know what I’m doing.
  • I don’t want to be asked “how do you feel?” all the time!
  • I don’t have the money.
  • I need someone that knows the specific job/business demands I have, not just a “therapist”
  • I’m doing fine – I need to focus on helping others who need things more than I do.
  • I don’t know what to expect.
  • I don’t know how to find one that is the right match for me.

What’s interesting though, is that in other industries, or even for other people like us, we tend to understand the value of coaching much more easily. I’m sure we all know athletes, corporate executives, or parents who’ve hired coaches (tutors), and had great success.

As John Russell eloquently states, we all have talents that need to be revealed in order to make this world a better place. We all have moments when we feel that what we “want” is not possible or practical, and we all have areas of resistance that left unchallenged, continue to show up – job after job, relationship after relationship, and can be the barrier to helping others and to achieving our mission and purpose.  

Hiring a coach doesn’t mean we are weak. It means we are committed to growth, development and learning. It means we are strategically and intentionally choosing to take the embodied actions (thoughts, feelings, behaviors, actions) that will help us reach our “goals of impact.”

For the past 11 months, investing in myself by hiring a coach is the best decision I made and continue to make.

So if you’re in a leadership role, I challenge you to look at any areas of your work or personal life that you may be avoiding, or being drawn to. Are you positioning yourself in ways that will achieve the impact you are seeking (for your business, organization, career, family)? It’s my mission to inspire and guide leaders like you to make the difference in the world that you were meant to make.

If you’d like to have a conversation with me about what coaching might look like for you, schedule a complimentary clarity call with me and let’s roll up our sleeves together!

To your success,


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