You Can Change The World – Without Changing Who You Are

When you think about people who have changed the world, who comes to mind?

Maybe you think of people like Henry Ford, who transformed the automobile into an innovation that has moved the world. Or Orville and Wilbur Wright, who made the world accessible to all.

It makes sense that these individuals are thought of as world-changers. They’ve invented or improved upon everyday things that have had a lasting impact on us all.

Now, think about who has changed YOUR world?

If you were to make a list, it might include a parent, a teacher, a boss, or maybe even a religious leader. These types of people hold places in our lives that position them for great opportunities to influence.

But what about you? Would anyone name you as someone who has influenced his or her life?

If not, why not?

5 Reasons You May Think You Can’t Change The World

“I’ve got nothing to offer.”

The truth is, there are many good things – and maybe a few not so good things – that make up who you are. So you’ve got something – and you can use your life experiences to help someone else.

“I’m not really that interesting.”

The good news is that influencing others is not about you. It’s about them. You influence others by focusing on their story – not yours.

“I’m not super successful.”

Your level of success has nothing to do with your ability to listen. Many people are seeking influencers who they can simply talk to, and who will share a different perspective.

“I’ve got some skeletons in my closet.”

Failure makes you human. There’s someone out there who can relate to – and learn from – your failures. So can you.

“Nobody has ever asked me to be a mentor or influencer in their life.”

Then your first opportunity is ready for you! Don’t wait for someone to ask you to speak into his or her life. Most likely, the people who have influenced you the most weren’t invited to do so.

So how can you actually change the world?

One person at a time.

[Tweet “You don’t have to invent something with lasting impact or create a movement to change the world.”]

Somebody in your life needs your influence. Somebody is ready to benefit from your knowledge, skills and expertise.

Steve Jobs said: “…the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.”

I believe that you can change the world.

Just do.

Jennifer McClure – You Can Change The World – #DisruptHR from Jennifer McClure on Vimeo.

Unbridled Talent LLC is a consulting and advisory firm providing services to clients in the areas of talent strategy and leadership development. Jennifer McClure offers keynotes, workshops and training that inspire and teach business leaders to be more effective in their careers and as leaders of their organization’s most valuable resource – people. Contact us to schedule an event or to discuss our strategic consulting and advisory services.

4 Traits of Teachable Leaders – And How You Can Demonstrate Them

The role of a Leader can be a tough gig – one that’s made even harder by some who feel that they’ve reached a point in their career where they no longer need to submit themselves to learning and leadership development opportunities.

As Leaders, it’s easy to think that we got to where we are because we’re the most capable – and as a result should be teaching those on our teams how it’s done based upon our experience having done it all before. But every living thing needs to be fed in order to survive and thrive – and as a Leader, you do too!

So how can we be more teachable as Leaders in an effort to learn and foster growth? It’s starts by putting ourselves in the frame of mind that we can (and must) learn more.  Best-selling author and leadership expert John Maxwell calls this a “teachable attitude”:

Teachability is not so much about competence and mental capacity as it is about attitude. It is the desire to listen, learn, and apply. It is the hunger to discover and grow. It is the willingness to learn, unlearn, and relearn. I love the way legendary basketball coach John Wooden states it: “It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.”

When I teach and mentor leaders, I remind them that if they stop learning, they stop leading. But if they remain teachable and keep learning, they will be able to keep making an impact as leaders. Whatever your talent happens to be – whether it’s leadership, craftsmanship, entrepreneurship, or something else – you will expand it if you keep expecting and striving to learn.

Assuming that you’ve got the orientation of a Teachable Leader, here are four traits to focus on:

Trait #1: Teachable Leaders are consistent and continuous Seekers. 

To avoid stagnation as a Leader, seek out opportunities to listen, learn and apply knowledge not only from like-minded, similarly situated colleagues, but also from those who can offer different perspectives and even contrary points of view. Read books, blogs and news from authors and websites that are both similar and opposite to your way of thinking. Effective Leaders need to be able to think through and justify their own decision-making to many different stakeholders, so actively seeking out alternative perspectives in advance is a great way to solidify – and improve – your ideas and plans.

Trait #2: Teachable Leaders are willing to be Receivers.

As someone who has worked with and coached many senior level executives, I can confirm that it’s rare for Leaders to get honest and direct feedback from those on their teams and in their organizations – positive, negative or constructive. Why? There’s still also an unwritten rule within much of the business world – “The Boss is always right”, but an even bigger reason is that it’s actually rare for a Leader to ask – and be willing to receive feedback other than agreement with their approach or idea. If the people on your teams aren’t willing to or used to providing you with feedback, teach them how. And most importantly, act upon the feedback that you’re given. Show your team that you have a hunger and desire to grow and improve as a Leader, and that they’re an important part of that journey!

Trait #3: Teachable Leaders understand the importance of being good Followers.

We often assign mentors to young professionals at work, to help them gain insights and encouragement from someone that they can model and learn from. Regardless of your longevity in your career or within your organization, as a Leader you need mentors and role-models too. Do you have someone in your network that you can go to for advice and counsel? Maybe that’s another CEO, a colleague from a professional networking group or an outside coach, but make sure that you have someone whom you admire and respect to offer you a safe place to work through problems and opportunities – and be willing to submit to their leadership. We get better by learning from others who have been there/done that – and got the t-shirt.

Trait #4: Teachable Leaders grow stronger when the are Producers. 

A great way to grow in character and competence as a Leader is to build into other Leaders. Are you mentoring others? Are you actively sharing what you’re learning as a Seeker, Receiver and Follower? Don’t keep all of the goodness to yourself. Invest in others to multiply the results of your continuous improvement efforts!

Question: What did I miss? What are some additional traits that you feel Teachable Leaders have? You can leave a comment by clicking here.


Unbridled Talent LLC is a consulting and advisory firm providing services to clients in the areas of leadership development, executive communication skills and talent strategy. Jennifer McClure offers keynotes, workshops and training that inspire and teach business leaders to be more effective in their careers and as leaders of their organization’s most valuable resource – people. Contact us to schedule an event or to discuss our strategic consulting and advisory services.

Effective Presentation & Communications Skills for Business Leaders [slideshare]

Today, I’m sharing the slide deck from two recently completed workshops delivered for groups of senior executives who work for one of my corporate clients – Effective Presentation & Communications Skills for Business Leaders.

Why is there a need for this type of program?

Effective communication and presentation skills are must-haves for Top Business Leaders and Executives in order to establish executive presence, build influence, gain buy-in and help their businesses to grow.

The good news is that these skills can be learned!

I always enjoy working with Leaders who want to develop and improve – and I hope you find some helpful tips to facilitate your own growth and development as a Leader in your organization.

What communication/presentation tips and tricks can you recommend? Share them as a Comment!


Unbridled Talent LLC is a consulting and advisory firm providing services to clients in the areas of people strategies, leadership development and career growth. Jennifer McClure offers keynotes, workshops and training that inspire and teach business leaders to be more effective in their careers and as leaders of their organization’s most valuable resource – people. Contact us to schedule an event or to discuss our strategic consulting and advisory services.

11 Human Resources, Recruiting & Leadership Practitioner Speaker Recommendations

I attend and speak at dozens of conferences each year – many focused on audiences of practitioners in the Human Resources, Recruiting and Leadership Development professions.

One common theme at all of these events? A paltry number of actual practitioners (i.e. professionals who work in their field at a company that they don’t own and/or isn’t a consulting firm and/or isn’t a law firm) on the agenda as Speakers.

I’m sure there are plenty of reasons for this, but my guess is that one of the biggest reasons is – practitioners are not “professional Speakers” who have the time or inclination to run the gauntlet required by many events in order to be considered for a coveted spot on the roster – let alone a keynote slot.

So what are you to do as an event organizer? Go get them. They’re out there. Many with tons of speaking experience and great information to share. Your conference or event will be better because you didn’t just seek out an author of some unknown book or a consultant or lawyer who will also agree to be a sponsor of your event. Trust me.

I’ve done the hard work for you. From the hundreds of Speakers I’ve seen and can personally recommend, I’m sharing my Top 11 below.

Steve Browne, SPHR – Executive Director of Human Resources, LaRosa’s, Inc.

Who’s That Guy? Steve is a fiercely passionate, intentional HR practitioner who wants to bring the entire HR community together. (Literally.)

Location: Ohio

Keynote/Session Topics:

  1. Culture, Integrating HR Throughout an Organization
  2. Using Conflict to Your Advantage
  3. Networking/Connecting with Others
  4. Innovation in HR that Sticks

Why Steve? I’ve seen Steve speak dozens of times and never miss a chance to do so. He’s often an event’s highest rated Speaker and gets invited back to speak at events year after year. He’s truly passionate about HR and is the profession’s biggest cheerleader. He’s an HR executive who tells is like it is – in a practical, fun and humorous way.

Blog: Everyday People
LinkedIn: Steve Browne, SPHR
Twitter: @sbrownehr

Broc Edwards – SVP, Director of Learning & Leadership for a fantastic community bank

Who’s That Guy? Broc is a speaker, writer, facilitator (and mountain biker) who is passionate about increasing the performance of business and humans. He seeks to play bigger, do better, and move the world.

Location: Texas

Keynote Session Topics:

  1. HR As A Competitive Advantage
  2. Next Level HR: It’s all about the User Experience
  3. Business Gets Done For, Through and By People. Period.

Why Broc? Broc is a practitioner whose sweet spot is the intersection of business and people. People are an organization’s only sustainable competitive advantage – and your audience needs to learn how to get the most out of them. Your audience also loves books by Speakers – and he’s written one – What Thinks You? A Fool’s Eye View of Human Resources.

Blog: fool (with a plan)
LinkedIn: Broc Edwards
Twitter: @brocedwards

Mary Faulkner – Director of Talent Management, ClearChoice Dental Implant Center

Who’s That Girl? Mary is a leadership & talent professional who works within organizations to help build better companies. She specializes in people and organizational development and spends her spare time thinking about self-awareness/accountability, neuroleadership, engagement, decision-making and other brainy type stuff. She’s also a random fact sponge and has a weakness for peanut butter.

Location: Colorado

Keynote/Session Topics:

  1. The Disengagement Decision: How employees get there & how leaders can help them make the right decision
  2. Surviving a Matrixed Organization – A 12 Step Program
  3. The Leader’s Legacy: Understanding & controlling your impact on your company’s culture
  4. Connecting The Dots: Why HR should play the role of “connector” in an organization & how to do it
  5. Put The “Critical” Back Into Your Thinking: How HR can help business make better decisions

Why Mary? I’ve worked with Mary in the past and have also seen her present many times. She’s excellent – both in knowledge of Leadership and Talent Management, as well as the process of building an effective and engaging presentation. She will nail a seminar, training session or keynote at your event. I promise.

Blog:  Surviving Leadership: Your Survival Guide OF and FROM Leadership
LinkedIn: Mary Faulkner
Twitter: @mfaulkner43

Amybeth Hale – Platform Services Recruiter, Concur Technologies

Who’s That Girl? Amybeth has been working as a recruitment sourcing professional for over a decade and enjoys finding interesting and talented people for great opportunities. She’s got experience working with both third party recruiting firms and corporate recruiting teams at premier companies such as Microsoft, AT&T and Waggener Edstrom Worldwide. Amybeth is also the former Editor of, an internationally recognized recruitment sourcing publication.

Keynote/Session Topics:

Amybeth can share key insights and deep experience in all aspects of candidate sourcing, prospect contact information gathering, initial prospect outreach, Internet mining, Boolean search query creation, appropriate use of social media for sourcing/prospecting.

Why Amybeth? Sometimes your conference or event needs a meaty presentation on the how-tos. For that, you need an industry expert who’s been there, done that – and continues to find new ways of doing it. I’m a long-time Fan of Amybeth and I’ve seen her present at several conferences. She knows her stuff and cares deeply about advancing the sourcing profession and building a good partnership between sourcers and recruiters. Amybeth is truly top shelf.

Blog: Check out her posts on SourceCon and +
LinkedIn: Amybeth Hale
Twitter: @researchgoddess

John Hudson, SPHR – HR Business Partner, Discovery Communications/Harpo Studios, Inc.

Who’s That Guy? John is the lucky HR Business Partner that gets to work with both Discovery Communications and Harpo Studios (and yes, he’s met Oprah many times – but he can’t tell you about it or he’ll have to kill you). He’s an HR generalist who has supported business leaders in a variety of functions including insurance, finance, legal, IT, sales and production.

Location: Illinois

Keynote/Session Topics:

  1. Getting Your Foot in the Door Without Putting Your Foot in Your Mouth – everything from building a digital footprint to making connections and then sealing an interview
  2. Building Credibility and Relationships To Increase HR’s Influence

Why John? John was a featured Speaker at the 2013 SHRM Student and Faculty Conference earlier this year and was also the emcee at last month’s 2013 Illinois SHRM Conference. He brings a fresh perspective and new ideas to the work of #TrenchHR, and he’s passionate about mentoring other HR professionals and business leaders.

Blog: Official Blogger for SHRM’s We Know Next blog
LinkedIn: John Hudson, SPHR
Twitter: @johnphudson

Jay Kuhns, SPHR – Vice President of Human Resources, All Children’s Hospital – A Member of Johns Hopkins Medicine

Who’s That Guy? Jay gets fired up about leadership, blogging, speaking, doing HR differently, healthcare, social media, coffee and hockey.

Location: Florida

Keynote/Session Topics:

  1. Taking HR Social and Not Apologizing For It
  2. HR Transformation Is A Risky Brutally Long Process That Will Change Your Life

Why Jay? Jay is changing the way HR does business by doing more than just talking about it. He’s the real deal in terms of an executive HR practitioner that your HR and business leaders want to hear from. The 2014 Louisiana SHRM Conference has already booked him as a keynote for their event next year – because, or course, they only bring in the best HR Conference keynote speakers.

Blog:  NoExcusesHR
LinkedIn: Jay Kuhns, SPHR
Twitter: @jrkuhns

Trish McFarlane – Director of Human Resources, Perficient

Who’s That Girl? Trish is a career HR business leader, having held leadership roles at Big 4, public relations, healthcare and technology consulting companies. She’s currently the head of HR for Perficient, Inc., as well as the co-founder of HRevolution – a learning and networking event for HR, marketing and social media professionals and a co-founder of the Women of HR blog community. Another “co” to add to her credentials? She co-hosts the HR Happy Hour radio show, which focuses on talent management, recruiting, HR technology, leadership, careers and more.

Location: Missouri

Keynote/Session Topics:

  1. HR Thinking Creatively: How to start a business from scratch
  2. Thinking Outside the (In)Box – Trends in HR Technology
  3. How Social Tools Empower the Organization
  4. Employer Branding and Employee Engagement

Why Trish? Trish regularly presents to audiences of senior level HR and business professionals and has been sharing her experiences as an HR Leader on her blog – HR Ringleader – for several years. She’s passionate about HR practitioners becoming educated in HR technology so they can recommend better business solutions to leadership and she is one of the few who is pushing the boundaries and seeking to expand the scope of HR within business.

Blog: HR Ringleader
LinkedIn: Trish McFarlane
Twitter: @TrishMcFarlane

Neil Morrison – Group HR Director UK and International companies, Penguin Random House

Who’s That Guy? A 17-year veteran in HR, Neil is a blogger, tweeter, agent provocateur aka loudmouth, merger of companies, changer of cultures, challenger of norms.

Location: United Kingdom

Keynote/Session Topics:

  1. Cultural Mind Shift in an Age of Discontinuity: How to transition organizations when everything has to change, but everything has to stay the same
  2. HR: The Driver of Organisational Performance: How a systemic approach can drive success

Why Neil? Your conference or event needs someone on the agenda who can talk about HR from a global perspective and also someone who can talk about HR in a way that provokes thought, change and action. (Here’s your guy.) Neil was recently named UK HR Director of the Year 2013 and he’s passionate about company culture, change, leadership, organizational development and organizational strategy. He also likes wine and cheese, so add that to his Speaker gift basket.

Blog: Change-Effect
LinkedIn: Neil Morrison
Twitter: @NeilMorrison

Lisa Rosendahl, SPHR – Human Resources Director, a federal healthcare organization

Who’s That Girl? Lisa is an astute business leader with more than 18 years of experience in human resources. She has led and provided expertise to strategic HR operations in both public and private organizations and currently works in a prominent federal healthcare organization. Lisa is also a co-founder of the Women of HR blog community.

Location: Minnesota

Keynote/Session Topics:

  1. Now Is The Time: Grow Up and Lead
  2. Breaking Down The Walls Between Human Resources and Our Customers

Why Lisa? Lisa is passionate about leading teams, developing others and building the relationships necessary to consult, advise and impact decisions as a business leader and an HR professional. She’s an engaging presenter who brings a relatable and seasoned perspective and who also motivates audiences with stories of how bringing the best of who you are to any situation can make all the difference in the world.

Blog: Lisa Rosendahl – Story. Flow. Tribe.
LinkedIn: Lisa Rosendahl, SPHR
Twitter: @lisarosendahl

Lars Schmidt – Senior Director Talent Acquisition & Innovation, NPR

Who’s That Guy? Lars is a change catalyst who believes strongly in blending best practices, technology, and relationships to develop and drive talent initiatives with limited resources; leveraging innovative recruiting techniques and building proactive and sustainable global talent programs. He’s got global talent acquisition and HR experience that spans a variety of industries including technology, web, media, non-profit, eCommerce and consulting sectors.

Location: Washington, DC

Keynote/Session Topics:

  1. Recruiting Lessons From The Trenches: How To Develop Social Recruiting Strategies That Work
  2. Recruiting To Win: Confessions Of An HR MacGyver

Why Lars? Lars has a wealth of experience in talent acquisition and HR and I’ve heard him speak many times. His presentations are a mix of how-to, practical tips and innovation. Your audience will appreciate hearing from someone who’s actually re-imagined a recruiting function and tried things that worked/didn’t work. Learn more about some of the work of Lars and his team in this article from The Washington Post.

Blog: Amplify Talent
LinkedIn: Lars Schmidt
Twitter: @ThisIsLars

Will Staney – Director of Recruiting & Strategic Programs, SuccessFactors

Who’s That Guy? Will’s career is a culmination of combining over a decade of sales experience with his passion, education, and track record of success with corporate recruiting using new media marketing tactics. He’s the guy who’s keeping up with (and implementing) emerging social, recruiting and HR technologies to ensure that SuccessFactors is on the cutting edge.

Location: Texas

Keynote/Session Topics:

Topics: Employer Branding, Talent Acquisition Social Media Strategy, Recruiting Analytics, Social Sourcing Tactics, Career Site Strategy/Design, Recruitment Marketing/Advertising Strategy (multi-channel/online campaigns), early talent programs (college/new grad recruiting)…to name a few

Why Will? Will has solid experience and success recruiting highly sought after talent in some of the most competitive industries in the world. He’s an award winner (Workforce Management’s 2013 Game Change award and Glassdoor’s Top 10 Social Recruiters) and he’s always one of the first to try new technologies. You may have seen him – he’s the guy wearing the Google Glasses.

Blog: Find Will on the SuccessFactors blog + RecruitMedia – Social Recruitment Guide
LinkedIn: Will Staney
Twitter: @willstaney


So there you have it. Choose one or several from the list. Make the Speaker approval process easy for them. PAY THEM. The work that they will put into making a great presentation at your event isn’t included in their day job and their time is valuable. Please demonstrate that you agree.

Oh, and I’d love to join anyone on this list on the Speaker roster at your event. 🙂

Got another great practitioner to recommend as a Speaker at human resources, recruiting and leadership development events? Leave a Comment and tell me about them!


Unbridled Talent LLC is a consulting and advisory firm providing services to clients in the areas of people strategies, leadership development and career growth. Jennifer McClure offers keynotes, workshops and training that inspire and teach business leaders to be more effective in their careers and as leaders of their organization’s most valuable resource – people. Contact Us to schedule an event or to discuss our strategic consulting and advisory services.

What Do CEO’s Expect From Strategic HR Leaders?

Recently, Human Resource Executive Online (a great publication worth reading) republished a interesting checklist from Bloomberg Businessweek listing “What CEO’s Expect from CHRO’s”.

I’m kinda in love with this list, so if you’re HR, (even without the lofty title of CHRO), check it out. Ensuring that you’re focusing your time, energy and efforts on these activities is a great way to position yourself within your organization as an HR/Business Leader.

What CEO’s Expect From CHRO’s

  • Collaborating to design and communicate a Vision for the company.
  • Building a pipeline of qualified, energized people to fuel the company?s growth.
  • Selling the company to the “talent population”, in person, via traditional media and online.
  • Reinforcing a culture that emphasizes ingenuity over irrelevant, one-size-fits-all metrics.
  • Teaching all employees, starting with the CEO, to tell the truth at work.
  • Shifting the HR function away from a break/fix model to an embedded function in every business segment.
  • Installing just enough HR process to meet the company’s regulatory compliance needs but not so much that people are stymied or infantilized.
  • Building a culture of collaboration that fuels every important program at the company.
  • Asking team members every day for input on business activities, their own careers, and life in general — not via a sterile, once-a-year employee engagement survey.

Source: Bloomberg Businessweek
September 19, 2012

What would you add to this list?

Want to learn more about making the leap from HR Leader to Business Leader? I’ll be reprising my 2012 SHRM Annual Conference & Exposition mega session at the upcoming 2012 Nonprofit HR Conference on October 8th in DC and at the 2013 SHRM-Atlanta HR Conference April 29 – 30, 2013. Check out more upcoming events on my Speaking & Conference Schedule HERE!

The Conference Board’s 2011 Future Leaders Conference (Discount Code)

If you’ve taken a look at my Speaking & Conference schedule for the next few months, you’ll see that I’ll be attending and/or speaking at several really great events. I’m excited about them all for a variety of reasons and each will provide its share of takeaways, new relationships and opportunities!

One upcoming event I’d like to highlight for you (and offer you a discount code) is the 2011 Future Leaders Conference in Chicago, Illinois September 14 – 15, 2011. The theme for the conference is – “Rethinking How We Attract, Identify, & Develop High Potential & Next Generation Leadership Talent” and this conference is put on by the good folks at The Conference Board.

At this conference, attendees will:

  • Explore best-in-class approaches to attract, identify, assess, and develop emerging leaders
  • Discuss leadership development strategies, methodologies, and tools used to meet the needs of high potential talent
  • Learn about unique challenges of next generation leadership development in emerging markets
  • Network with innovative leaders and discover new ideas to drive leadership development

Over the last couple of years, I’ve attended several Conference Board events and I can say with no hesitation that they are some of the highest quality, most well-run events around. Each of their conferences include great speakers (the majority of whom are practitioners) from leading companies sharing best practices and their experiences. The Future Leaders Conference will be no exception. Check out the lineup of some of the scheduled speakers:

Padma Thiruvengadam, former Vice President, Asia Pacific/Canada Operations – Oncology, Pfizer Inc.
Kirsten Aranda, Director – Talent Management, Boeing
Marc Wenzel, Vice President of Sales and Partnerships,ThinkWise Inc.
Melanie Tinto, Senior Director, Global Talent Management, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
Maureen A Gillan-Myer, SVP Human Resources – Regional Head of Resourcing & Talent, HSBC North America
Bonnie Fetch, Director, People and Organizational Development, Human Services Division, Caterpillar Inc.
Tim Toterhi, Senior Director, Global Learning & Development, Quintiles
Brian Fishel, SVP Enterprise Leadership Development, Bank of America
Gary Ranker, Ph.D., The Global Senior Executive Coach
Donny Huang, Managing Partner, 4stones Cross Cultural Consulting Group
Susan B. Greer, Director, Leadership, Education and Delivery Services, IRS Human Capital Office
Sandy Mobley, Owner, The Learning Advantage
Carolon Donnally, Management and Program Analyst, Leadership, Education and Delivery Services, IRS Human Capital Office
Susan Rusconi, Head of Leadership Development, Adobe Systems, Inc.
Ronald J. Alsop, Editor, Workforce Management
John Seely-Brown, Independent Co-chair, Deloitte Center for the Edge, and Visiting scholar and advisor to the Provost, University of Southern California

This conference is a “must attend” for Human Resources Leaders, Leadership Development Professionals, Talent Management Professionals and Senior Business Leaders interested in developing high potential talent, as well as those responsible for global human resources and diversity, talent acquisition, learning and employee development, and succession planning.

For more information, or if you’d like to register and join me at The Future Leaders Conference in Chicago September 14th – 15th, visit The Conference Board’s website –  or call (212) 339-0345.

BONUS: Enter the discount code JM1 to receive $500 off of the conference registration price.


Note: I’ll be attending the Future Leaders Conference as a guest of The Conference Board in order to share with my network and clients some of my learnings from the event. But I’m not asked to say/write anything other than my personal insights. Just wanted you to know.

Executive Coaching: What Are Global Coaching Leaders Discussing?

The-Conference-Board Recently, at the invitation of The Conference Board *, I had the opportunity to attend their 2010 Executive Coaching Conference in New York City. As an Executive Coach, I was thrilled to be able to attend this event and learn from some leading coaches and global organizations about best practices and current trends. Today’s post is the first in a series where I’ll share some of my experiences, takeaways and observations from the conference.

Below is an overview of my experience at the Executive Coaching Conference via take-aways and quotes from the speakers that I shared on Twitter using the hashtag #tcbcoaching. (Also included are some tweets from fellow conference blogger Barry Zweibel of GottaGettaCoach! Incorporated). During the conference, there were a number of great points made about internal & external coaches, measuring ROI of coaching and some interesting potential future applications were discussed (texting & Second Life).

Please forgive the abbreviations and shortened words in some tweets due to the 140 character limit!

Conference Keynote (Marshall Goldsmith – Author & Executive Educator)

Peak Personal Performance Session

  • 4 sources of energy – all critically important: Purpose (direction) Physical (quantity) Emotional (quality) Mental (focus)
  • “Strategic disengagement” – new way to say “take some rest”.
  • There are 20,000 moments in every day where you can make a difference. Are you an Eeyore or a Tigger?
  • Research shows that having an “attitude of gratitude” can add 5 years to your life.
  • “The only difference between a rut and a grave are the dimensions.” Important to keep moving forward and stay sharp.
  • Powerful things: 1) Craft a Purpose Statement 2) Get clear on Ur Top 5 Roles in Life 3) Define 100 Things U Want to Do in Life
  • 80% of heart attack victims never change their behavior. 20% that do? They have someone who holds them accountable for change.
  • It takes 21 days to establish a new habit. Invest extraordinary energy in it during that time & build in accountability.

Keynote: The Role of Virtual Coaching – Pros and Cons

  • “No correlation between fees that are charged and the Quality of coaching you get”
  • So true: “If you know where the conversation is going… It’s not Coaching”
  • “Really good coach helps redefine a clients goals” (via @ggci)
  • “The more detail you put into a definition, the less meaningful it likely is” (via @ggci)
  • Most coaches are under qualified – even those chosen by the executive (via @ggci)
  • “To be an effective telephone-based coach, you need to first be a good in-person and via-email coach” (via @ggci)
  • Case study done on an instance of Coaching by text. Hmmm… does it make me old-fashioned if I don’t think that’ll work?
  • Levels of coaching – skills, performance, behavioral, transformational (via @ggci)
  • Clutterbuck suggests not dismissing Second Life in terms of coaching either.
  • A broad sense of purpose has a higher correlation to success than goals. Goals are an outcome of your Purpose.
  • Important in Coach/Coachee relationship to have enough similarity to create rapport, but enough difference to create stretch

2009 Executive Coaching Practice Survey (results overview)

  • Exec Coaching survey: In large orgs, most resp 4 coaching are managed centrally re: strategy. Local takes active role in matching
  • Average length of coaching engagements (external coaches) – majority in 6 – 9 month range, very few lasting longer than 1 yr.
  • Survey: Majority (50%) of large orgs work with external coaches who have 1 – 5 coaching engagements in their orgs per year.
  • Survey: #1 reason for engaging an external coach – Development. 2nd 360 Debrief. 3rd Other assessment debrief. 4th Transition
  • Survey: Majority of coaches (0ver 50%) are paid as services are rendered or monthly. Only 2.8% are paid at end of engagement.
  • Survey: Internal coaching is on the rise and growing, but in its infancy. Internal coaches tend to be HR prof vs line leaders.
  • Survey: Almost 80% of internal coaches spend less than 20% of their time on coaching activities.
  • Discussion happening as to whether or not #HR is the right place for internal coaches due to trust/credibility issues. #sad
  • “Line business leaders trained as coaches have double the credibility – because they know the business” #HRopportunity

How Coaching Is Being Used With High Potentials (Panel)

  • Panelist: It’s more important for external Coaches to focus on gaining experience & strong reputation vs specific certification.
  • At Amex, coaching evolving into high-touch, targeted investment closely linked to business results. (via @ggci)
  • At NY Life, coaching is about culture change, and creating ‘distributed’ and ‘principles-based’ leadership (via @ggci)
  • At Microsoft, coaching program “allows emerging and experienced leaders to learn from each other.” (via @ggci)
  • At Microsoft, coaching dev plans include more observing/interacting w/senior leaders; building strong networks w/other hi-pos (via @ggci)
  • At Amex, “coaching must leave a footprint in the organization that builds our internal capability” (via @ggci)

Identifying & Developing Coaching Competencies for Managers (Panel)

  • Very cool job – panelist at #tcbcoaching = Coach at NASA. Challenge of getting highly technical folks to understand “art” of leadership

It’s a wrap!

  • Finishing up at The Conference Board’s Executive Coaching Conference #tcbcoaching. Top notch event with sharp speakers/attendees. Good info!

* Disclosure: By accepting TCB’s invitation to attend, I’m asked only to help them get the word out about their events and the programs that they offer to leading organizations and senior executives. I’m free to share my opinions (positive or negative) about my experience in attending and comment on the content shared by the speakers at the conference.