Leadership through Eyes of a Coach...Alan Booth

Tuesday, February 25, 2014


Donna, a client's manager, has experienced high levels of stress on the job and is burnt out and thinking of resigning.

Bob, her President, surprisingly reached out to Donna that totally changed her perspective of her job.

"Bob, the results for the 12 Lake audit came out yesterday and I am so sorry it was such a complicated audit.  I tried my best to supervise Mary when I had both businesses, but found it so difficult to supervise the finances for 13 people when I managed both branches. "


"You could never let me down in a million years. Your abilities shine through in everything you do and we are so lucky to have you here. Sometimes, we are all faced with difficult situations and I am sure you provided a lot of support to Mary. I am glad you don’t have to manage all those finances anymore!

With gratitude and respect, Bob"

An investment of one minute to write the reply to Donna, resulting in a 180 degree shift in motivation.  POWERFUL!


OK! If you never feel stress on the job or at home about the job, please delete this message.

Whenever one of my clients are stressed, I quickly find out if it has to do with things and people they have no control over.

Yes, focus on what you do have control over and that source of stress diminishes.

As important: getting control where you have avoided difficult conversations, including avoiding what you perceive as conflict.

Oh!  Who do you  trust to talk to about stress? Talk is important to relieving stress.

Monday, February 24, 2014



1.    Catch yourself making assumptions about the other person, be it a peer, manager, internal and external customers.
2.    Engage to the point THEY think you know them, their strengths and challenges. Reframe your relationship based on directly obtained facts.

A CEO client described his growth strategy to me, little of which was based on what his current customers thought of his company, or how he could be better than his competitors that his customers were happy to share.

People supporting trading desks:  They think they know how to work best to bring traders into compliance on a deal.  But how do they know?  Assumptions, not feedback.
Get your brain totally turned off so you can listen to others...they will then tell you what they need and why; and you can then better influence them on their terms, not what you thought [your terms] would work.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014


I am convinced that American businesses are structured by the family dynamics we experienced earlier in life, then again as we became parents. So "bosses" act as parents relating to their staff and employees as their children seeking approval.

This family model in the corporate world has been reinforced by my consulting to multi-generational family businesses where the parents struggle to have confidence in the next generation to succeed them.

That becomes the standard followed by a sense of reduced confidence in those wishing to succeed you.

The solution?

Take off the parent hat and the subservient child hat and speak with each other as being on the same team.

Case in point from those conversations:

n  "Now that we are focused on my 30 year old son still being an adolescent, I can see that I enable that to happen by still paying his rent and buying him cars."

n  Me: "Mary, your son is getting mixed messages from you.  When are you going to help him be successful?"  Mary immediately leaves the meeting, saying: "I am leaving to see my attorney to establish the trust we have talked about.  Bye."

n  "If I put my daughter in charge, that will be the 4th generation of a family member taking over...but I simply do not believe she is capable.  In fact she has the same issues I struggled with when taking over the business."

As a manager, your lack of confidence in others may simply be the parent in you always striving to be the best you can...but at the expense of others wanting to live up to their full potential!