Leadership through Eyes of a Coach...Alan Booth

Friday, March 11, 2016


Last week I attended a meeting with 82 executives with one hour socializing over coffee.

Most everyone had a story to tell; however, who was listening?  I counted 3 people. The rest politely nodded their heads or were quick to tell their story.

What a ripe audience for my practice of coaching!

My goal at these events is to get an appointment for coffee following the event. "XYZ sounds terribly important to you.  Shall we continue over breakfast or lunch?"

That little comment is listening and engaging my prospective client where they are. No need to tell my story.


CEO to President: "Fire your COO.  He has his resume on the street and not showing loyalty to our corporation."

President: "But, our COO is the best in guiding us to the next generation of products.  I need you to support him so he stays motivated."

Blind spot: CEO is unaware of how he is perceived. President does not have the courage to engage on how to better motivate people. [President is my client]

Consultant asks CEO, "what is it like working for you?" Answer: detailed oriented, bias towards action and frequently critical of how others do their job.

CEO is terminated by parent corporation.


You know I am not a defense attorney!  However I am a resource for helping top executives reduce their defensiveness that attempts to cover their weaknesses.

These executives are expert at avoiding conversations that may blow their cover...that is the defensiveness I am referring to.

Defensive Actions I have Observed
n  Control of meeting agendas to avoid potential topics less confident in dealing with.
n  Monopolize conversations so one is in greater control.
n  Blame others for causing conflict

n  Recently hired to be Chairman, becomes a fire fighter to impress Board
n  Having never been Chairman, feels a lack of confidence
n  Changing the culture is risky and makes one feel vulnerable.

A key problem of being perfect at avoiding attention on management weaknesses is that others see the truth and become expert at avoiding constructive feedback.

What weaknesses are you covering up?