70 EXECUTIVE COACHING an impact and are eager to get started. These are leaders who are committed. They know themselves and are eager to find all the ways they can to leverage their strengths and tap into their passions. They know their blind spots and their opportunities. They identify the barriers that can keep them from achieving their goals. And they partner with a coach to dig in and devise strategies to overcome them. They look forward to coaching, where the focus is always on moving forward and finding the most impactful solutions to their most important goals. Leaders who can benefit from coaching like a good challenge. In my leadership book, I offer a lesson I learned from the most successful high school cross-country coach the state of Michigan has ever seen. His teams were successful for a variety of reasons, but one that stood out for me was the mantra and mindset he established for his runners. I played football in high school, so I was not able to join the cross-country team. But I happened to attend one of this coach’s famous practice sessions. What I heard him say to his team at the start of that practice had a profound effect on me. And I often offer the lesson I learned from this coach as I empower the leaders I coach in my own practice. What he said to his team that day was: “Gentlemen, what are we going to do today?” And the response from his team was: “Look forward to the hills, coach!” To which he responded: “And why is that, gentlemen?” And they came back in unison with: “Because the hills are ours, coach!” He then cemented the lesson with: “That’s our edge, boys. While all the other runners out there are dreading the hills. We can’t wait for the hardest part of the course. That’s our edge! We never complain about the hills. The hills are ours; we look forward to taking on the hardest hills we can find. We can’t wait for the hard stuff. That’s what makes us champions!” If you partner with a coach, they will invariably challenge you to look forward to the hills. They will encourage you to look forward to the most challenging things that come your way. As a coach, I would challenge you to seek out those things that can make you stronger and allow you to sharpen your talents as you work through the toughest situations. Look forward Scott, please tell us a little about your story. I’ve had the good fortune to work as a Leadership Adviser to some of the strongest leaders in the business world with ADP, Hewitt Associates, US Robotics and Arthur Andersen. As a Certified Leadership Coach, I’ve helped leaders discover their common and not-socommon leadership advantages, elevate their leadership capabilities, and achieve critical goals. I guide leaders to help them realise and leverage their strengths, clarify their values, and focus on what’s most important. I use powerful questioning, deep listening, intense curiosity and practical feedback to act as a sounding board, thinking partner, and collaborator. I draw on targeted leadership development resources to help leaders reflect, clarify, gain insight, and achieve extraordinary results when they come to me with their most important goals. I help leaders to realise the strongest of their strengths, the greatest of their passions and help them to discover the best they have to offer as leaders. As a Leadership Adviser, Leadership Coach and Human Resources Executive, I’ve had a front-row seat in three Fortune 500 organisations considered preeminent thought leaders in the Human Resources & Leadership Development field. I bring that Executive Leadership perspective and my formal executive coaching credentials to help leaders in our Coaching and Leadership Development Engagements. I am passionate about leaders and Leadership Development. I find it motivating each day to work with innately talented leaders and help them to develop and enhance their leadership capabilities. It is immensely rewarding to give strong leaders the right tools and watch as they build their skills and their passion for becoming the very best leaders they can be. I’m proud to help strong leaders, their teams, and organisations be more successful! Who can benefit fromcoaching? The leaders who can benefit most from coaching are those who truly want to make to the hard stuff! And look forward to leveraging the best in yourself as you discover the very best solutions to your most challenging goals! Can you share a coaching success story from your career with us? Years ago, I worked with a leader in a Fortune 200 company. She came to when she was asked to lead a huge strategic initiative. We quickly established that her Coaching Objective would be to leverage the best of her leadership skills as she worked with her team, business partners and all her stakeholders. We established the Success Measures to identify what it would look like when the strategic initiative goals were achieved and exceeded. And we got to work with our biweekly coaching sessions. Along the way, she also asked me to help her establish the Leadership Brand she felt was important in order to achieve the ultimate goal she was focused on – to put herself in a position to take on a more Senior Leadership role in the next 2-3 years. She was able to realise a few quick-hit successes. But the real success came as I challenged her to find those collaboration, influence and talent development strengths in herself that she hadn’t previously known were there. When she did, she used those strengths to work with her business partners and deliver an off-the-chart strategy that had an immediate impact and laid the foundation for a huge success in the years to come. She also used her leadership intelligence and her newfound executive presence to create relationships and earn the respect of the most influential leaders in her organisation. This helped her achieve her second goal when she was selected for a position on the Sr. Leadership Team soon after she helped deliver on the critical strategic initiative. I’ve coached several highly successful leaders over the years. They rely on me to act as their thinking partner, sounding board, their confidant and Leadership Development Coach. We work together to help them be their most effective and impactful, as they are asked to take on greater and more complex leadership challenges.