Charting Your Course

In today’s uncertain business climate, services are being cut while transparency, the hallmark of organizations in recent years, dons a new veil.

You aspire to transformation and alignment, yet do you have the time and ability to engage in conversations that open new opportunity? Are you concerned that you are experiencing a gap in your capacity?

A survey analyzed in HBR’s “What Great Managers Do Daily” indicates, “Perhaps unsurprisingly, employees who got little to no one-on-one time with their manager were more likely to be disengaged”. Leaders of startups often turn to me when they hit a roadblock. After we examine challenges with virtual teams, we examine even deeper communication bottlenecks with clients and investors.

Moving past culture to conversations deepens relationships. A case in point was addressing my client’s two hour drive to invest in a client relationship. I asked, “Have you conversed with your onsite product manager so there won’t be any surprises upon your arrival? Further, what intelligence are you going to deliver beyond your normal greeting and assurance of customer satisfaction?” No, these thoughts had not surfaced amid other demands.

At the end of our session I asked a question posed by Michael Bungay Stanier in Box of Crayons Great Work Provocations. “On a scale of 1 to 7, how engaged do you plan to be today? …And (if the number is less than 7), what would it take to bump you up to 7?” I was surprised when my highly-driven, charismatic client answered 5, expecting a response of least a 7 if not higher. I admire this leader who constantly challenges his agility while aiming for work/life balance.

What one project would you like to move on now? What onboarding assistance would your company benefit from during a merger or other transition?

Rather than reassign and overload personnel, let’s talk about immediate value of executive coaching with big picture perspectives.

I heard a founder smile when I reflected my experiences he encouraged me to share to be considered for his startup’s advisory board. “I don’t drive crazy six-lane traffic in Atlanta, but connect with clients nationwide and globally.” I love gaining cultural and industry perspectives through interviews I regularly conduct with leaders I approach through my active global network.

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Evelyn Asher helps identify opportunities and partnerships. She is an executive coach who straddles both business and creative pursuits.

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