Business Mastery

Three Characteristics of a Good Executive Coach

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My first meeting with my new executive coaching client got off to a slow start. Luckily, his Color Code Personality Assessment prepared me for what was in store. See Tom, a chief executive of a not-for-profit organization, is a primary yellow with a secondary white personality, possessing very little red. This means that while brilliant, charming and creative, Tom lacks attention to detail and follow through on tasks. In true yellow fashion, the meeting caught Tom off guard, resulting in his logging into the Go To Meeting bridge 20 minutes late. Tom and I spent the first portion of our first session together discussing the importance of intentionality and setting aside time for his development.

I have received the benefit of great coaching in my career. Initially, that coaching came from my excellent supervisors at Capital One when I was a Senior Manager of Operations in the credit card division. Later in my career, I had the benefit of executive coaching from a third party. My coach helped me to put together a vision for my development that changed the trajectory of not only my career but my entire life. That is my goal for every coaching engagement that I enter. I want to help people and organizations discover their goals and expedite their journey towards those goals.

As an Executive Coach, my client and I will initially begin with a drafting session. In engineering, “drafting or slipstreaming is an aerodynamic technique where two vehicles or other moving objects are caused to align in a close group reducing the overall effect of drag due to exploiting the lead object’s slipstream”. My goal is to use specific tools that will help you “get clear” about your goals and take intentional steps towards executing against those goals. The best coaches have three distinct characteristics:

1. Access to the best tools

As a John Maxwell, Coach and Speaker as well as a Color Code Personality Trainer, I use these materials as an intricate part of my practice. Having access to the right tools will be a huge benefit to the student in their development.

2. Asking the best questions

Any good coach will also be a good listening and know how to ask the right questions to spur thought provoking answers in their students. As a former corporate executive, I use thoughtful questions to help clients reflect as I hold them highly accountable to striving for their stated goals.

3. Have a caring heart

Your coach is teacher and mentor. They should be thoughtful to your current position and your ultimate goals. Your time is just a precious as your coach’s time? and your sessions should be the most passionate and engaged time of your week. I like to tell my clients, this time is all about you!

Tom just renewed for 3 more months. In our first 90 days, he has rolled out a strategic vision to his organization, tackled many of his issues managing his deliverables and is well on his way to completing his degree work. Even his wife has commented on his renewed confidence and sense of purpose. He even manages to show up on time for our weekly sessions now. If you feel like your life may need a jolt of focus, you may considering finding a qualified coach today.

Guest Bio

Darren C. Lyons (linkedin.com/in/dclyons) is a 20-year customer experience professional with expertise in diverse industries including retail, credit cards, auto loans, telephony and property and casualty insurance. As Director of Global Customer Care for a large retail organization, he managed the relationship of seven BPO Partners in ten cities across five countries increasing Customer Satisfaction scores over 50% in a six month period. Through his affiliation with the John Maxwell Group he is a trainer, speaker and coach with international executive coaching clients in 3 countries. He facilitates several training seminars in including “The Color Code Personality Assessment”, “The 5 Tools of Priority Management,” and Mastermind Groups (https://www.johncmaxwellgroup.com/darrenlyons). His book, A Day in the Life in a Skilled Nursing Facility, is available @ www.amazon.com/author/dclyonsHis next book, With Worn Out Tools: Navigating The Rituals of Mid Life will be available this spring. For speaking engagements, please contact Darren at dclyons.ceokinc@gmail.com.

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Performance & Productivity, Personal Development

3 Steps to Engineering a Comeback

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In 1999, author and motivational speaker Willie Jolle wrote a best selling book,  “A Setback is a Setup for a Comeback”. In this work the author explores the curveballs that life can throw your way and how successful people respond to those obstacles. The work gives twelve simple strategies that can turn your “trials into triumphs, your problems into possibilities, and your setbacks into comebacks.” I thought about that concept, turning a “setback into a comeback,” several times during 2017 and 2018. A lifetime of battling obesity and diabetes led to two below knee amputations, congestive heart failure and Stage 5 Kidney Disease, which requires dialysis three times a week. At age 52, I was certainly facing a setback with a tough comeback road ahead.

Prior to my health issues, I had been a successful customer experience executive.  At the height of my career I was Director of Global Customer Care for a large retail organization. In this capacity I led a Vendor Management Program consisting of seven Business Processing Outsourcers (BPOs) in five countries and ten cities with up to 1000 FTEs worldwide. After eighteen months of multiple operations, extended hospital stays and rehabilitation, I was staging the comeback of a lifetime. I was challenged with recovering while building a Training/Coaching/Speaking business and releasing two books. As a new entrepreneur, I have discovered three keys to engineering a comeback:

?Recognizing your fear does not mean that you do not feel fear! ... "feel the fear and do it anyways."

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RECOGNIZE Your Fear

Recognizing your fear does not mean that you do not feel fear! It does mean that you place it in its’ proper perspective. I was afraid of launching a new business and how my former colleagues would respond to me now that I was reaching out to them to sell my services. I learned to acknowledge my fears and not be overwhelmed by them. Susan Jeffers says, “feel the fear and do it anyways.” Norman Vincent Peale in his book “The Power of Positive Thinking” says, “don’t take counsel of your fear.”

REMEMBER Your Past Victories

During my extended rehabilitation, I had to remind myself of all the great things I had accomplished in the past. Prior to my illnesses, I had built a great career developing relationships with respected leaders across the world. I also had a beautiful family and enjoyed the respect of my community. I had to recognize that I was still the same person despite my new disabilities. John Maxwell’s “ Law of the Mirror” in his book 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth states that it is "impossible to consistently behave in a manner inconsistent with how we see ourselves.” Although I now had two prosthetic legs and I was learning to walk again, I had to remind myself of the great things that I was capable of doing before anyone else would believe in my potential.  

RUN Towards Your Enemy

To engineer a comeback you have to take intentional action in a positive direction. In one of the greatest underdog stories of all time, David and Goliath, the young future King of Israel demonstrates this by taking his sling and 5 smooth stones and running towards the giant! My illness was my giant and I would run towards this enemy by completing two books and launching a business, Korrior Inc., prior to my release from a nursing home! I literally wrote my first book while having two fifteen gauge dialysis needles plunged deeply into my left arm three days a week while typing my book using my right arm.

My story is certainly not complete but I am in the midst of engineering a successful comeback from my setback. Your setback may be an illness or career change or the loss of a relationship. No matter your obstacle, I encourage you to recognize your fears, remember your past victories and run towards your giant to start your comeback today!

Guest Author Bio


?Darren C. Lyons (linkedin.com/in/dclyons) is a 20-year customer experience professional with expertise in diverse industries including retail, credit cards, auto loans, telephony and property and casualty insurance. As Director of Global Customer Care for a large retail organization, he managed the relationship of seven BPO Partners in ten cities across five countries increasing Customer Satisfaction scores over 50% in a six month period. Through his affiliation with the John Maxwell Group he is a trainer, speaker and coach with international executive coaching clients in 3 countries. He facilitates several training seminars in including “The Color Code Personality Assessment”, “The 5 Tools of Priority Management,” and Mastermind Groups (https://www.johncmaxwellgroup.com/darrenlyons). His book, A Day in the Life in a Skilled Nursing Facility, is available @ www.amazon.com/author/dclyons. His next book, With Worn Out Tools: Navigating The Rituals of Mid Life will be available spring 2019. For speaking engagements, please contact Darren at ?dclyons.ceokinc@gmail.com.  

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