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Garza Baldwin, III

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Recent Readings and Re-Readings

Aligning the Stars: How To Succeed When Professionals Drive Results (2002), J. Lorsch, T. Tierney
A must read for leaders of law, accounting, investment banking and other professional service firms. In this book Jay Lorsch, a Professor of Human Relations at Harvard Business School, and Thomas Tierney, a former CEO of Bain & Company, distinguish the professional service firm (PSF) business model as one that depends primarily on the firm’s ability to attract, retain, develop and motivate star talent. They contend that the most successful PSFs are able, year in and year out, to get their most valuable and highly paid professionals — who by nature are independent minded — to align their personal strategies with those of their firms. Just as important, the authors provide key insights into how to accomplish this alignment, through attention to the PSF’s organization (people systems and structure/governance), culture and leadership style.

The Practice of Adaptive Leadership: Tools and Tactics for Changing Your Organization and the World (2011), R. Heifetz, A. Grashow, M. Linsky
Presents an empowering model for identifying and developing the leadership skills necessary to address “adaptive challenges,” i.e., those that require changes in people’s priorities, beliefs, habits and loyalties.

Man’s Search for Meaning (1959), Viktor E. Frankl
A beautiful and poignant story of Frankl’s victorious struggle to find meaning and purpose in abject suffering, and an inspiring lesson about how to manage life’s disappointments and even despair. Frankl’s account of his experiences in the concentration camps of WWII Germany has been called one of the great books of our time.

Thinking, Fast and Slow (2011), D.Kahneman
Here, Nobel Prize-winning economist Daniel Kahneman tells us why we make bad decisions and wrong choices, helps us recognize these tendencies, and offers advice about how to overcome them (or to use them to our benefit when we recognize them in others). Daniel Ariely’s Predictably Irrational (2008, updated 2009) is another helpful resource for those interested in improving their decision-making skills.

Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience (1990), M. Csikszentmihalyi
You’ve heard of the athlete who attributes his or her performance to being “in flow” or “in the zone.” This book is for anyone who appreciates being in flow and wants to experience it in many domains of life.

Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-Being (2011), M. Seligman
Written by the leader of the positive psychology movement and former President of the American Psychological Association. Building on Seligman’s earlier work on happiness, this book presents the broader theory of well-being and offers tools for flourishing. An interesting complement to Csikszentmihalyi’s Flow.

Meaning in Life and Why it Matters (2010), Susan Wolf
For those interested in the academic philosopher ‘s view about meaning in life. This book is made up of lectures given by Prof. Wolf’s at Princeton in 2007 and essays responding to her lectures written by other academics in philosophy and psychology. My marginal notes have several references to Seligman’s theory of well-being in Flourish, noted above.

The War of Art (2002), S. Pressfield
Aimed at the struggling writer, this book has much to say to anyone who grapples with fear, resistance, inertia and the mysterious forces that keep us where we are. It’s a clarion call to action.

Leadership Agility: Five Levels of Mastery for Anticipating and Initiating Change (2007), B. Joiner and S. Joseph
Believing that today’s complexities demand new forms of leadership, Joiner and Joseph identify mental and emotional capacities that are a must for agile leaders in today’s world. This book widens the lens through which a leader may view his or her leadership challenges.

The Making of a Corporate Athlete (Harvard Business Review 2001), J. Loehr, T. Schwartz
This eight-page article is a must read for every leader who struggles with the physical, emotional and spiritual demands of leadership.

I Wish I’d Said That

“Our work, our relationships, and, in fact, our very lives succeed or fail gradually, then suddenly, one conversation at a time.” – Susan Scott, Fierce Conversations (2002)

“Rigid ideas are like cockroaches – how often is there only one?” – Carolyn Hax

“If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.” – Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation) there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would not otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favour all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance which no man would have dreamed would come his way. I have learned a deep respect for one of Goethe’s couplets: ‘Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it,/Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.’” – W. H. Murray, The Scottish Himalayan Expedition (1951)

“What distinguishes the men and women who succeed from those who fail is the efficacy of their actions, not the spaciousness of their hopes.” — J. Lorsch, & T. Tierney, Aligning the Stars: How To Succeed When Professionals Drive Results (2002)


Client Feedback for Garza Baldwin

“Garza creates a calm, secure environment. From the first call, his style appealed to me because he listened to me without judgment, like a vault. I needed and respected his composure. I think experience helps one be better at one’s job, but I don’t think the element of trustworthiness can really be taught to a coach, and Garza has it in abundance.”

“Garza did a great job of circling me back to underlying issues and pointing out repeat behaviors that I did not recognize because they “looked” different on the surface. His questions are thoughtful and encourage reflection. He was quick to follow my analogies and is perceptive, looking behind the behavior for the reasons for it.”

“Garza is a great listener. He was thoughtful in his comments and was good at asking probing questions to get a better sense of what I was trying to work through. Thoughtful, attentive, persistent, and focused. Garza is a fully present coach whose passion for his work is evident in each conversation.”

“Garza was able to maintain a perfect balance of asking insightful questions, providing different ways of viewing a situation, and challenging me to think critically about my actions and thoughts.”

“Garza is empathetic, wise and compassionate, and a great listener. He truly lives the coaching belief that the answers lie with the client.”

“He did more for me than I imagined. He creates an environment conducive to learning and growth, a safe place for change to take place.”

“Garza and I met and surpassed the goals we set out at the beginning of the coaching. His style is client-centered, dignified, helpful, non-intrusive but powerful. He encountered my significant challenges, stayed the course and never missed a beat. I leave our work together with new tools, my confidence restored, and focus with a new slant on my work. I believe that what I have learned during our work together will stand me in good stead for many years to come.”