Recent Posts & Articles

  • 2015 Become a Virtual Time-Traveler (And Discover Meaning in Your Life)

    In 1945 Viktor Frankl wrote one of America’s most influential books, Man’s Search for Meaning. Over 65 years later, Richard Curtis wrote and directed a romantic fantasy entitled About Time. To see how the book and the movie speak to each other in a profound way . . . check this out. more

  • 2013 Leadership in a Complex World: Two Divergent Approaches

    Leadership coach Scott Eblin recently posted on his blog a video of a terrific interview with Ford Motor Company Executive Chairman, Bill Ford. Bill Ford’s mentor, mindfulness guru Jack Kornfield, conducted the interview during the Wisdom 2.0 Conference held in San Francisco in February. If you’re interested in good leadership, check out Scott’s March 4, […] more

  • 2012 Winston Churchill and Emotional Intelligence

    I’m a fan of a blog called Letters of Note (, which has archived an impressive collection of interesting letters and other correspondence written by and to a host of fascinating public figures. A few days ago I came across a letter that Winston Churchill’s wife wrote her husband soon after he became Britain’s Prime […] more

  • 2012 What We Can Learn From Steve Jobs – Part 2

    Like other leadership coaches, I love reading stories of inspiring leadership. The ones that come across my desk usually are quite tidy, focused on traits that typify great and effective leadership and uncluttered with flawed behavior that would derail many careers. The story of Steve Jobs’ leadership is not so tidy. Since reading Walter Isaacson’s […] more

  • 2012 What We Can Learn From Steve Jobs – Part 1

    Walter Isaacson’s compelling biography of Steve Jobs has been out for several months now. If you are interested in leadership and haven’t read it yet, hours of absorbing material await. At 571 pages not including the acknowledgments and notes, it takes a while to get through. But for the lessons it offers, not to mention […] more

  • 2012 The Why and How of Connecting with Clients

    My daughter and her husband recently celebrated their fourth wedding anniversary. To celebrate their first three anniversaries, they had dinner at an upscale steak house in Atlanta. There, the staff always takes the time to become familiar with the evening’s reservation list and not only greets them by name but also adds a nice “welcome […] more

  • 2012 The Leader Within

    As a leadership coach, I’m often asked what leadership is. There are many ways to answer the question. One is to make the distinction between leaders and managers. You’ve heard some of them: Leaders create vision, managers reach goals. Leaders initiate change, managers cultivate stability. Leaders see opportunities, managers see problems. Another is to recite […] more

  • 2012 The Creative Upside of Conflict

    Many of us shy away from conflict. We’re taught conflict avoidance from an early age. The lessons start with encouragement to play nice in the sandbox, and they continue in adulthood when our employers or managers evaluate us on our ability to get along with our colleagues and team members. You’ve probably seen collegiality or […] more

  • 2012 Reducing the Costs of Our Faustian Bargains

    One thing the financial meltdown has done is give us some good books and a decent movie that, collectively, depict the high-stakes lives of investment bankers... more

  • 2012 Building Blocks of Leadership: Character

    Years ago I had a group of nursing students on a med-surg floor as part of their clinical rotation. One morning one of my students... more

  • 2012 C’mon, Get Happy [1]

    Happiness is getting a lot of attention these days, and in improbable places. Harvard Business Review’s most recent cover story... more

  • 2012 Act, But First Plan

    A few days ago I wrote that lots of things must happen for positive change to occur, and perhaps the most important is action. I said perhaps... more

  • 2012 Lights, Camera, Action!

    A friend who I was talking with about leadership coaching practice remarked, “When you get right down to it, people don’t really change..." more

Trends and Industry Statistics

A number of recent trends in the healthcare and professional service firm industries, and in business in general, underscore the ways in which effective coaching can enhance outcomes.

Recent Trends in Healthcare

  • American Nurse Today (Apr. 2011) estimated that 27.1% of nurses voluntarily leave their positions in the first year of employment. Other studies have shown the percentage of first year departures to be much higher. A number of studies have shown that the cost to an employer of recruiting and retraining a new nurse to replace the departed nurse is substantial (for example, twice the departed nurse’s annual salary).

Recent Trends in Professional Service Firms

  • According to a recent Altman & Weil Flash Survey of law firms, the idea that getting bigger equates to getting better is becoming a thing of the past. Growth, typically in the form of the selective hiring of laterals or groups, must be paired with a strategy to improve the firm’s competitive position and performance. The care and feeding of a firm’s existing talent in the face of a selective growth strategy is critical.
  • About one-third of law firms removed non-equity partners in 2010 and over one-third removed equity partners and expected continued cuts in 2011. This trend is more apparent in larger law firms, where over half removed equity and non-equity partners. Identifying obstacles to partner performance to reduce the need for cuts, as well as maintaining a positive work environment in an atmosphere in which such cuts are occurring, again require attention to the human dimension.

Recent Trends in Business

  • According to a 2007 Booz Allen Hamilton study, global CEO turnover is about 15% annually. Other studies show there is a 40% chance a new leader will fail in the first 18 months. According to Aon Consulting, 50% of executives will quit or be fired in the first three years. The direct and indirect costs of losing an executive are significant.
  • A study by two business school professors from the London Business School and the University of St. Gallen (Switzerland), reported by CBS MoneyWatch in January 2012, found that businesses waste much of the human capital it hires. Instead of revealing vital, productive organizations, the study found that most companies in the study are home to “a few isolated islands of action amid an ocean of inaction.” Only about 10% of managers were considered “purposeful,” while the rest, though busy, were either energetic but unfocused (40%), focused but not energetic (10%), or not energetic and not focused (30%). What seems to be missing is leadership that can galvanize the unfocused, the uninspired and the distant.
  • Surveys show that more often than not the reason for underperformance is lack of interpersonal and leadership skills.

The Case for Coaching

  • In the 2011 Sherpa Executive Coaching Survey of several large companies and universities primarily in North America, over 90% of the responding HR professionals and business leaders said that coaching has “high value” when delivered by reliable, trustworthy and authoritative coaches. Read more
  • In a 2009 internal study, Google engaged in a robust process to rank the top eight traits of Google’s most effective managers. Technical expertise ranked dead last. At the top? The manager who was even-keeled, made time for one-on-one meetings, helped solve problems by asking questions instead of dictating answers, and was interested in the personal lives of his or her team members. In other words, emotional intelligence, a highly coachable trait, was rated at the top. Read more
  • In 2001, The Manchester Review (A Journal for People and Organizations in Transition) published an article by a management consultant who conducted a study in which 100 executives of 56 large and small U.S. companies (Vice President and higher), and in some cases the executives’ stakeholders, provided feedback on coaching the executives had received. Three quarters of the participants, including stakeholders, indicated that the value of coaching was “considerably greater” or “far greater” than the money and time invested. Almost half of the executives were able to quantify the return on investment (ROI) from the coaching they received. The average ROI reported by them was of 5.7. While ROI valuations of the benefit of coaching are necessarily imprecise, many who have attempted to quantify the benefit of coaching have determined that the tangible and intangible benefits outweigh the investment in human capital that coaching entails.