Real Life Stories

Finding the right position:

It was clear at our first meeting that in addition to help with the job-seeking process, there were some personal attitudes which, if left un-addressed, would severely compromise this young woman’s search. She had graduated from university, moved to California from her childhood home in the south to live with her sister, and was looking for work in a difficult job environment. Together, we formulated a plan and timetable, and she went to work on the issues. With encouragement, role playing and practice, she made significant changes, and within a couple of months she was offered her dream job. She continued to check in for affirmation and reinforcement, and within four months of starting was offered her first promotion.

Restoring Confidence:

My client was a very competent and experienced senior member of the staff in a large organization, with responsibility for several departments. Her manager, who reported to the president, was leaving, and had been replaced by an internal candidate, a peer, with whom the client had a less than comfortable relationship. In fact,a personality test showed the client and her new boss having very different styles, a further cause for concern. As a result she was quite insecure in this new situation, felt she was not being accorded the recognition she wanted, and was looking for new ideas. In just a few sessions I was able to give her some tools with which to address the new relationship, and restore her confidence. With practice and time her attitude toward work shifted dramatically, and she is now feeling much more appreciated and valued.

A Clear Path Forward:

This young woman was the talented, hard working, underpaid #2 person in a four-person consulting firm, marketing strategic communications services to non-profit clients. The owner of the firm was losing interest in the core business, and was becoming increasingly unreasonable in her interactions with my client. At the same time, the client was having great difficulty figuring out a responsible course of action. In a couple of coaching sessions, we developed several scenarios looking forward, and my client committed to engaging the owner to begin to resolve the outstanding issues. Within a month, she had happily separated from the firm, set up her own business under a new name, and was confidently marketing her own services to a set of new prospects.

The CEO of a 20-person, venture funded company:

The client had served in general management but had no previous CEO experience. Over several months, we addressed a wide variety of issues, from personal and team performance to relationships with his board and other investors. Combining my business experience with my coaching, I was able to act as a valuable mentor during a difficult period. My client successfully “grew into” his responsibilities as CEO, and a year later masterminded the sale of the company.

A young executive in the hospitality industry:

The client had risen rapidly in a comparatively short time to a position of significant management responsibility in a high-end restaurant business. Although doing well financially, she was working long hours, the rest of her life was "on hold," and she felt "stressed out." She had created several alternative scenarios for herself, but was having difficulty making any changes on her own. However, with coaching help, within a few weeks she had developed an action plan, left her job, and was off on a much more satisfactory course, filled with new energy and enthusiasm!

A graduate student at the University of California:

Although very well qualified, she felt she had not done well in two successive interviews with potential employers. She was feeling increasingly insecure about interviewing in general. We met for three coaching/practice sessions over three weeks, clarified interests and tactics, and conducted several mock interviews. Two weeks later she interviewed with a firm on the East Coast, and was offered the job she sought before she got on the plane to return to California!

The executive director of a non-profit:

On the job for less than a year, the executive director had engineered a remarkable turnaround, raising more money than expected, recruiting an excellent staff, and several new board members. However, she was operating in continuous crisis mode, and morale was suffering. I suggested a “360 review”, requesting confidential input from both staff and board members regarding her performance. I then presented a summary of their comments to the client. Slowly but surely we introduced new behaviors that revived the organization’s confidence in their leader.

A Business Consultant:

This former general manager-turned business consultant really wanted to retire, but could see no way out of a deep and continuing relationship with a major client. He had even agreed to be interim CEO of the client’s company, further cementing his relationship with the firm. Over a period of several months, with my encouragement, he established a relationship with a recruiter, eventually hired a full-time CEO, resigned from the board, and negotiated his severance contract, including a deferred compensation agreement. He accomplished all this while maintaining an excellent relationship with his client, who was quite happy with the new arrangement.

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Real Life Stories:

A PhD candidate: With two years still to go before receiving her Ph.D, this student was not certain she wanted an academic position after graduating. However, she had little idea how to find a job in the non-academic world. We re-worked her academic and work history to develop a resume, role-played telephone interviews, and prepared a set of letters and a list of companies of potential interest. After several sessions, she felt much more confident in applying for positions in the business world.

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