Stuck? Here is a way to get out of it : Published: Wednesday, August 23, 2006 National Post CANADA

THE COACH Michael Bungay Stanier, principal of Toronto-based Box Of Crayons since 2001.

DESIGNATION Certified Professional Co-Active Coach from San Rafael, Calif.-based Coaches Training Institute and member of the GTA Chapter of the International Coach Federation

PHILOSOPHY AND APPROACH Executives periodically can get stuck, Mr. Bungay Stanier says. “Getting stuck is when you only have one way to see the situation you’re in and you don’t like what you see,” he says. Day-to-day pressures can prevent executives from focusing on the big picture. Getting stuck leads to reduced efficiency, lowered work standards and direct reports’ complaints about being spread too thinly over numerous projects.

Getting unstuck often takes what he calls the art of managing upward — extending the executive’s influence upward on the organization chart, which may including learning to say “No” to unrealistic workloads.

This means helping the client build strong relationships with peers and superiors using tools, such as a strategic plan, to spell out the department’s mandate.

SUCCESS STORY Three years ago, he began working with Anne Mueller, head of research and development in public relations and communications at the North American headquarters of AstraZeneca PLC in Wilmington, Del. She makes complex R&D pharmaceutical periodicals clear to internal and external audiences in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Sweden, France, Japan, India and China.

When Mr. Bungay Stanier took the assignment, there was a department policy of agreeing to any and all communications requests. “It meant her team was never quite clear about what was happening,” he says. “[And] the team was under-delivering on a whole bunch of things because they couldn’t do everything.”

The coach worked with Ms. Mueller’s team to keep discussions on track and focused as they worked on a strategic plan to define their mandate. He had to coax participants toward clear statements, partly by asking difficult questions of the “How does this really hold water?” type of challenge. Or “If this is good work — what would great work look like?’

In formulating the plan, team members had to show alignment between activities of Ms. Mueller’s department and priorities of senior R&D executives and their superiors.

Line managers handle their responsibilities more effectively when they understand the development and delivery process of a drug and their place in it. The plan identified communications activities aimed at keeping them informed as a new drug passes through various stages, along with other stakeholders such as outside scientists and medical profession opinion leaders.

The approved plan allowed Ms. Mueller to identify which projects fell within her department’s mandate and reject those that did not without appearing unco-operative.

He also coached her on expanding her network throughout AstraZeneca, enabling her to offer alternatives when projects fell outside her mandate.

RETURN ON INVESTMENT Ms. Mueller says senior R&D executives and their superiors more readily recognize the contributions of her team, which is better focused and more productive because it has a clearer picture of the department’s responsibilities.

THE BOTTOM LINE Mr. Bungay Stanier charges $5,000 for six months of biweekly coaching.

A Story Of What Being Unlimited Can Do ! Don`t miss this video

A TRIBUTE :  Strongest Dad in the World [From Sports Illustrated, By Rick Reilly] Eighty-five times he’s pushed his disabled son, Rick, 26.2 miles in marathons. Eight times he’s not only pushed him 26.2 miles in a wheelchair but also towed him 2.4 miles in a dinghy while swimming and pedaled him 112 miles in a seat on the handlebars–all in the same day.

Living Beyond Limits : Nelson Mandela

A quote from Nelson Mandela, in his

inaugural speech, 1994, inspiring us
in living beyond limits.
Source: A Return to Love
by Marianne Williamson

“Our deepest fear is not that we are
inadequate. Our deepest fear is that
we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that
frightens us. We ask ourselves, who
am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented,
and fabulous?
Actually, who are we not to be? You
are a child of God. Your playing small
doesn’t serve the world.
There’s nothing enlightened about
shrinking so that other people won’t feel
insecure around you. We were born to
make manifest the glory of God that is
within us. It’s not just in some of us, it’s in
everyone.
And as we let our own light shine, we
unconsciously give other people
permission to do the same. As we are
liberated from our own fears, our
presence automatically liberates others.”

Now Indian CEO`s hunting for coaches :Times Of India 28th June 2007

MUMBAI: Coaches for CEOs are quite a rage in the West. The list of CEOs who hire coaches include the who’s who of American business, including former GE CEO Jack Welch, IBM’s Sam Palmisano and eBay’s Meg Whitman. CEO coaches like Ram Charan and Marshall Goldsmith have achieved superstar status.

In recent years, executive coaching has started to make its presence felt in India as well, with country’s top honchos seeking professional help. However, there aren’t enough professionals in India who are equipped to don the garb of a CEO coach. Sighting the opportunity, the Hyderabad-based Indian School of Business (ISB) plans to launch a study programme to train CEO coaches.

Says Deepak Chandra, assistant dean of the Centre for Executive Education, ISB, “Judging from our interaction with corporates and the feedback we got from some of our leadership programmes which involved individualised coaching for small groups of managers, we realised that there is a huge need for executive coaching in India.”

Slated to be held in August, ISB’s executive coaching programme will be conducted by Goldsmith, one of the world’s best-known executive coaches. Goldsmith has been ranked by the Wall Street Journal as one of the world’s Top 10 executive educators.

The programme will be open to senior professionals who want to become CEO coaches. “We are looking at both independent coaches as well as people within the company, like senior HR leaders and CEOs, who need help on coaching,” says Chandra.

Usually CEO coaching focusses on three aspects: Behavioural coaching, organisational change and strategy. ISB’s programme will focus only on affecting behavioural change.

The idea being that the behaviours that have made a leader successful may not be the same behaviours needed for future success. So Goldsmith will explain why leaders who are becoming successful can also face difficultly when they need to change, and he will give tips to participants on methods of coaching. The programme will initially start with a batch 30 execs.

While executive coaching is seen as a fad by some, no one can deny the value that comes from hiring one. Says Satish Pradhan, executive V-P, group HR, Tata Sons, “The fact is that a CEO is very lonely. And having someone who can share that space, be realistic and provide guidance is extremely important.”

However, there are possible pitfalls too. Says Pradhan, “The risk that you run with an executive coach is that they can also become like Linus’s comfort blanket: nice to have, functionally of no value, but just leaves you with a good feeling. But that is worthwhile too.”

There is a second risk too which stems from who gets to become a coach. Says Pradhan, “In a managerial context, a coach is someone who can actually process-enable rather than content-enable a manager. But at a CEO level, content becomes important: so have you walked in similar shoes for a period of time to know what hurts and what doesn’t? That ‘been there and lived through some of it’ becomes a very important part of the ability of the coach to help the CEO.”

So in a sense, this is really more of a kind of “mentor coach” rather than a “coach coach”. “It is difficult to think of someone who has had less width of experience to be able to coach a CEO than someone who has a much wider experience,” says Pradhan.