CEO Today - USA Awards 2022

CEO Today USA Award s 2022 - 17 - - CALIFORNIA - Ideally, through online surveys and interviews, we learn that individuals can point to specific behaviour changes that have explicit results, e.g. a key employee who was planning to leave and take her best people with her decides to stay with the company. This kind of thing can be monetised because we know the cost of replacing one employee can be three to four times their salary. How has your interest in neuroscience informed your attitude toward coaching? The volume of research being done in the field of social neuroscience has essentially confirmed everything we have learned from the great leadership gurus — Warren Bennis, Peter Drucker and, if I may, Ken Blanchard. Of course, this is a perfect example of confirmation bias, so I work hard not to get too carried away. Until we had all the research, it was too easy for bottomline-focused businesspeople to dismiss what we teach as ‘touchy-feely’. However, not a week goes by without a new paper being published that unequivocally demonstrates that managers who create a psychologically safe environment attract and retain the best people and get the best from them. Did we need research to tell us that when people feel appreciated and respected they will work harder, take more appropriate risks, have more and better ideas and collaborate more effectively with their teammates? Apparently, we did. I could go on all day about this stuff. It makes me gleeful. Do you have any particular pieces of advice for less experienced coaches who may be able to learn from your success? Not all coach certification programs focus as much as I believe they should on what I think of as Personal Foundation. This means having a deep awareness of oneself — strengths, frailties, values and core psychological needs. I think the best coaches have such clarity on those things that they can better put their own agendas aside and be 100% present to serve the client. The most overlooked skill that is the hallmark of mastery is self-regulation. What does this award mean to you? I am tickled pink. I have spent the last 33 years working passionately on first making coaching a legitimate profession, then experimenting with the application of coaching to improve large, complex systems. Scott Blanchard and I created the very first Coaching Management System and it took me decades to understand how revolutionary that was. We were also the first to champion the idea of democratising coaching. I tend to be laser-focused on continual improvement and serving clients and tend to be oblivious to publicity and awards. I do not know how you found me, but it means a lot to me that you did. What can we expect to see from The Ken Blanchard Companies and your other ventures as we near the end of the year? As a company, we work tirelessly to make our exquisitely useful content available to a wider audience using all available technologies. We will continue to offer the finest leadership coaching while searching for and finding new ways to leverage technology. I am keenly aware that coaches are competing with artificial intelligence. I love technology, so I see my job as taking the best of what AI has to offer and making the highest and best use of rare and special human-to-human contact. “Not a week goes by without a new paper being published that unequivocally demonstrates that managers who create a psychologically safe environment attract and retain the best people.”

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