I help people find and do their best work with greater capacity.
The pace of change in our organizations is staggering. In these ambiguous, complex times, a leader is in the hot seat where the tough calls are made. The tactics and thought habits that worked so well for you in the past to manage your increasing scope are no longer sufficient. You’ve likely already maxed out the number of hours you can work. It’s likely impacting your health, and even your reputation. A shift in the way you’re doing things is overdue. And let’s be clear: this is nothing to be ashamed of. I haven’t met a leader yet who hasn’t struggled with this shift at some points in his/her career.
Why does your capacity for resilience matter? Because your ability to listen well under pressure, to think clearly, to ask good questions, and test your assumptions in the midst of the churn are all resilience skills. You need to be able to stay present when others are reacting.
“I feel ‘liberated’ to be much more of the leader that I want to be, more open and engaged with others. Linda Bidlack is an insightful coach who provided the structure for me to experiment. I see ongoing change in my behavior, as I am more aware of my need to use multiple leadership styles. The practical exercises that reinforced a learning insight worked especially well.”
Kevin F. Quigley, President, National Peace Corps Association
Why does coaching work?
Because human beings are naturally attentive to what is novel and threatening, it can be hard to do this kind of work on your own.
A coach enables you to track your own thinking and behavior long enough to find and untangle the habits we all develop early in life to pursue success. These habits are working all the time in the background, shaping what you see and don’t see, and how you get things done. But they can get badly outdated. For example, our society rewards young go-getters who function as heroes willing to do whatever it takes to get results, but that heroic mindset can get in the way of your ability to stay out of the weeds, to inspire and elevate the unique human beings who are on your team, now that you’re a leader.
Coaching helps you access and update these assumptions and habits. Together we design targeted practices, using new thoughts and behaviors to take progressive steps toward your goal, helping you learn to self-correct as your awareness increases.
“I am much calmer in stressful situations, am able to alleviate conflict, and have a much better sense of balance. You created an environment of trust and a space where weakness was allowed. By that I mean you enabled me to explore the scariest parts of my business experience – how others perceived me, why I am so driven, what happens when you are a thinker in an action-oriented business, how to change when you’re not sure what’s wrong about the status quo, tearing down old ways of doing things and exploring the new. I loved our discussions about long-ago events that had been profoundly meaningful to me, to help me appreciate the way I engage with the world and people around me today. I feel truly honored by the whole experience – from the darkest moments to the finding of an elevated sense of confidence in my ability to guide, to lead, to share and to collaborate.”
CN, Director, Consumer Products
“I absolutely believe that people, unless coached, never reach their maximum capabilities.”
Bob Nardelli, former CEO, Home Depot
How We’ll Work Together
We’ll talk first about your situation so I understand the context and whether I can help. This initial consultation is always free.
If we decide there’s a fit, we’ll set up our first session.
Lasting learning takes time and practice. I typically meet with clients in person, by phone, or Zoom about every two weeks for at least 6 months.
We’ll start by capturing your goals on paper and describe how you will be behaving differently by the end of the program, if we’ve been successful. I read these goals and desired outcomes before each session and you should too. Then in every session, we’ll debrief your ‘field work’, the engaging, challenging action steps that you took over the last few weeks to stretch you toward your goal. Finally, we’ll design new field work to take on next and check our calendars to set up the next session.
If your organization is sponsoring your coaching, I often recommend a 3-way reality check with your boss at the beginning and in the middle of our work together, along with an optional 360 -degree assessment. The coaching sessions themselves are completely confidential in order to give you the privacy to be 100% forthcoming and take incremental, positive risks.
Some clients prefer to contract for coaching directly with me, outside of the workplace, so they can choose to work on any goal they choose privately, progressing at their own pace and at their own expense.
“In our work together, I started addressing pressure points in my life, piece by piece– -I was constantly surprised how making a change in one area could really improve things in another. I also think team improvement often gets sidelined as not being urgent or important, but it really is essential to do it all the time in order to make any larger progress towards goals. You can’t make progress as a team if you try to improve in occasional moments– -it requires an ongoing and constant dialog. And I now recognize that I need to keep my life in balance in order to achieve results at work.”
Manager, Legislative Branch, US
If Your Focus Is More On Your Career, We Will Also…
- Unearth valuable clues from your career to date.
- Interpret results from career assessments, if needed.
- Clarify your sense of purpose, your strengths and weaknesses, and align your online presence, your resume, and your calendar.
- Tailor an effective search strategy. I will coach you through the steps so you can do most of it independently, while having an expert to debrief with, to keep you moving, and to help you practice whenever you need it, such as before interviews or networking events.
- Carefully listen for patterns in the way you interpret your situation so I can help you update any thought habits that are getting in your way.
- Find daily routines for physical, mental, and emotional resilience that will give you the best chance of showing up at your best.
At best, career coaching enables you not only to update your career, but at the same time update your life. You will be more tuned in to what’s going on around you AND inside you, so that the changes you implement are really live-able for the long run.
The sooner you do this, the more marketable and competitive you’ll be.
“I think the single most important awareness is, I am so much happier… A great example of this change in me is, prior to your help, I studied to pass my certification and I was not successful. Taking on that certification again, this time being extremely focused, I studied with confidence. I attribute my success in passing one of the most difficult tasks in my life to you, Linda. I can’t tell you how many hours I spent studying to fail. This whole process helped me stay focused and I was successful. Many thanks!”
BE, HR Director
Return on Investment Studies – The High Value of Coaching
Managers that underwent a managerial training program showed an increased productivity of 22.4%. However, a second group was provided coaching following the training process and their productivity increased by 88%.
Public Personnel Management Journal
Once used to bolster troubled staffers, coaching now is part of the standard leadership development training for elite executives and talented up-and- comers at IBM, Motorola, J.P. Morgan, Chase, and Hewlett Packard. These companies are discreetly giving their best prospects what star athletes have long had: a trusted adviser to help reach their goals.
Asked for a conservative estimate of the monetary payoff from the coaching they got, these managers described an average return of more than $100,000, or about six times what the coaching had cost their companies.