5 Characteristics You Can Develop To Become a More Productive Leader

Today’s business environment has become more and more volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous. Through my 30 plus years of running high performing teams and analyzing the emerging supporting research from the neuroscience community, I’ve identified 5 attributes that can absolutely be developed in existing and emerging leaders. The impact on the financial performance of an organization and individual success are astounding. CEOs who developed some of these characteristics performed at nearly a five-time rate on return on assets. There’s been exhaustive work and study on this subject from reputable sources like Daniel Goleman and Korn Ferry.

My recent work has led me to certification in the Burke Learning Agility Inventory assessment tool. I’m also engaged as an advisor in developing a concept called “Third Space Thinking” at USC. All of these “soft skills” advocates have their on take on what attributes are worth developing to become an effective leader. I have the luxury of cherry-picking my favorites and tell you how you can make the necessary changes in your habits to produce outstanding results.

  • Flexibility: In this fast moving world, leaders need to be open to new ideas and new solutions. If you have a passion for new strategies and tactics you are on the higher end of this spectrum. If you are less facile in this area, you like when things are settled. You honor tradition by collecting and analyzing lots of data to be sure of success. People, of course, can overuse this attribute by seeking change for change’s sake when a tried and true method may suit the situation.
  • Speed: This is another characteristic that came out of Dr. Burke’s work. Acting on ideas quickly so that those that are not working are discarded. Other possibilities can then be accelerated.
  • Empathy: In his Third Space Thinking white paper, Dean Wilson of USC, identified this attribute as the most important of the five essential leadership characteristics they unearthed. In his article, “Why Startup Leaders Need To Use “Third Space Thinking”, he references a survey done by the Lady Geek consultancy firm that found the 10 most empathic businesses generated 50% more profits than the 10 least empathetic firms.
  • Cultural Competency: This really focuses on two areas. The world is shrinking and the marketplace reflects that. That doesn’t mean, however, that we all think and act the same. Marketing a product in Japan requires a completely different approach than marketing the same product in France. Likewise, as the workplace becomes more diversified, we need to understand that what motivates a Brazilian employee is different than what inspires an employee raised in Germany. It also means that organizationally, there’s a growing value in collaborative projects between divisions. Marketing should be more sensitive to the goals coming out of finance and so on.
  • Self-Reflection: Recently, I watched a presentation at Columbia University by David Peterson, head of Google’s leadership development program. He stressed the importance of journaling in maximizing your abilities as a leader, in fact, as a human being. His techniques include a daily 1-minute check-in where you ask yourself: What new thing did I do today? What worked well? What didn’t? What did I learn? What one thing will I do differently tomorrow? He continues his self-examination recipe, by adding weekly 2 minute drills, monthly 5 minute exercises and up to one-day self-interrogations every 5 to 10 years.

In my own research, I found that self-awareness is one of the few character traits that are highly correlated to a company’s financial performance. In Korn Ferry’s report “ A Better Return On Self-Awareness” they found on average that poorly performing companies had 20 percent more blind spots. We’ll look at other ways of building self-awareness in future writings, but reflection is a powerful vehicle to get you there. I plan to do another blog that shows you evidence that adding a practice of meditation can help you develop many of these attributes naturally.

There are several assessment tools that can help you understand which of these characteristics are your signature strengths. I want to emphasize that wherever you are these tools can be developed on your own, using 360 feedback or working with an executive coach.

Check out my profile and get a free 15 min laser coaching session with me!

#WisdomWednesday C2C Mini-Blog: Leadership begins with…

#WisdomWednesday C2C Mini-Blog by Greg B. 

We all want to BE BETTER.

We all want to make life better for ourselves, our families, and for others.

This is the essence of leadership, where leadership starts. That is to make a better future.

Leadership starts with an ideaa thoughta concept, or an improvement that will make a better future.

To lead we must INSPIREMOTIVATE, and PERSUADE people to see a better version of the world.

People want, need, and even demand to be inspired before they will follow!

Effective leaders are excellent at showing people how life will be better when they arrive at this new and glorious future.

If we want anyone to follow we must first show them the better future they will have when they do.

#WisdomWed Tips

– Identify the people you want to follow you
– Think about where they are in reference to where you want to lead them
– Describe the better future they will have when they follow you.

5 Ways to Beat the Millennial Meltdown

Everyone has good and bad days at work, no matter your age or stage in life.  However, there seems to be a disconnect between the generations in the workplace.  How you express your frustrations and what you do with them that can make all the difference.

Here are the most common issues that Millennials have at work and some insight into what can be done:

I’m feeling undervalued and unimportant

You are neither of these things but constant reinforcement is not available in the workplace.  You need to be able to find what you need from within yourself or through other avenues.  Your job should not define who you are and how you feel about yourself.

I feel like I am not being listened to

If the lines of communication are not open, you can change this by approaching the situation in a positive manner and with solution centered answers.  Speak up when the opportunity arises, be proactive and be consistent.

I want more from my job

Your ability to create, engage and innovate is an important part of the work experience.  You have goals and want to understand how you fit into the bigger picture.  Take advantage of the opportunities presented to you.

I have more to offer then they are allowing me to contribute –

Traditional boundaries are hindering me and I want to do more. There is a reason that these values exist, embrace them and learn from them.  Focus on doing your job and doing it well.  This will open doors in the future.

My boss doesn’t care about me

Your boss does not need to care about you personally.  Your boss only needs to care about your ability to do your job.  Respect from your employer is not a given, you need to earn it.

Check out my profile and get a free 15 min laser coaching session with me!

#WisdomWednesday C2C Mini-Blog: Are you growing?

#WisdomWednesday C2C Mini-Blog by Greg B.

This week we celebrated our son’s 4th birthday! We have been building this up with anticipation for weeks and his big day finally arrived.

What I found most amazing was in his own mind he was different because of the fact that he was no longer three. It was like he could now do all sorts of things that were previously blocked to him. In fact, when we would ask him to do something new he would often say, “I can’t do that yet, I’m only 3!”

It’s amazing to watch children grow up right before your eyes. Growing is a natural part of life. Healthy leaders grow. Healthy teams grow. Healthy companies grow.

Are you growing?

As we become adults our bodies stop growing but that does not me our capacity for growth has come to an end. No. No matter how young or old one is your capacity for growth is significant. We can each grow in our work ethic, knowledge, skill set, and attitudes. We can also grow in personal discipline, emotional intelligence, communication, decision making and self-awareness.

Have your dramatic growth experiences like turning 4 fallen into your past? Have you or your team become so comfortable that you are in the same place doing the same things?


– Write Down two or three professional development goals and put them where you will see them
– Do the same for your team
– Ask someone to hold you accountable for each of the above

“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” Steve Jobs

Choosing an Executive Coach – 5 Things to Look For


When choosing an executive coach, it can be overwhelming to consider all of the qualities the right professional should have. Every coach is different, but there are core experiences and abilities that you will always find in a credible coach. Keep reading to learn about the five things to look for before you hire an executive coach.

Training and Education

Much like when hiring an employee, you should look at what training and education a coach has received. According to the ICF “When asked to identify the biggest obstacle for coaching over the next 12 months, the main concern expressed by coach practitioners was untrained individuals who call themselves coaches.” Be wary of anyone who calls themselves a coach, but won’t display any real credentials or training. This is not a profession that just anyone can do well in. It takes skill and talent.

Prior Experience

“If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur.” – Red Adair

After training and education comes experience. Hiring and executive coach is an investment. It’s important for you to assess how much experience a coach has and to look at the success they’ve achieved. If they have worked with many clients and bring a lot of value to them, they are likely to do the same for you. It’s just as the saying goes, past behavior dictates future behavior.

Good Communication Skills

An executive coach is a coach. In order to be effective at that, they have to be a good communicator. When they speak, make sure that you can clearly understand everything that they say. If you can understand them, that not only means they are an effective communicator, it also means that they most likely have an extensive knowledge base to pull from.

A Process

Every successful venture starts with a plan, right? Before hiring an executive coach, you should speak to them about the steps they usually take to get results. When you consult with a possible coach, talk to them about a specific concern or something you would like to improve. Let them talk to you about the direction they would like to go in or what has worked for them in the past.


“Let no one think that flexibility and a predisposition to compromise is a sign of weakness.” – Paul Kagame

Though every good executive coach will and should have a process in which they follow to reach goals, it is also imperative that they are they are flexible. Every business is different, and having a formula is a great place to start. However, it is also important that they will take the things that are unique to you and your company when working with you. One of the benefits of having an executive coach in the first place is that they can assist you specifically, not just give you standard advice pulled from a book.

Ready to choose an executive coach? Click here to find out how Coach 2 Coach can assist you or Click Here to find your ideal coach.

#WisdomWednesday C2C Mini-Blog: Opinions and Perspectives

#WisdomWednesday C2C Mini-Blog by Greg B.

We all have opinions and perspectives about our work and life. When given the chance we are happy to share and even DECLARE them to the world!!

This week we distinguish between the two and challenge you to Mind Your P’s & O’s
Opinions while not a bad thing can limit our ability to work with others. That is because they carry a subjective sense of judgment or preference, “I like”, “I think”, “you should…”

This multiplies VERY quickly with someone who has an opinion on every issue.

As leaders, we often need to weigh in on many difficult subjects and issues. Opinions matter as they provide the necessary clarity and direction people need.

Perspectives, on the other hand, are objective. They show ownership and independence of thought, yet they don’t carry the judgment of good right vs wrong.

We each have our own particular point of view. We see things in a certain way, have privy to information, or a different set of priorities. These are all good things.

Unlike opinions, no one can argue with your point of view and it does not need a defense. Not everyone will see the same thing you see but together we can see a much bigger picture.

It is through the multiplicity of perspectives that we find innovated solutions.

What’s wrong with this PICTURE?

I have been running 2 cleansing groups back to back, so as you can imagine I’m feeling pretty good! As a result, my awareness of chemicals and keeping them out of my foods is really high.

It is because of this I want to share something I saw in Whole Foods the other day that just blew me away.

I went there to meet up with a friend of mine and grab a bite to eat. As I was sizing up the selections and reading the ingredient lists, I always read the ingredient lists, this is what I saw –

I was stopped dead in my tracks……

What jumped out at me was the length of the ingredient list. No one should eat anything with a list this long.

But let’s break this down…..

When you make a meatloaf you have meat (grass fed preferably), maybe you add egg, bread crumbs, garlic, onion, and other seasonings to taste. That’s basically it, right? So we’re looking at 5 or 6 ingredients, all of which we can pronounce and we know exactly what they are.

In this recipe we have sugar – in here a few times under different names, Dextrose and Maltodextrin, we have caramel color which is a carcinogen, natural flavors – in here more times than I can count – up to 100 chemicals can hide behind at any given time, yeast or yeast extract which is code for MSG (a chemical flavor enhancer), Soy and soybeans which are one of the most genetically modified foods = pesticides.

What’s really kind of crazy is they notate non-GMO cage-free eggs, which simply means they are not in a cage but doesn’t mean they are not crowded in a barn never to see the light of day, and non-GMO canola oil but the soy is not Non-GMO, which is one of the most genetically modified foods – right up there with corn and they are in everything. Read most ingredient lists and you’ll find it.

And we wonder why we’re gaining weight, feeling bloated and have digestive issues. These are the very ingredients that keep you coming back for more and are at the root of your fatigue, skin rashes, brain fog and so much more.

Read the ingredient lists – they will set you free and save your life!

Needless to say, this really flipped my switch and I had a conversation with the Store Mgr and told him this is not what we expect from Whole Foods. I asked him if an outside source was cooking some of their food for them. He said he didn’t know that he would check into it. My guess is they are. I gave him my card and said I would check back.

I went back today and the same dish was out. The Store Mgr wasn’t available.

So here’s my question to you – Do you think all this “crap” is in your food when you go out to a restaurant?

I would say unequivocally YES!

Wouldn’t you like to know what ingredients to look for? What to stay away from? What to eat more of so you can live a happy, healthy life free of chemicals and keep disease at bay?

I thought so…

Connect with me and Book a Free 15 minute Laser Coaching Session to see how I can help you!

5 Ways Executive Coaching Increases Employee Retention

One of the things that can become challenging for businesses is the struggle of employee retention. Companies often choose to utilize financial incentives to motivate and retain employees. However, executive coaching can also be a vital tool for employee retention. Executive coaching assists in helping employees become more engaged and satisfied with their work. For this reason, three out of four coach practitioners said they expect their number of coaching clients to increase over the next 12 months. Here’s an in-depth look at why coaching is the right choice for your employee retention.

Create a better relationship with management.

“Executive Coaching is aimed at inspiring executive leaders to make behavioral changes which transform themselves and the people around them thereby increasing business results and performance.”- Jeremy Robinson

The number one reason why people leave their job is because they feel their relationship with their boss is toxic. However, leaders can take steps to rectify this or avoid it all together. According to the ICF, two out of three coach practitioners report that the majority of their clients are managers. Executive coaching teaches leaders how they can change the way they interact with their employees. This creates a more productive working relationship. In turn, employees are also more committed to their work.

Increase your chances of keeping trained employees.

There is often a lot of time and money invested into training a great employee. It can be devastating for a company to lose an employee in a middle management position. Coaches can help these employees realize their worth within an organization and motivate them to stay with your company instead of potentially finding a job with a competitor.

Learn to challenge employees.

Over time, it is common to become unsatisfied and desire to change jobs. Despite that, executive coaching can help managers change their scope and challenge their employees in new ways that adds a level of importance to their role.  Managers can also become more confident in their team and avoid micro-managing. When employees are given more independence, that comes with a sense of pride and responsibility. The result is better quality work and an increase in job satisfaction.

Get Everyone on the same page.

Has your company recently been acquired by another organization or had a change in leadership? Shifts like this can cause a breakdown in communication and put a stop to work flow. Executive coaching helps boost overall morale by building trust and showcasing the benefits of staying on board with the company.

Positive company culture.

“Culture is about performance, and making people feel good about how they contribute to the whole.” – Tracy Streckenbach

While the way management treats and communicates with employees is important, it is also important for employees to work well with each other. Executive coaching creates a positive company culture. This makes every person in the office feel that they are being respected and appreciated every day.  Coaching doesn’t just help those on the upper levels of the company. It has an impact on everyone employed there.

Do you want to work with a coach to improve your employee retention? Click here to find out how Coach 2 Coach can assist you or Click Here to find your ideal coach.





#WisdomWednesday C2C Mini-Blog: Are you a micro-manager?

#WisdomWednesday C2C Mini-Blog by Greg B.

To be a marked as a ’micro-manager’ can be TABOO in today’s’ marketplace.So, what is micro-management?

It is when the manager controls specific details of a project.

The alternative is macro-management. This is when the manager focuses on the big picture and gives flexibility and freedom to their team.

Both macro and micro management have a place in a manager’s toolkit.

In today’s workplace micro-management is particularly seen as negative. This is because it usually signals insecurity or a lack of trust from the manager.


Micro-management is not always a poor method. Especially, when time and/or money present an urgent issue.

This is when micro-management allows the manager to take control and manage the remaining resources quickly.

Macro-management is the preferred style for day-to-day operations. It gives managers the ability to look at the big picture and allows team members to sort through the details.

Are you effective with both of these management styles?

#WisdomWed Tips

1. Recognize both styles have their benefits and weaknesses.
2. Communicate openly when you need to take a ‘micro’ approach.
3. Raise your awareness on which management style you tend to adopt.

#WisdomWednesday C2C Mini-Blog: Leave the peanut butter in the jar?

#WisdomWednesday C2C Mini-Blog by Greg B.

Would you buy peanut butter only to leave it in the jar? Maybe you would or maybe that is a crazy idea to you.

Another question, would you ever take the time and energy to learn something and never to apply it?

What I have found, both in myself and others, is that we often execute far below our knowledge and understanding.

We KNOW and UNDERSTAND far more than we APPLY.

A few examples:

– What do you know about time management principles?
– What do you know about leading others?
– What do you know about your industry?

Now, very quickly rate how you apply what you know for each. (1-10)

Looks like there is some peanut butter left in that jar…

#WisdomWed Tips

  • Identify one principle or behavior that you know you could/should incorporate into your work/life?
  • Write down three or more positive outcomes from applying this knowledge
  • Acknowledge what specifically holds your back
  • Create a clear plan incorporate this one piece of knowledge
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