Executive Coach Executive CoachExecutive Coach
Scott Eblin offers his take on lessons in the news and his advice on your pressing leadership questions.
ARCHIVES

How You Show Up This Week Has a Huge Ripple Effect

As I wrote here earlier this year, a word that’s working for me this year is the Sanskrit word sankalpa. As explained to me by one of my teachers, Sara Ivanhoe, sankalpa encourages us to focus less on what we’re going to do and more on how we’re going to be. Of course, those two ideas are not mutually exclusive. How we show up in any given situation has an enormous impact on what we actually accomplish.

A great example of how that works was cited recently by Tony Schwartz in one of his regular columns for the New York Times.  Schwartz recently met and spent some time talking with Lynn Doughtie, the recently appointed chairman and CEO of the public accounting firm, KPMG. She is the first woman to hold both of those roles in one of the Big Four accounting firms. Obviously, you don’t end up in a position like Doughtie’s unless you have a stellar track record of getting big things done.

What struck Schwartz the most in his conversation with her was how present and connected Doughtie was with him. As great leaders do, she made him feel like she had...

Keep Doing the Work and the Results Will Follow

So, it’s not every day when you can say that one of your lifelong best friends just won a Tony award. Today is actually the second time I’ve gotten to do that. The fact that today is actually National Best Friends Day makes it even more fun.

Last night, one of my best friends since third grade, Michael Cerveris, won his second Tony award. His latest is best lead actor in a musical for playing the role of Bruce Bechdel in the ground-breaking show, Fun Home. The show was nominated for 12 Tonys and, in addition to Michael’s award, won for best musical, best director and best score and book.

Michael and I first connected a long time ago back in Huntington, West Virginia. His family moved to town when he was a third grader and his dad took a position as professor of music at Marshall University. Michael would likely tell you that we connected when I was the only kid who showed up for his birthday party a few weeks after he came to town. It wasn’t long before he had a lot of friends. There were a bunch of us who did everything...

Three Ways to Stop Judging Yourself

What would it take for you to stop judging yourself?

When my coach asked me that question, it stopped me in my tracks. More than 15 years later, it remains the most meaningful and impactful coaching question I’ve ever been asked. When she asked the question, I was a Fortune 500 vice president in my thirties and, by a lot of external standards, a success.

I never felt that way though. My modus operandi was a cycle of self-criticism and self-judgment. My coach picked up on that and one day, seemingly out of nowhere, asked me that question: “What would it take for you to stop judging yourself?” Her question hit me so hard and so deep that it almost brought me to tears. It took me years to come up with my answer.

Since then, I’ve become a coach myself and have written a couple of books. The first bookhttp://ir-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?t=wwweblingrouc-20&l=as2&o=1&a=1857885554 was for leaders who want to succeed at the next level. The latest bookhttp://ir-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?t=wwweblingrouc-20&l=as2&o=1&a=1118910664 is about how to manage yourself and your life when you get there. I couldn’t have written it if I hadn’t learned to go easier on myself. What I’ve found...

5 Simple Ways to Make Creative Thinking a Daily Habit

Where or when do you get your best ideas?

I ask that question to a lot of clients and executives attending my presentations and seminars. The answers I often hear are things like "In the shower," "Walking the dog," "Working out," "On my commute," "Taking care of the yard," or "Cleaning the house."

But do you know what answer I never hear? "At my desk in front of my computer." In fact, when I ask if anyone gets their best ideas at their desk, everyone laughs because the very idea is absurd.

People hardly ever get their best ideas at their desks, and yet that’s where most professionals spend most of the day. If it’s not the desk, it’s a conference table, and hardly anyone gets their best ideas there either.

The irony, of course, is that most of the great work any of us do depends on the sparks of insight and creativity that come when we’re not actively focusing on a particular task or trying to solve a problem. We need to create and leave time for unconscious thought.

As neuroscience researcher Loran Nordgren explained to strategy+business magazine, unconscious thought is the more...

How to Get Your New Team Off to a Strong Start

If you’re a leader in your organization, there will be multiple times in your career when you have to get a new team off to a strong start. One of the critical steps in that process is when you bring the team members together for the first time. That’s a rare opportunity to define the purpose, build trust, establish the ground rules and set the priorities. Like they say, you only get one chance to make a first impression. Make the most of it by giving some thought to that first team meeting and taking some time to prepare for it.

One of my executive coaching clients recently faced this exact situation. He’s leading a startup team and has been in heavy recruiting mode filling the key positions on the team. After months of hard work, he’s gotten everyone hired for his leadership team. In talking through what he wanted to accomplish in his first leadership team meeting and how he wanted to approach the meeting, we came up with a simple four-part agenda that would work for almost any first meeting of a team.

It’s built on four one-word questions. Feel free to use...