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Kevin & Jackie Freiberg

A Match Made in Heaven

Personal Secrets on

Coaching, Leadership and Collaboration

The best gift you can give others is an improved you, coaching can get you there.

The biggest factor that influences commitment, accountability and performance at work is the relationship people have with others, especially the boss. Executive coaching is about helping executives build great relationships and become leaders people respect, like and want to follow.

As leadership coaches we serve as sounding boards to executives seeking outside, objective expertise and insight. What is the secret to a successful coaching relationship? Trust, a learning spirit, chemistry… Hum, sounds a lot like a healthy marriage.

For more than 20 years we’ve been working together as a husband/wife business team to better understand leaders who have created “best place, best people, best work” environments. Our experience is both personal and professional.

Like any partnership ours is complex and ever changing.  Do we have it wired?  NO!  But the journey has taught us much about the practice of leadership and collaboration and the value of coaching to lift deadly blinders and empower you to grow.

How do we coach executives (and each other) to lead big, inspire collaboration and grow commitment, accountability and performance? We borrow from the best leaders we know, encourage each other to live what we learn and coach executives to do the same.

In the spirit of learning, we think coaches need to be coached!  Recently we went through a relationship match profile—a very insightful process that revealed our individual and “matched” leadership behaviors, collaborative styles and key motivators.

What did we learn? We’re very different! Yet how powerful we can be if we stretch beyond the comfort of our own way of thinking and behaving.  The process lifted our individual blinders and reaffirmed our “match” if we capitalize on the power of two.

So what makes for a match made in heaven (personally and professionally)? In other words, what are the secrets to servant leadership and collaboration?

  • No ego!  You have to check it at the door.  Arrogance inhibits humility and every great and gutsy leader we know is confident BUT humble.
  • A unified vision, it provides direction, stability and guidance especially in the midst of uncertainty. A unified vision is a crystal clear picture of what you and others want to achieve through your relationship.
  • Unconditional acceptance, it creates openness to critical feedback and a willingness to learn and grow.
  • Forgiveness, it fosters trust, authenticity and vulnerability.
  • Patience and a deep appreciation for difference, it allows you to capitalize on the power of collaboration.
  • Purposeful planning, clear goals and deadlines—all are critical for execution and accountability. A crystal clear, unified vision is cool but you need carefully defined stepping-stones to get you there. You need to determine who owns which stones and when they need to be in place?

Let’s face it, servant leadership is not for the faint of heart, no wimps, no whiners allowed!  Leadership is a choice.  There are countless moments in every day when we must choose to rise above our own personal agendas and self-protecting, what’s-in-it-for-me, ego-boosting motives and choose instead to serve, to be there, to listen, and to exercise patience!

And collaboration is hard work as well. It’s time consuming, it can be frustrating and it requires teamwork when doing it alone seems easier.  Collaboration is about being accountable to something larger than you and you alone.  It requires vision and direction both of which provide unity and collective purpose.

Whether your leading a team or refreshing a personal relationship if you commit to unify on these issues performance will improve and fulfillment will increase.

To find the right coach strive for chemistry.  The success of any coaching rests on relational fit, it must feel like a match. Every meeting should be uniquely tailored to helping you:

  • Think through how to handle major strategic initiatives and key changes in the organization.
  • Engage the leadership behaviors necessary for creating a performance-driven culture.
  • Fine-tune your message, develop more confidence and improve communication skills.
  • Improve relationships with employees, reduce turnover and re-recruit key players.
  • Inspire higher levels of commitment and accountability
  • Create more meaning, happiness and fulfillment in work and in life.

The Fall always feels like a fresh start. Why not give yourself, your team, your spouse or significant other the gift of a refreshed, renewed, recharged you?

Look for a coach who can help you lift your blinders and kick off the Fall with purpose and focus.

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