Overcoming Roadblocks to Your Development

CHANGE IS HARD. We at Teleos are in the business of helping leaders shift the way they lead, in ways that better enable them to accomplish important goals. One insight that’s been reinforced over the years is that it’s hard to sustainably change behavior on important dimensions. Our experience is validated by a deep body of research by leadership thinkers, such as Chris Argyris’ study of how hard it is for high-performing professionals to learn.

Expose Your Thinking

I borrow this title phrase from a coaching client – I’ll call him Nick – who has identified “exposing his thinking” as a development goal. Nick wanted to have more impact in his organization, and at first he tried to do that by doing more of what he was good at – thinking. He formulated ideas inside his own head and was uncomfortable sharing those ideas until they were fully formed. He asked people questions for the purpose of fleshing out his internal problem analyses, thinking he was being inclusive by doing so, but the reason for his questions was known only to him.  He might be concerned about the […]

Why Being Smart is Over-Rated

When I work with an executive coaching client, I interview co-workers to get input into the person’s current leadership style. I start by asking about the person’s leadership strengths, and I’ll often hear some variation on the theme of “super-smart.” Whenever I hear this, I get ready for the other shoe to drop, and it usually does when I ask about the person’s leadership limits. Then I hear, “discounts other people’s points of view,” or, “can’t relate to people who aren’t as smart,” or “always has to parachute in and fix people’s work for them.” We learn to over-value being smart. We learn the value of being smart early in […]

Much Ado About Coach Certification

Lately, we’ve been hearing a lot of emphasis on certification as a criterion – often the sole criterion – for choosing coaches. If you Google “coach certification” you will find 16 million results. “Executive coach certification” narrows it down to 770,000. You can find certification programs that cost less than $400 and require 4 days or less to complete. If you’re looking for a coach, you want to know you are choosing a competent and qualified person. And we want to equip you with the tools for making the right choice for yourself. But first let’s talk about the pitfalls of a narrow focus on certification. The most important thing […]