Superpowers

Read all of my Seattle Times columns. “I want to assess my strengths and identify the best career for me,” a potential client told me on the phone. Career development doesn’t really work that way, I told her. “We definitely want to play to your strengths in your work,” I said. “You’ve been around for 30-some years – I bet ...

Networking in Middle School

Read all of my Seattle Times columns. “Try not to get shot at school today,” I tell my kids every morning as they get on the school bus. “We’ll try, Mom,” they say. They don’t roll their eyes. We’re whistling past the graveyard. That’s how I regulate the terror I feel every single morning when my children leave for school. ...

This Year’s Word

Read all of my Seattle Times columns. “I choose a single word every year,” a beloved coaching client told me. “Like a guiding principle for the year.” I looked at her in surprise. “I do that, too,” I said. (Apparently, lots of people do this.) “What’s your word this year?” “Connect,” she said. “I want to focus this year on connecting with ...

The Quaver

Read all of my Seattle Times columns. A beloved coaching client told me she is nervous and awkward talking in groups. She hates presenting. She’s a senior manager at a large corporation. She’s ambitious and wants to move up in her organization. She has many years of presenting ahead of her. She needs to figure this out. “I was working ...

Not Qualified. Really?

Read all of my Seattle Times columns. A beloved client was considering a move. She had seen a VP role she was interested in. “But I’m not qualified,” this senior director said. “I haven’t done ________,” and she named some technical skill. So I told her a story. I had a client — a director at a large health-care organization ...

Impostor Syndrome

Impostor Syndrome is a common theme in my office. There’s no “cure,” but there’s no reason for it to hold you back. Here’s my Seattle Times column: The painfully funny thing about impostor syndrome. The Seattle Times, March 5, 2018 “I’m worried that I’m no good without my team,” a senior director told me. She was transitioning to a new role ...

The Potential Baby

Read all my Seattle Times columns “Are you using birth control?” I asked a beloved coaching client, a junior executive on the East Coast. There was a shocked silence on the other end of the phone line. After a pause, she allowed that she is on the pill. She had two offers on the table: a VP role leading a ...

Managing Your Manager

Read all my Seattle Times columns A beloved coaching client didn’t get promoted. He missed it by one vote. Unfortunately, it was his skip’s (his “skip level” — his boss’s boss) vote. “How do your other clients manage upwards?” he asked me, describing a pattern of cool and unhelpful relationships with his executive management over the course of his career. ...

Pebbles

“I’m stuck” is a pretty typical place to start a coaching session. People hate their jobs and their careers when they feel stuck and trapped. The first step to getting unstuck is to, well, take a step.  This is from my Seattle Times column: When you hate your job, but don’t know what to do next The Seattle Times, February 12, ...

Dreadful Questions

Helping clients identify and prepare for Dreadful Questions is pretty foundational to my coaching practice. It’s pretty simple, but it gets in front of all kinds of confidence issues, career limiting habits, Impostor Syndrome — I could keep going. Having a good story prepared helps you short cut around those issues. I decided to write this column in the first person ...

The Back-to-School Dilemma

My lovely editor at The Seattle Times asked me if I could write a column about a client who decided to go back to school mid-career: The going-back-to-school dilemma. I had lots of stories to choose from, but this client stands out in my mind. She completely transformed her career in about a year. She rewrote her career. So cool. Seattle ...

The Sidewalk

This column for the Seattle Times is about an experiment I’ve been running after I read an article about manslamming a couple of years ago: How you walk on a sidewalk hints at your executive presence. January 22, 2018, The Seattle Times My coaching clients sometimes want to talk about increasing their executive presence. “How do you walk down the sidewalk?” I ask. ...

Talking to Old Men

This is my January 15 column in The Seattle Times: Uncertain of your next step? Talk to your future self) I like this story because it shows how easy a useful question can be. A friend, spouse, sibling, parent, or passing skier can ask: “Best case and with a little luck, you’ll be an old man/woman someday. What does he/she want ...

The Car Keys

I’ve been meaning to write this story for a couple of years. Appropriate that this story is the topic for my first weekly column for The Seattle Times: Transformation is sometimes about the small things (like car keys). I’m always interested in how small changes can cascade through a client’s personal and professional life. The trick, for the coach (or ...

Credibility

Who am I and how do I have the credibility to coach senior executives in industries I know nothing about? I put that question on a Powerpoint slide in front of a large group at Microsoft. I figured this question was on their minds. I like to get in front of difficult questions. In my coaching, I call them Dreadfuls ...