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23 Telltale Signs it’s Time to Fire Your Executive Coach

I’ve written about the Executive Coaching industry before. Most coaches are highly qualified and ethical professionals that can help an executive or aspiring executive reach their fullest potential. However, as with any industry, coaching has its share of charlatans, frauds, and wannabes.

Heck, some can even be downright dangerous.

In the absence of a professional license – ICF certification is the closest thing, but not all coaches even think it’s important – how do you know if you’ve hired, or about to hire a dud?

Here are 23 telltale signs, mostly based on the International Coach Federation Code of Ethics:

1. You discover that something your coach provided about their qualifications, experience, testimonials, credentials, certifications, or accomplishments was misleading or outright false.

2. You find out that the coach is taking credit for someone else’s work (i.e., research, articles, models, etc…).

3. Your coach brings bagfuls of their own personal issues to the table that are getting in the way of your coaching relationship.

4. You find out you’ve been a part of a research project or case study and didn’t give your consent.

5. You find the ...

Hostess Cupcakes, Mitt Romney and the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue: 2012 Economic Indicators?

It’s an election year and one of the major focal points for presidential candidates is the high unemployment rate.  In past blogs, we’ve given our perspective on what to expect for job prospecting in 2012, but let’s take a look at the facts.  While the media and pundits go back and forth over the Obama administration’s effect on the unemployment rate and which economists believe that full recovery will take place now or years from now, we know that some factors are clearly better indicators than others.  From a finance major who graduated from college into one of the bleakest hiring outlooks for new grads in decades, here are four things you need to know about the health of the job market in 2012:

• Participation rate within the unemployment rate:  The unemployment rate today is at its lowest rate since 2008 due to increased job creation. However, it is skewed by the fact that an alarming number of people have dropped out of the work force.  Further, part-time workers that are still searching for full-time positions are also not accounted for. Because of this, the unemployment rate is not always an accurate or complete indicator of the health of the job ...


Building a Magnetic Culture – A Review and Recommendation

Recognize This! – Great books on organization culture are few and far between. Building a Magnetic Culture is a must read.

Readers of my blog know that organization culture is passion of mine – especially how to build a culture of recognition and then proactively manage it. I’ve heard many discount the ability to manage a corporate culture, but indeed you can. As my CEO Eric Mosley and I said in our book Winning with a Culture of Recognition:

“To say that corporate culture cannot be managed scientifically, with rigorous and authentic processes, is a myth with damaging consequences. An organization’s culture can be learned, encour­aged, ingrained, and applied to every business process, in many forms and across many different parts of the organization. Applied correctly, culture management through recognition is one of the most powerful, effective and, most critically, positive ways to drive the success of your organization as measured by improvements in operating margins, income, and customer satisfaction.”

Kevin Sheridan’s book Building a Magnetic Culture is a perfect example of why this is true and an excellent guide for how to create a culture in which employees would ...


7 Things Employees Want to Know In a Department Reshuffle

Overheard at a lunchtime conversation in the company cafeteria:

Employee: “That sure was a big announcement by the CEO this morning. They’re really moving the boxes on the org chart this time. What’s your reaction?

Mid-level manager: (shrugging shoulders, sounding nonchalant) “Meh. I’ve been around this place for a long time. It’s just same monkeys, different trees, as far as I’m concerned.”

As a leader, you may have become blasé about corporate restructuring, especially if you’re a survivor of numerous downsizing/outsourcing/right-sizing battles. Trust me on this one when I say: You may be feeling chill about the latest company reorg, but the employees who report to you most decidedly are NOT.

There’s an old adage out there that says “people resist change”. I think that’s not quite accurate.  In my opinion, it’s not always the actual proposed change that people are resisting. Rather it’s the disruption their work lives are about to undergo when they hear of organizational realignment. Even when an announced change is welcome (“Finally, it’s about time!”), there is still that period of uncertainty and lack of clarity about “who does what”.

If your department is in any way ...


Online community ethics

Are you on Facebook? Who isn’t these days? Here’s a question about using Facebook as an extension of work or classroom learning. Is it ethical to force people (over whom you have some power & authority) to use Facebook, a proprietary platform that tracks users & sells their data to third parties?

I ask this question to organizational community managers, teachers, professors and even companies. For example, if I want to interact with our national public broadcaster, it seems the preferred venue is “The Facebook”. Last December I put my Facebook account into hibernation (you cannot actually delete your Facebook profile). Since then, I have had many offers to join groups or engage in communities on the platform, all assuming that, of course, I use Facebook.

For those of us who understand these technologies, are we doing a disservice by not promoting a free & open web? People learn most from modelling the behaviour of their peers. For those of us who have been online for some time now, what kind of tacit examples are we providing?

Educators and facilitators of organizational learning need to have a conversation about the open web and understand the implications of their ...


Ask HR Bartender: Working HR In a Family-Owned Business

Here’s an interesting situation from a reader about working HR in a family-owned business (and not being family).

I was promoted last year to finance and HR coordinator at a small consulting company. We have some family members of the CEO working here in the office. There are some personality conflicts amongst the other employees.

Since my promotion, I’m now associated with the ‘family members’ so I automatically get a bad rap. I try to talk with everyone but it seems like they don’t want to talk to me because they think I will run back to the family members. So ‘confidentiality’ isn’t there even though I’m not that type of person nor is it my job to do that.

I’m totally capable of my job and handling confidential issues. I just haven’t been given the time of day. Now, I’ve been demoted to receptionist. Please help – I want my job back!

There are several issues here. Let’s try to address them individually.

Blood can be is usually thicker than water. Our reader has experienced one of the downsides to working in a small family-owned business. Family members aren’t always held accountable to the same rules. Sometimes they bring the “home” part of their lives to “work”. I ...


"I Don't Care What You Look Like, I Care About What You Contribute!"


Sunday night I rolled into Gibson’s Bar on South Lamar in Austin, TX around 7:30PM looking for a happy hour function and the chance to meet a lot of new people. You guessed it! I am attending a conference, the first ever conference hosted by and its parent company ERE Media, Inc.

This is ostensibly an HR conference but unlike any I have ever seen and probably a prototype for similar conferences that you may be getting invited to soon. There is not a lot going on about compliance or process and a lot of conversation about HR producing and being associated directly with business results.

Just to get this off my chest, being here makes me realize my age in a way I have not before. Just last week I had signed up for Medicare but even that did not have the gravitas of being in a room full of vibrant young HR professionals who can’t stop talking about their issues, or products, depending on their role here and have obviously tremendous appetites for whatever can assist them in their quest to build talent ...


Webinar 29th February: Unlocking Performance – Engagement through Recognition

Recognize This! –Learn from the best in this webinar on Aberdeen’s research results showing the direct and profound connection between employee recognition and engagement.

My colleagues at Globoforce are participating in a webinar on Wednesday, 29th February, with Aberdeen Group, discussing Unlocking Performance: Engagement through Recognition.”

Aberdeen studied more than 400 organizations and their employee engagement and performance management strategies, covering a wide variety of industries and geographies. As a result of the research, they found:

  • Organizations with the highest levels of engagement and performance achieve more
  • Employee recognition has a dramatic impact engagement, recruiting and individual performance
  • Reporting tools are critical to avoid unintended consequences
  • Social recognition plays an important role in recognition adoption and culture proliferation

I hope you can join Thad Peterson from Globoforce and Mollie Lombardi from Aberdeen Group, as they lead a discussion on the connection between an engaged workforce and organizational performance, including:

  • Aligning employee behaviors with the drivers of business ...

Recognition on the Road: Recognition takes the red carpet

By Thad Peterson

Millions of people around the world love The Oscars. I’m not one of them. To my way of thinking, in an industry known for self-indulgence, this is the night when that self-indulgence hits its annual crescendo.

But my disparaging personal view notwithstanding, last night, tens of millions of people tuned in for the Oscars. It’s one of the most watched shows on television every year. And needless to say, virtually everyone in the entertainment industry views it as a hugely important event.

But the one thing I do pay attention to (being from the recognition industry) is that the Oscars are about one simple thing: Recognition for a job well done. Being nominated for – or better yet, winning – an Academy Award is acknowledgement for someone who has done a superb job in his or her craft.

Think about Meryl Streep getting up there to accept an award last night. This is a woman who has money, power, fame, and lots of career awards world. Yet even with all that, she was touched by the recognition he got last night.. In fact, many actors/actresses and filmmakers cite winning an Oscar as the highlight of their careers.

And as a side note, I’m sure many of them are also ...


Leadership Paradigm Shift Approaching...Rise of Collective Development

In last week's blog post...Leadership Development...What is New is Really Old...I discussed where much of leadership development best practices we are familiar with today really started between World War I and II. While in many respects these leadership development practices are are still highly relevant...we may need to shift the paradigm on what kind of leadership capability we are developing in our organizations and why we need it.

Much of my perspective is driven by the nature of the environment we all find ourselves operating in every day. I have written about it often...the VUCA environment is the new normal. VUCA, coined by the U.S. Army in 2004 as it looked at what junior officers were dealing with on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan and how it might shift leadership development to account for this, is defined as the following:

Volatile: change happens rapidly and on a large scale
Uncertain: the future cannot be predicted with any precision
Complex: challenges are complicated by many factors and there are few single causes or solutions
Ambiguous: there is little clarity on what events mean and what effect they may have

That new normal places immense ...