Executive Coaching . Planning a Great Next Year

Executive Coaching . Planning a Great Next Year

As our Executive Coaching series continues, we noticed the calendar is about to change years. How do you really go about planning a great next year?

Where are you standing now? Are you an executive, a team leader, or a senior member of an executive team who needs to know where to look first for what’s next?


“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.
“I don’t much care where—” said Alice.
“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat.
“—so long as I get SOMEWHERE,” Alice added as an explanation.
“Oh, you’re sure to do that,” said the Cat, “if you only walk long enough.”

—Alice in Wonderland
  Lewis Carroll

In the year-end press to get work done, transactions finalized, and loose-ends tied up, it’s easy to miss or neglect something that can make a huge difference in the upcoming year: creating a powerful plan.

Creating a Powerful Plan. Where do you begin?

If you google “planning,” you will get nearly six billion entries! Advice, tips, strategies, techniques. And then there are the established corporate procedures for year-end reviews and planning. And advisors, consultants, and coaches to guide you.

However, there is usually one most crucial and fundamental step that is left out or short-changed. Without it, plans can be acceptable, thoughtful, and yet they lack a certain inspiration and real creativity that can mean the difference between a great year and a mediocre one.

That missing step is completing the past. Before you look to the next year and what you are going to accomplish, look at your past year and get it complete!

Complete (adjective)

having every necessary part or element; entire
ended; finished
perfect in quality or kind

— from www.dictionary.com

When something is complete, you are no longer concerned with it, you no longer “carry it.”

  • It has moved to the background.
  • It has given you whatever value it held for you.
  • It has no influence on you anymore.
  • You are ready to move on.
  • You are free and unencumbered to create newly.

Planning is a conversation, right?! So have this conversation with your executive team before you turn your eye to what is next: a conversation to complete the past year.

Here are some questions to respond to and guide you and your team:

  1. What did you say you would accomplish this past year? Goals, targets, projects, issues to resolve.
  2. What did you actually accomplish of these?
  3. What did you not accomplish of these?
  4. What else did you accomplish that was not planned?
  5. With respect to what you said you’d accomplish that you did not, what happened? What was missing? What got in the way? What are the corrections going forward? What actions can you put in that would be useful? What actions can you take out that were not productive?
  6. Who should be acknowledged and for what?
  7. Did you forward fulfilling your mission/vision?
  8. Is there anything else to say to be complete with the past year?

OK! Now you have a space in which to create a powerful and inspiring plan!

  • Put this on your calendar with your team.
  • Planning a great next year begins with engaging in these powerful questions.
  • It will be time well spent to begin a productive— and extraordinary— new year.

Ready? Call me at ‭(310) 730-6355 to find out more about Executive Coaching for planning a Great Next Year, and leap before it begins. (Or, you can Opt-IN for an appointment in the box at right.)


Executive Coaching to Stop Overwhelm

Executive Coaching to Stop Overwhelm

Our series jumps ahead with Executive Coaching to Stop Overwhelm

Here’s more of The Inside View with Barry Pogorel

• • •

How does accomplishment turn into overwhelm?

  • You’re on track in your career. Results are strong. You’ve been promoted or you’re working hard on being promoted.
  • Your schedule is packed.
  • One meeting leads to the next meeting or call. Videoconferences, projects meetings, unplanned interruptions, endless emails, people to manage, travel, someone who just ‘has to speak with you right now,’ luncheons, dinners, that unexpected problem.
  • You’re waiting for a slowdown, a break, to catch your breath and to just simply catch up. And…it never comes. In fact, the amount of “stuff” to deal with is increasing. At moments, it’s a little scary.
  • You plan on catching up some evening, or on the weekend. This cuts into your personal time. And it’s never enough time anyway. You experience some guilt about taking time away from your family.

Here it comes…

The work is good. You like what you do. It may even be exciting. But you’re bothered.

  • Where is the time for your family? For exercise? For rest? How long can you keep this pace up?
  • You feel buried under a mountain of things to deal with. You may experience frustration, struggle, distraction, stress, overwhelm, even procrastination.
  • And sometimes, in a rare moment of reflection, you wonder where all this is going. Perhaps you feel like all this is keeping you from making the difference you really want to make with your life. You ask, what is this all about, ultimately? Money? Position? More advancement? To what end?

What aspect of this resonates most? What sounds like the inner thoughts that rise unbidden about your own life?

Too many executives hide their real answer to this question from others— and from themselves.

The amount of work is increasing everywhere. How do you deal with it all?

The old fashioned “time-management” systems—prioritizing into A’s, B’s, C’s and 1’s, 2’s, 3’s, etc. just doesn’t work anymore.

Most available systems were designed at a time prior to the deluge of work we are all facing now.

Incremental improvement is not even close to what you need.

Is there a way out of overwhelm that actually works?

It may look impossible.

And… YES, there is an alternative.

It is a brilliant new approach that produces a genuine breakthrough in your ability to deal with everything you have to do and handle in your entire life, leaving nothing out.

A new methodology that includes:

    • new principles,
    • work habits, and
    • a structure/system that leaves you with power, freedom, and peace of mind.

… is what it takes to end overwhelm and stress, to exponentially increase your productivity and effectiveness.

Ready to leap ahead? Call me at ‭(310) 730-6355 to find out more about Executive Coaching to stop overwhelm. (Or, you can Opt-IN for an appointment in the box at right.)


Executive Coaching for Teams . Something Impossible?

Executive Coaching for Teams . Something Impossible?

Our series continues with a post on  Executive Coaching for teams . Something Impossible?

Enjoy The Inside View with Barry Pogorel

What happens after a merger takes place?

That’s when senior executives are left with the often daunting task of making the merger work in the real world, with real people.

This case study may surprise you as Barry’s executive coaching for teams set about creating a new context for formerly very competitive foes.  

Post-merger, what these new teams faced: Something Impossible

Post-merger, the new company was disjointed. The newly formed executive teams in the various regions of the world were made up of executives who had previously been fierce competitors.

Overall, the company’s performance was impacted by all this and in a declined state.

I worked with one region of the world as a pilot to see if we could transform it into a high-performance team/culture in a short time frame and produce a breakthrough in results.

I began working the regions executive team in a “leadership intensive”: 5 days in one month, and 5 more days a month later. We began by creating a “safe space” in which people were encouraged to be candid. The president promised this.

We examined, person by person, their strengths and defenses: we looked at each person’s formulaic ways of winning—their personal strategies.

Then we looked at each of their typical responses to threats. After a while, everyone saw that underneath the variations, there was a kind of template—something very human and universal.

A note here: my work is not psychological—but rather ontological. That is, having to do with being (ontos in Greek means “being”). And there is a generalizable “being” of being a leader. A fundamental structure that has to do with certain habitual ways of thinking, communicating, relating, and acting, like a piece of software that reliably repeats itself.

Was is the real challenge in executive coaching for teams ? Could they let their guard down? 

We went around the room, person by person, exploring her/his “ways of being.” It became apparent to everyone that, although they had different variations on the theme, there in fact was an underlying theme as to how they succeeded and how they responded to threat or danger that was universal.

Everyone increasingly let their guard down, as they saw the common humanity in the room.

The president proposed, in this new-found collegiality and partnership, that they take on something big together—something impossible: a breakthrough in market share throughout the entire region.

They asked if I would train the various local executive teams in the same material and get them all on board, which I did.

A Revolutionary Result:

In a year when the region was experiencing a recession, they produced a breakthrough in market share and surpassed every crucial financial measure.

The corporate president acknowledged them for not only their superb performance beyond any other region in the world, but also for having become a seamless team.

The executives not only made something that had seemed impossible happen, but also had real breakthroughs in their own development as leaders.

Your comments and questions are invited. about this post or any issues you’d like to see in the series.

You may also want to visit “How to Choose the Right Executive Coach” for a winning approach to selecting the right coach for yourself, or your team.

Executive Coaching Series . From Bull to President?

Executive Coaching Series . From Bull to President?

Welcome to our series: Executive Coaching . The Inside View with Barry Pogorel

Promoting from within has its own pitfalls for all concerned, especially so for senior management, charged with leading a company full of uniquely gifted and challenged people. 

Must those pitfalls trap you? This case study may echo one you’ve seen up close… or lived yourself.

A CEO’s Dilemma

The Chairman of a global company contacted me. He said that he was looking for the company’s next President.

His top performing executive had asked for the job. This man was his most effective EVP, however, at the same time was a significant liability. The executive produced outstanding results in developing new business. When developing a project, however, he would do whatever it took to make it happen internally.
Although many people appreciated him, and were even in awe of him, they also feared him. He would threaten, cajole, pressure, force whomever and however across the company to get what he wanted. He moved quickly, decisively, and was frustrated and impatient when others didn’t do the same or had objections or issues with what he wanted. Finally, and this was the last straw, he told the Chairman that if he wasn’t made President in short order, he would leave the company and go to a competitor.

The Chairman told me that if he promoted this man, many people in the company would call and say, “Are you out of your mind?!” The Chairman asked me if I could “make him into a president.” I said that that depended on whether he was coachable and willing to deal with the issues the Chairman and others saw and wanted resolved. I proposed to meet with the man and find out.

In our first meeting, I instantly liked him. I could see that his commitment and brilliance was dimmed by his forcefulness and impatience. He told me he was interested in executive coaching and was open to discovering how he could function differently. He expressed genuine excitement to have the opportunity to develop himself as a leader. Although he didn’t entirely agree with the Chairman’s assessment of him, he saw there were some points that were valid. We began to work together.

Can You Tame a Talent from Rough to Ready?

In the course of our coaching sessions he discovered something profound in looking at his past. Oftentimes the biggest barrier to achieving what we most care about is our own past and the life-altering decisions we’ve made (and now are unaware of).

In looking at the origins of his impatience and forcefulness, he remembered a morning when he was a child. His mother sat him, his brother and sister down and cried for a few moments, and then said that she and their father were going to divorce, that their dad had a new job in England and would be living there. He recalled being shocked, scared, and confused. He also remembered thinking to himself: “I don’t have a dad anymore. No one’s going to protect us. I have to do things all by myself.” He became a solo force in the world. To others, this manifested as a one-man, independent power with great impatience to get things done.

This was the origin of his bull-in-a-china-shop behavior.

Some insights are merely theoretical. Other insights gained through self-reflection are deep and life-altering. This insight produced a breakthrough and he felt released. His effectiveness in producing results was undiminished, while at the same time he began collaborating with people, listening to others, inspiring and moving people into action rather than threatening/forcing them.

A Revolutionary Result:

Within 6 months, the Chairman appointed him President.

Out of our work together, my clients gain the key insights required to liberate them from whatever is constraining or limiting, and they achieve what they aspire to.

Your comments and questions are invited. about this post or any issues you’d like to see in the series.

You may also want to visit “How to Choose the Right Executive Coach” for a winning approach to selecting the right coach for yourself.

Executive Coaching . The Inside View #1

Executive Coaching . The Inside View #1

Welcome to the first post in our newest series: Executive Coaching . The Inside View with Barry Pogorel

Every executive wonders whether they can achieve what they are expected to accomplish.

Expectations come from others — a board of directors, shareholders, the senior management team as a whole, employees, even the public—, and can be very specific.

Expectations also come from within oneself, though these are often elusive and not easy to identify, yet powerfully present as well.

For both new and seasoned senior executives, the mountain gets steeper and more challenging the higher they climb. This often brings up the question of whether coaching, and outside perspective and expertise is what’s needed.

In this series, we will explore real life examples of people and circumstances that Barry has coached. Yes, names and organizations will remain confidential, as all of Barry’s clients enjoy, yet you may often recognize yourself vividly throughout the series.

Let’s begin with this group…

The Wild Bunch

This team was like The Wild Bunch. 90% of the team were PhD’s in computer science. They were bright, fiercely independent, loved computer science, didn’t fully trust others on the team although they generally liked each other, prided themselves in listening to others and didn’t really hear others without judging and evaluating, and were fixed-opinionated about most topics. Eight were men, two were women. The women felt a bit marginalized and discounted and that they didn’t have the room to fully express themselves. The men (secretly) considered themselves superior to the women, more logical and practical, and less emotional which they considered a good thing. Everyone was extremely busy and felt they could never catch up.

The leader of the team looked like he had his hands full: a bit disheveled, worn out, and worried. Every team member liked him, respected him. He would walk into a meeting with his team with a fully prepared agenda and timeline. Rarely was the agenda met or the timeline kept. Team members often left meetings a bit frustrated, some wondering why they had to be in that meeting since topics discussed didn’t pertain to them, or why it took so long, or wondering what was accomplished. The leader was generally in a state of frustration.

I coached them as a group. We explored: listening powerfully,  letting go of and being free from the past, self-reflecting on their automatic responses to real or imagined threats and their formulaic solutions and approaches versus real freedom to be and create, integrity, authenticity, straight talk that made a difference, what it took to trust each other, the protocols for effective and efficient meetings, how to create a shared future with goals and milestones that they were all inspired and excited by, and how to interact across the organization with other groups to gain their cooperation and collaboration. Every member felt respected, heard, appreciated, and of equal value, men and women alike.

A Revolutionary Result:

The team was transformed. They became a team of aligned, collaborative leaders. They produced the highest level of results they’d ever achieved. The CEO acknowledged them as “a seamless team, the star of the company, and the engine of the company’s growth”.

Your comments and questions are invited. about this post or any issues you’d like to see in the series.

You may also want to visit “How to Choose the Right Executive Coach” for a winning approach to selecting the right coach for yourself.

The New Science of Leadership

The New Science of Leadership

I just typed in “leadership” on amazon.com and found over 200,000 entries! Google has over 4 million.

It seems that everyone has something to say about leadership. And yet looking at the world today, from business to government, leadership is missing. What’s more, it is missing that it is missing. More information, strategies, characteristics, styles to copy don’t make a leader. A new approach is required.

From the content of our “Being a Leader” Course Part I:

The Four Foundational Factors of being a leader are

  1. Integrity
  2. Authenticity
  3. Being up to something bigger than oneself
  4. Cause in the matter

We promise

You will leave the course being a leader and exercising leadership effectively as your natural self-expression, in any leadership situation and no matter the circumstances.

Being a Leader and the Effective Exercise of Leadership
An Ontological/Phenomenological Model

  • Ontology: study of the nature of being
  • Phenomenology:  study of consciousness and the objects of direct experience.

— Los Angeles, August 2018 *

* Please inquire for upcoming dates.