Lynne Taddeo Kjolso had many reasons for pursuing leadership coaching. She manages a global team and works remotely. She often communicates and make decisions while traveling. Lynne puts her leadership skills to work in a complex environment and receives positive feedback on her abilities. Yet, she wanted a deeper understanding of her personal strengths so that she could be more intentional in her present and future career choices. Additionally, Lynne wanted to examine fundamental questions about her personal values and her professional trajectory.
- Were her current choices sustainable?
- How could she do her role well and maintain work‐life balance?
- Was she following her values and fulfilling her core purpose?
Lynne believed that the right leadership coach could help her gain clarity, perspective, resolution of purpose, and balance.
She turned to Amanda, whom she had met years before when they consulted for the same client. She also knew Amanda through her work at Microsoft. ‘I knew Amanda would see through my resistance and hold me accountable. She would be able to show me my blind spots and give me authentic results.’
Throughout her six‐months of coaching, Lynne gained many useful tools and generated a solid understanding of her core goals and vision. One such tool was called the
Basket of Dreams.
I love this concept! It really helped me put into context both my life goals and career goals in an easy and useful way.
Lynne also honed her emotional intelligence skills, first taking an EQ assessment and then strengthening her self‐awareness by practicing ‘whole body’ communication skills. Her coaching sessions with horses were some of Lynne’s most enjoyable experiences. ‘All of the work with the horses has taught me the power of mindfulness and intention, as well as the body language of a leader.’
One session was especially enlightening. ‘I was on a marathon business trip to Seattle. I was low on energy, feeling jet lagged, and had just been through an intensive process with my leadership team. Amanda asked me to move the herd of horses in the same direction around the arena using only my body language. I was so tired, and when I finally accomplished the goal, I learned alot about how to regulate my energy to have the influence I wanted and just how much energy I needed to address certain challenges. It was an intellectual and physical lesson.’
Lynne also developed a Leadership Vision Statement during her sessions with Amanda. ‘This was more challenging than I originally thought it would be. At first, I struggled and went very deep with it. Amanda gently held me accountable while demystifying it by breaking it down into smaller steps of achievement.’ Due to her perseverance, Lynne has taken away an enduring knowledge of self. ‘Now, when I question if I’m doing the right thing, I go back my Leadership Vision Statement. It helps keep me on track.’
I would recommend Amanda as a coach who has a valuable and high impact approach. She is honest and forthright while being supportive, and uncovers things in a way that is comfortable and then helps you to integrate it.
- It’s possible to create alignment between your personal core values and your role as a leader.
- Coaching can help you craft a sustainable strategy for work‐life balance.
- Your leadership vision statement can point you to your True North.
- Coaching can help you be a better coach and mentor to your team.
Lynne also got just‐in‐time coaching on situations she faced at work. Amanda helped alert Lynne to potential problems with her stake holders, how to better understand her reactions to certain situations, and how to spot behavior challenges in advance. Amanda also helped Lynne identify opportunities where she could use her own coaching skills with her team and when professional coaching or a complete role change for a team member might be necessary.
Amanda is uniquely able to get to the heart of the matter. She can pick up signals from you and your peer group and surface insights you would have missed. She is very direct in a supportive and respectful way. Her Leadership Vision Statement and horse work are also unique among coaches.
Lynne is now applying what she learned during her coaching sessions and has also brought several coaching tools to her team. She has shared her Leadership Vision Statement with her team and is encouraging them to ask questions around core purpose and to recognize the importance of clarity in moving forward. Using recommended resources, like Death by Meeting, she is also promoting higher‐level discussions and more progress in meetings. She is still using the Basket of Dreams tool, and she is extending emotional intelligence resources to people she feels could integrate them.
‘When I look back at goals that I set at the beginning, I have achieved them,” Lynne reflects. When asked what wouldn’t have been possible without leadership coaching, Lynne replied, ‘I wasn’t convinced that I could reconcile my core values as a person with my role as a leader. I was always skeptical, and that was disturbing. Working with Amanda, I found out that I could, which was enlightening and empowering.’
‘I would recommend Amanda as a coach who has a valuable and high impact approach. She is honest and forthright while supportive, and she will uncover things in a way that is comfortable and then help you to integrate it. Once working with Amanda it is hard not to develop a relationship with her as a long term coach or friend.’
Lynne is looking forward to her maintenance sessions with Amanda, and concentrating on being mindful of all that she has learned as she moves ahead.