Welcome to my blog. I’m Jan Moorad, a former Deloitte management consultant and Major League Baseball team partner, now working as a Newport Beach, Calif.-based executive coach who helps C-Suite executives and their spouses pursue and achieve personal and professional fulfillment. Learn about my approach to coaching and performance by reading my posts here — on the Executive Coaching Blog.
If you are in the market for advice regarding your personal or professional life, as you compare your options, you may wonder how a management consultant, an executive coach, and a therapist differ and how to determine which is best qualified for the type of guidance or support you or your team are seeking.
I have served both as a consultant and a coach, and I refer my clients to therapists when the help they need is more psychological or emotional in nature. In this post, I describe my previous work as a management consultant and now as an executive coach, explain how the three roles (management consultant, executive coach, and therapist) differ, and provide guidance on how to choose the right one for you.
As a former management consultant (Deloitte in NYC) my role was to serve as an independent, outside, objective consultant (typically a part of an independent external team) who could assess a client’s perceived needs and present concrete and highly specific solutions. We would interview the key players at the company that hired us, collect and analyze data, and offer solutions at the end of the project. Most often the end of the management consulting engagement would include a presentation and a binder given to company executives stating our findings and recommendations.
Most management consulting projects address integrative business-focused issues and involved one or more departments, never just a sole individual. We worked on Continue reading…
“If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.” ~ Mark Twain
Recently, I have been thinking about truth and honesty. I love to watch holiday classics and Hallmark movies, and the theme of honesty seems to be woven through all of them. This Christmas, however, I came to realize that the themes of the holiday movies I love are rarely centered solely on honesty. They are often interwoven with other themes I frequently deal with as an executive coach — personal growth and reconciliation. Whether the movie is as sappy as a pine tree or has me rolling on the floor with laughter, it always seems to involve honesty, personal growth, and reconciliation.
Think about it. Whether your favorite Christmas movie is Miracle on 34th Street, A Christmas Carol, It’s a Wonderful Life, or Elf, you will see honesty, personal growth of one or more of the leading characters, and reconciliation leading to deeper, more meaningful relationships. And the secret to a happy ending is always the truth, usually one or more painful truths — the essential ingredient for personal growth and reconciliation.
10 Tips for Breaking the Truth to Someone You Care About
This holiday season, I encourage you to be more honest, both in your personal and professional lives, for your own good, for the well-being of those you care about, and for the purpose of building deeper, more meaningful, and more productive relationships. Here are my 10 tips for telling the truth: Continue reading…
Early next year I will co-host — along with Jean Campbell, LCSW, SEP, CPC, CET3, TEP of Action Institute of California — the first-ever Moving Forward Retreat for Women Healing from a Relationship with a Narcissist. The three-day retreat, scheduled for Feb. 7-9, 2020 in beautiful Newport Beach, Calif., has been in the planning stages for nearly a year.
And ever since last August, when I announced the retreat was a “go,” many people have asked me to outline what a “Moving Forward” retreat entails. When approached, almost as if on cue, I deliver my elevator pitch:
The Moving Forward retreat is a recovery getaway for women recovering from relationships with narcissists — those people who think everything is about them, who believe others are inferior to them, and who lack empathy. Our retreat supports these women come to a clear understanding of what it is they’ve experienced, and then delivers the tools that empower them to let go. And by “let go,” we mean to move beyond bitterness and resentment, to rebuild their lives, and to become an even stronger and more resilient version of themselves.
This answer usually piques their interest — especially when I am conversing with someone who is in or has been in a relationship with a narcissist. Unfortunately, it is a common and widely shared experience.
Just talking with someone who has been “through it” lifts a heavy burden from a troubled mind and heart and knowing that support is available provides hope. When I sense the person is interested in learning more, I share what I have learned over the years, starting with statistics and Continue reading…
As Thanksgiving approaches, consider what “giving thanks” means to you as a business leader. Think about how a simple expression of gratitude can serve as a critical component of motivation throughout your organization — not to mention improving and enriching your personal relationships.
The word gratitude is derived from the Latin words gratia, meaning grace, and gratus, meaning pleasing, agreeable, thankful. It is a state of mind and a practice that should permeate all of our lives every day, not just in November when we gather with family and friends around the Thanksgiving table.
Unfortunately, most people feel grateful only when surprised to find themselves the recipients of an excess or abundance of good — when they win the lottery, or come face to face with someone significantly less fortunate than themselves, or land their dream job, or discover their soulmate, for example. But why wait for the experience of gratitude when enough is sufficient and when abundance of opportunity always surrounds us?
I once heard someone ask another, Which person is more grateful — the one with $5,000,000, or the one with five children?
The answer? The one with five children. Why? Because he doesn’t want any more! He is grateful for what he has.
However, when it comes to money, success, and possessions, many of us tend to always want more. That’s just human nature — or so we’re told. As soon as we have what we desire, our focus shifts from what we have to what we want. And what we still don’t have. This tendency is not always bad. In the case of business, for instance, it is at the root of our drive for continuous improvement and advancement.
When envy or greed overtakes gratitude is when we need to take a closer look at our motives. When we fail to be grateful for what we have — and for those who directly contribute to our success — we place our future success, happiness, and fulfillment at risk. After all, nobody wants to continue to contribute or offer their support when their efforts are not enough or not appreciated.
Develop a grateful mindset
While I occasionally notice leaders that are appreciative of the opportunity to lead, many leaders drive themselves to excellence and rarely take the time to appreciate all they have in their lives — especially in respect to people and relationships. They look at the day or week ahead, and the short- and long-range plan, but rarely do they take a minute to be grateful for what they’ve accomplished and who they have met along the way.
Worse, some of these executives forget to express their gratitude and appreciation to the people who contribute to making their success possible and whom also share in their struggles and victories.
As a part of our collaborative development and action planning, most of my clients setContinue reading…
Most everyone has heard about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs — a theory of what motivates human beings. It was presented by Abraham Maslow in 1943 and has since been used widely by corporate leaders, business owners, and managers across the enterprise to understand and motivate employees.
If you need a quick reminder, Maslow proposed that people have five levels of needs:
- Physiological: Air, water, food, shelter, sleep, clothing, reproduction
- Safety: Personal security, employment, resources, health, property
- Love/belonging: Friendship, intimacy, family, sense of connection
- Esteem: Respect, self-esteem, status, recognition, strength, freedom
- Self-actualization: Self-fulfillment, achieving one’s full potential
Maslow was born in 1908, raised in Brooklyn (New York), and was the oldest of seven siblings born to immigrants from Kiev. He structured the above levels of needs as a pyramid, with basic physical (physiological) needs at the base and increasingly higher levels of needs moving up toward the top of the pyramid. People generally find motivation at a higher level only when their lower level needs are met. For example, an employee who is struggling to feed, clothe, and shelter herself and her family is more likely to be motivated by potential raises or bonuses and not by offers of increased recognition or status.
Although Maslow includes love and belonging in his hierarchy, I think he falls short by not thoroughly addressing what I call the need for relationship and connection — two needs I delve into more deeply in this post. We all need relationship and connection, but many of us do not realize we have this need, or we even fight it through a false need for independence or self-reliance — believing that we can and should “do” life all alone. (Curiously enough, self-reliance and independence are excluded from Maslow’s hierarchy, as they should be. Though one might choose to argue that self-actualization would include these.)
Keep in mind that, by definition, the need for relationship and connection cannot be met in isolation. We need others, and they need us for all of us to feel bonded and to support one another. We need others to bear our burdens in times of crisis. No one can, or should, “go it alone.”
From childhood on
This need for relationship and connection begins early in Continue reading…
As human beings, we share feelings of loss and grief. We share them in the sense that all of us experience significant losses in our lives and often need to grieve for a period of time to accept and adapt to the loss, both mentally and emotionally.
However, within the world of business, we seldom share feelings of loss and grief in the sense of becoming emotionally engaged with one another in the grieving process.
In generations past, everyone in the community gathered to mourn the death of one of its members. The town bell was rung. Wood was gathered for the casket. The community came to pay its respects, and nearly everyone arrived with a story about the deceased. Afterward, community members provided what was needed for the grieving family. They cooked meals, performed chores, and even provided financial assistance to help the family regain its footing. They didn’t ask what they could do to help; they just did it. There was no mystery of how to help a person after a loss.
In my experience, we now live in a culture that doesn’t know how to grieve as a community, or even how to share feelings of loss and grief with close friends or colleagues. Even worse, many people dismiss the grieving process as unnecessary, at best, or even as a waste of valuable time.
Case in point: Only one state — Oregon — requires employers to Continue reading…
Today is World Stroke Day, which is the perfect time to share my experience with a sudden interruption in the blood supply of the brain. Among my focuses as an executive coach is assisting clients in understanding the genesis and impact stress has in their lives. Few realize the amount of pressure they inflict upon themselves while consistently performing at their peak. Nor do they acknowledge the high costs of chronic stress in terms of their health and continued success. Adding to that equation is the pressures they inflict on their personal lives and those they love.
The coaching I provide my clients is backed by personal experience. I was a member of that same “club,” wherein professionals subject themselves to chronic stress in order to gain ever-increasing levels of success. I paid the price, experienced a left cerebellum hemorrhage stroke, learned from my mistakes, and am now succeeding like I never dreamed possible — all the while maintaining a low-stress rhythm throughout all areas of my life. My hope is that by reading this story, those who suffer from chronic stress might learn from my experiences and seek help before tragedy strikes. I also want to inform readers how to recognize the symptoms of a stroke. Early intervention is the key to a positive outcome. By recognizing the symptoms of a stroke early on, you can significantly improve the outcome for yourself, a loved one, or even a complete stranger.
Here is my story.
The early years
From the time I was a child, I placed inordinate pressure on myself to become a top performer and a perfectionist. My parents did not push me, as is often assumed in families that produce over-achievers. In fact, I enjoyed a normal childhood with a great family, which naturally transformed into participating in life at a fairly low stress level. I grew up in a household that emphasized Continue reading…
Any relationship, personal or professional, requires a means to address and resolve difficult or distressing issues. In fact, the ability to address and resolve issues is a good barometer to measure a relationship’s health. An inability to confront issues that are disturbing or hurting anyone in the relationship allows counterproductive patterns to persist, making the issues more pronounced over time.
Although we can never make someone change or force them agree with us, we can help to foster positive change in others and ourselves by engaging in constructive dialog. Speaking truth in a non-combative, loving, and kind way fosters growth emotionally, spiritually, intellectually, and relationally. And even if the other person does not respond favorably to our attempt, at least we can rest in the knowledge that we tried and did not merely sit by and wait for change that would probably never otherwise occur.
The key to navigating a difficult conversation is the ability to confront the other person without appearing confrontational. In this post, I offer guidance on how to do just that.
Establish a constructive mind-set for confrontation
Before you approach anyone about an issue that is troubling you, establish a constructive mind-set. I suggest the following: Continue reading…
There’s an elephant in the C-suite. CEOs and others with narcissistic tendencies and narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) are running the show and have been for years, and we’re not saying a darn thing about it. As shareholders and board members we’ve been silent. Others on the sideline include analysts, VCs, and the colleagues and mentors of those who exhibit narcissistic tendencies.
Enter the 2017 presidential election, and we as a nation elected a candidate with classic narcissistic traits as leader of the free world. That decision made sense for a lot of reasons, the least of which was a promise to follow through on a very specific agenda for our nation (an agenda vastly different from that of the incumbent party). We were still hungry for “hope and change,” but now in the form of draining the swamp, stopping endless foreign wars, and Making America Great Again.
The result has been what may be described as a transactional presidency for members of the GOP — they get the judges, social policy, and the stance on globalism they’ve wanted for years, and to the victors of that election rightly go the spoils. In the meantime, we can expect more national and international drama, more gridlock, and a continuation of the revolving door of the cabinet members and key staff.
Has the fact that the leader of the free world is permitted to engage in narcissistic behaviors emboldened the board room to ignore the same at the companies they’re entrusted with? Because if that guy can get away with it, why too can’t our CEO? After all, if the Continue reading…
If recent news about the counterproductive corporate cultures at WeWork, Uber, Wells Fargo, and Lululemon are any indication, perhaps it’s time you took a step back and invested in truly understanding your organization’s corporate culture.
Corporate culture comprises the beliefs, values, and behaviors that determine how an organization’s management and personnel interact with one another in-house and conduct business outside the organization.
While some organizations have healthy, thriving cultures, many organizations are dysfunctional as a result of having a toxic culture. Symptoms of a toxic culture include the following:
- Frequent miscommunication
- Fear and anxiety
- Rampant rumors/gossip
- High turnover
- Palpable tension
- Unethical or questionable business practices
- Little to no innovation, high resistance to change
- Low risk tolerance and constant need for reassurance
- Little or no collaboration
If you notice any of these symptoms of a toxic culture in your organization or you have a gut feeling that the people in your organization are not achieving their full potential as a group, having your organization’s corporate culture analyzed can provide insight intoContinue reading…
It’s probably no surprise to anyone reading this post that the coach-client relationship plays a key role in the outcome of any executive coaching engagement. After all, the best definition of executive coaching I’ve come across – from Jonathan Passmore and Annette Fillery-Travis — defines coaching as “a Socratic based dialogue between a facilitator (coach) and a participant (client) where the majority of interventions used by the facilitator are open questions which are aimed at stimulating the self-awareness and personal responsibility of the participant.”
For such a dialog to be effective, there must be good chemistry between coach and client.
And while that may seem obvious, we have several research studies that highlight the important role chemistry plays in the outcome of any coaching engagement. For example, in “A Critical Review of Executive Coaching Research: A Decade of Progress and What’s to Come,” Passmore and Fillery-Travis conclude:
- “It is now recognized that the most consistently identified factor seen as contributing to the success of a coaching engagement is the quality of the relationship between the coach and client.”
Citing another study by Louis Baron and Lucie Morin, The Coach-Coachee Relationship in Executive Coaching: A Field Study, Passmore and Fillery point out:
- “Results indicate that the coach‐coachee relationship plays a mediating role between the coaching received and development of the coachees’ self‐efficacy.”
Finally in another study, “A large-scale study of executive and workplace coaching: The relative contributions of relationship, personality match, and self-efficacy,” Erik de Haan, et al. conclude:
- “The coachee–coach working alliance mediated the impact of self-efficacy on coaching effectiveness, suggesting that the strength of this working alliance — particularly as seen through the eyes of the coachee — is a key ingredient in coaching effectiveness.”
Of course, good chemistry is not enough. A coach also must help a client identify his or her Continue reading…
If there is any formula for sustainable, holistic (personal and professional) success, it is this:
Character + Competence = Success
As a coach who specializes in working with C-suite executives and their spouses, I focus primarily on character.
Why? Two reasons:
- Reason One: Character is essential to sustainable, holistic growth and success. You can get by on competence alone for only so long. Without character, you begin to suffer from a lack of balance in your life. You become one-dimensional — all work and no play. Relationships both at work and outside work, which make you successful and make life enjoyable and fulfilling, begin to suffer. You expend more and more time and energy solving problems than taking advantage of opportunities and enjoying the fruits of your labor. As a result, you fall short of achieving success in all areas of your life, and you find life more frustrating and less satisfying. In addition, your level of professional success is likely to plateau and may even decline.
- Reason Two: Competence among professionals is assumed, while character is often neglected. When I say, “competence is assumed,” I mean competence is expected and necessary to secure a given position. You won’t make the first cut if you don’t have the expertise to fill the position. When I say, “character is often neglected,” I am highlighting the fact that professionals often invest sufficiently in developing the knowledge and skills required for a certain position, but spend little, if any, time and other resources developing their character. They often do not even know how to go about doing so.
In this post, I explain why I spend far more time with my clients exploring and developing character than exploring and developing competence, but first, let’s agree on a definition of “character.” Continue reading…
Leadership requires both competence and character. Competence comprises the knowledge, skills, and expertise required to succeed in one’s chosen endeavors. Character encompasses the intellectual, emotional, and spiritual qualities that enable individuals to build positive relationships, lead others, and achieve fulfillment in all aspects of their lives.
The Townsend Leadership Program (TLP) — created by a leadership coach, organizational consultant, psychologist, and best-selling author — helps participants to grow in both competence and character to amplify their personal, professional, and organizational performance. Research-supported, and science-driven, and biblically referenced, TLP takes a holistic approach to boosting business and leadership performance by connecting the dots between an individual’s professional and personal life.
Graduates of the program, which involves meeting in facilitated, small group format on a monthly basis, develop a balance between their personal and professional lives that is sustainable, hence delivering long-lasting results. After all, if any aspect of one’s personal life is unsettled, it distracts from one’s professional life and vice versa. Taking a relationship-focused approach both at home and work has proven to produce measurable, observable, and Continue reading…
While there’s no shortage of “to-do’s” when you’re in a bad relationship or failed marriage, there’s similarly no commonly held belief about the path forward when that failed marriage or relationship involves a narcissist. That’s because being in a relationship with a narcissist comes with a rollercoaster of emotions — not the least of which are hurt feelings, frustration, disbelief, and even questioning your own sanity.
Unlike being married to a workaholic you can set your watch to, nothing the narcissist says or does is consistent. They are charming and caring one moment, spiteful and devaluing the next. They will express one thing, and then do another. When you confront the person with questions or observations about these discrepancies, they turn the tables on you, claiming you don’t know what you’re talking about. And at times, depending on any number of factors, we may actually Continue reading…
Think back to any major change in your life, and you can probably attribute that change to the following formula:
Learning + Action = Change
For example, you may have learned a subject or skill in college, applied your knowledge (action), and landed a job in your field of expertise (change). If you engage in a fitness program, you learn different exercises, perform those exercises on a consistent basis, and witness the positive changes in your body and health and fitness level. If you’ve ever had relationship counseling, you probably learned specific techniques for communicating and for solving problems; using those techniques (action), you should have experienced positive changes in your relationships.
Much of what we learn and what ultimately results in change has to do with our interaction with the outside world. We explore the external environment to learn more about the world around us and how to more effectively navigate and interact with that external reality. Unfortunately, few of us invest nearly as much time and effort exploring ourselves internally to learn more about who we really are. As a result, most of us have multiple blind spots — strengths, weaknesses, personality traits, talents, biases, and so on, that we know very little to nothing about.
These blind spots make us susceptible to thinking and behaving in ways that may not be the most effective in our personal or professional lives. In fact, they often prevent us from leading prosperous, fulfilling, and successful lives. We feel frustrated and have no idea that the cause of that frustration is something that can be addressed within us.
One of the key benefits to working with an executive coach is that your coach can lead you through the process of learning and taking action to effect positive changes in your life. By engaging in this process with coach knowledgeable and experienced in the process of change, you can start to eliminate your blind spots andContinue reading…
Executive coaching can be expensive. According to an article entitled “What Can Coaches Do for You?” published in 2009 in the Harvard Business Review, you can expect to pay between $200 and $500 per hour for executive coaching, with elite coaches charging up to $3,500 per hour. And that was ten years ago!
However, we all recognize the folly of those who know the price of everything and the value of nothing. If that $3,500 price tag were to earn you $7,000, you would be more than satisfied. Well, what if I were to tell you that several studies show the return on investment (ROI) of executive coaching far exceeds 100%?
Here are the numbers:
- According to Joy McGovern, et al. in the study Maximizing the Impact of Executive Coaching: Behavioral Change, Organizational Outcomes, and Return on Investment, published in The Manchester Review,2001, and available for download here, a conservative estimate of the ROI (for the 43 participants who estimated it) averaged nearly 5.7 times the initial investment in coaching.
- In another study, Booz Allen Hamilton’s executive development director, Vernita Parker-Wilkins, coaching produced intangible and monetary benefits for seven out of eight business impact areas, and ROI 689 percent.
- Confirming those results is an Intel study revealing its internal coaching program resulted in an ROI of more than 600 percent.
- In a study conducted by MetrixGlobal LLC, companies reported an average return of nearly $8 for every $1 invested in executive coaching.
- And in a global survey of coaching clients by PwC (Price Waterhouse Coopers) and the Association Resource Center, it was reported that the mean ROI for companies investing in coaching was seven times the initial investment, with over a quarter reporting an ROI of 10 to 49 times.
Will My Investment in Executive Coaching Be Worth It?
You can easily calculate your ROI after you receive coaching, pay the bill, and evaluate the results. You simply subtract the cost from the total value gained, divide by the cost, and multiply the result by 100%. For example, if you paid a coach $5,000 for services that resulted in a $30,000 increase in your gross income, your ROI is ($30,000 – $5,000)/$5,000 = 5 x 100% = 500%.
However, when you are deciding whether to hire a coach, you don’t yet have the numbers to crunch to determine whether the coach will be“worth it.” After all, several factors, in addition to cost, contribute to ROI, including the following: Continue reading…
Great coaches help to make great athletes. Basketball coach and mentor John Wooden played a key role in launching the careers of numerous basketball greats, including Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bill Walton, and Gail Goodrich. Tennis standouts Venus and Serena Williams owe their success, in part, to their father/coach Richard Dove Williams. While boxing champs Floyd Patterson, José Torres, and Mike Tyson all have Constantine “Cus” D’Amato to thank for their entry into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.
What all these coach-athlete relationships have in common is the right chemistry. When you are in the market for an executive coach, look for someone who is not only qualified but is also the right match for you.
In this post, I provide 10 tips on finding the right executive coach for you.
1. Make a list of what matters.
Develop a list of executive coach attributes that are important to you. For example, you may appreciate an executive coach who:
- Speaks truth
- Provides empathic attunement (responds to the client’s perception of reality in the current moment as opposed to his or her own “objective” view of the situation)
- Fosters a deep level of connection
- Expects the potential of the client to come forward
- Holds the client accountable
- Keeps the client moving forward
Related… here is what a well-qualified executive coach should do for her/his clients:Continue reading…
With this first post, we here at JLJ & Associates welcome you to our blog — The Executive Coaching Blog, which is the online destination we expect will evolve into a valuable resource for information about executive coaching and related topics for a sophisticated and thoughtful audience.
If you’re already familiar with JLJ, we think you’ll appreciate the fact that we now have a blog of our own… a place where we can demonstrate our commitment to and furthering of our craft, educate people pursuing answers and solutions to the often-confusing and misinformed marketplace for truly meaningful performance and coaching for C-Suite executives and their spouses. And by educate, we mean this:
There is so much confusion and conflicting information online about the time, cost, and manner associated with hiring an executive coach, that many C-Suite types and their spouses are understandably skeptical and misinformed about the process and benefit. At JLJ, we’re committed to helping prospective clients understand and resolve concerns about working with a coach before presenting a Statement of Work for the services we collectively agree they want and we can deliver. We work to help prospective clients take control of their coaching engagement and not just rely on us to tell them how their experience is going to be.
We need Qualified Coaches for the C-Suite and their Spouses
Many of our clients say they are actively seeking an alternative to the traditional performance or executive coach. And by ‘traditional,’ I mean someone with a turnkey coaching mentality and playbook who has lofty or delusional views of his or her craft. The ones I speak of are usually ‘certified’ by an organization you’ve never heard of, and they actively invest more time and resources in Internet-based marketing than they ever have in an actual board room or supporting the work of those of us who have and do work in the enterprise leadership ecosystem.
This disillusionment provides us with the opportunity toContinue reading…