About Jan Moorad

This author has not yet filled in any details.
So far Jan Moorad has created 17 blog entries.

Understanding the Differences Between Executive Coaches, Management Consultants, and Therapists

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.

Management Consulting

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…

Truth is a True Holiday Gift

2019-12-27T13:32:44-08:00By |Categories: Advice for Management|Tags: , |0 Comments

“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.

Truth is a True Holiday Gift

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…

What Is the Moving Forward Retreat, and Why You Might Want to Attend?

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.

Moving Forward Retreat Graphic

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…

How to Overcome Gratitude Deficit Disorder in the Workplace

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.

Gratitude Deficit Disorder

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…

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Is Missing Something

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…

On Loss and Grief and Corporate Bereavement Policies

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.

Corporate Bereavement Image

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…

From Stress to Stroke to Soaring

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.

Wold Stroke Day Blog Post

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…

9 Steps to Navigating a Difficult Conversation

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.

Difficult conversation

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…

It’s Time We Stop Normalizing Narcissism in the C-Suite

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.

CEO Narcissism

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…

Why It’s Important to Analyze Your Organization’s Corporate Culture

2019-10-07T14:52:35-07:00By |Categories: Corporate Culture|Tags: |0 Comments

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.

Your Culture is Your Brand

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:

  • Micromanagement
  • Frequent miscommunication
  • Fear and anxiety
  • Rampant rumors/gossip
  • High turnover
  • Palpable tension
  • Unethical or questionable business practices
  • Harassment
  • Discrimination
  • Little to no innovation, high resistance to change
  • Low risk tolerance and constant need for reassurance
  • Little or no collaboration
  • Exhaustion

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…