Practice leadership. Just as attorneys practice law, leaders need to practice leadership. Great leaders influence others toward a better future. Leadership requires public optimism. Narcissism. Confidence. Practice, and more practice. Every day I identify the top 8-10 people I need to influence. They may be clients, colleagues, prospects, friends, loved ones. Then I write their names on my list and practice leadership. Some require a phone call, others need a direct meeting. All on my daily target list need to know that they are important to me and my business. When I practice leadership daily, then I stay focused on my objective of being a leading provider of outcome-based leadership development solutions. You can practice leadership daily.
Doug Gray, PhD, author of Objectives and Key Results (OKR) Leadership, CEO of Action Learning Associates, has worked with over 10,000 leaders in multiple sectors since 1997.
For a print or digital copy of Objectives + Key Results (OKR) Leadership; How to Apply Silicon Valley’s Secret Sauce to Your Career, Team or Organization, click here. This book is a great read during the holidays, as you prepare for a New Year, a New You or New Decade in 2020.
Then write a review in your favorite social media platform. Mention my title: Objectives + Key Results (OKR) Leadership; How to apply Silicon Valley’s secret sauce to your career, team or organization.
Please share these testimonials with your team or organization:
“Doug Gray makes the complex understandable. More important, he makes it doable.”
Craig E. Aronoff, Ph.D., author, Chairman and co-founder, The Family Business Consulting Group, Inc.
“Doug builds on the OKR approach with practical and valuable guidance for individuals, teams and organizations. If you plan on implementing OKRs for your organization, you need this book.”
John Mattox, PhD, author, Head of Talent Research, Metrics that Matter, Explorance
“Introducing the OKR framework has not only allowed us to align our company goals throughout the organization, but it has also provided an easy mechanism to give visibility into how we drive operational accountability.”
Justin Jude, Acting President, LKQ Corp, North America
“Finally, a much needed leadership focus on the importance of clear objectives and specific, measurable results. This book will be useful not just for the present but throughout a practitioner’s career.“
Dave Vance, PhD, author, Executive Director, Center for Talent Reporting
2. The paper and audible book releases will be available after 11.14.19. Please forward this page to your friends and colleagues today.
3. Share these testimonials:
“Doug’s leadership training of the OKR process has been received positively by my sales team due to the coaching being simple, engaging and very effective.” Terry Fortner, VP Sales and Marketing, North America LKQ Corporation.
“Doug Gray makes the complex understandable. More important, he makes it doable.” Craig E. Aronoff, Ph.D., author, Chairman and co-founder, The Family Business Consulting Group, Inc.
“John Doerr’s book “Measure What Matters” describes how OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) transformed Silicon Valley. With this new book, Doug builds on the OKR approach with practical and valuable guidance for individuals, teams and organizations. If you plan on implementing OKRs for your organization, you need this book.” John Mattox, PhD, author, Head of Talent Research, Metrics that Matter, Explorance
“The top five companies in Silicon Valley have an economic value as great as the United Kingdom. They must know something. Doug has uncovered their secrets in his OKR Leadership approach.” Jac Fitzenz, PhD, author, Founder Saratoga Institute and Human Capital Source
“Doug Gray provides readers with a ‘moment of truth’ concerning how we can transform lofty objectives into down-to-earth results.” James Dillon, co-Founder, Emerging Step
“Introducing the OKR framework has not only allowed us to align our company goals throughout the organization, but it has also provided an easy mechanism to give visibility into how we drive operational accountability. That visibility now exists for both our employees and supervisors. OKR Leadership has encouraged broader and more in-depth conversations about the right key results to drive individual or team objectives.” Justin Jude, Acting President, LKQ Corp, North America
“Doug’s new book challenges me to be a leader and to practice leadership. This book provides a practical framework that will make you a more successful leader.“ David Cardwell, SVP, IT Operations, F100 company
“Finally, a much needed leadership focus on the importance of clear objectives and specific, measurable results. This book will be useful not just for the present but throughout a practitioner’s career.“ Dave Vance, PhD, author, Executive Director, Center for Talent Reporting
“In his new and exciting book, OKR Leadership, Doug Gray shares how his proven techniques can help you move the needle to achieve the business outcomes you’ve been striving for. If you’re ready for a transformation, then OKR Leadership is a must read!” Sheri Bankston, VP, Alliance Safety Council
“History is littered with the graves of organizations who had the right strategy but were unable to execute. Lack of execution is a very real threat to every organization’s survival. This is a very practical look at the OKR system to accomplishing results. Written incredibly clearly, Doug Gray has brought OKR Leadership to life in a way that would benefit any organization.” Brian Underhill, Ph.D., author, Founder and CEO, CoachSource
4. Share this back cover:
Leaders practice leadership, just as physicians practice medicine and attorneys practice law. Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) are the secret sauce that drives the largest migration of financial assets and technological innovation ever recorded in human history to Silicon Valley, California, USA, since the 1970s. OKR Leadership — the process for managers and leaders to practice what matters – is the secret sauce that drives transformational leadership, employee engagement and the next generation of management consulting. Join the OKR Leadership movement. See details at www.Action-Learning.com or www.OKRLeadership.com. This practical and valuable book will help you practice OKR Leadership in your career, team or organization immediately.
(Disclosure: I am a fan of Marshall Goldsmith because he is an enthusiastic role model for countless executive coaches. When I shook his hand at an event hosted by the Center for Creative Leadership, I told him so. And when I was given four copies of this book to distribute to our largest CoachSource clients, I told them something favorable. Marshall Goldsmith has celebratory cachet as a thinker and a champion.)
I wanted to love this book, but it fell short.
Triggers can be defined as “any stimulus that defines our behavior.” That broad definition enables Goldsmith to go beyond Skinnerian behaviorism, or beyond antecedent-behavior-consequence, or Duhigg’s cue-routine-reward model. The “Circle of Engagement” model includes five steps: trigger-impulse-awareness-choice-behavior. The primary focus of the book is to “help others achieve lasting positive change.”
Structures help us define individual behavioral change. Goldsmith defines three structures: the AIWATT question, the “Six Engaging Questions” and the “Wheel of Change.”
The AIWATT question can increase engagement. Ask yourself, “Am I willing, at this time, to make the investment required, to make a positive difference on this topic?” Am I willing at this time… is the short version.
The six “Engaging Questions” can be useful early in a coaching engagement, and when measuring behavioral trends. The questions are: 1. Did I do my best to set clear goals? 2. Did I do my best to make progress toward my goals? 3. Did I do my best to find meaning? 4. Did I do my best to build positive relationships? 6. Did I do my best to be fully engaged?
The Wheel of Change can be described using two axis or four spokes on a wheel. One axis is the Positive to Negative axis, which “tracks the elements that either help us or hold us back.” The second axis is the Change or Keep axis, which “tracks the elements that we determine to change or keep in the future.” This descriptive model encourages clients to explore what they may need to create, eliminate, accept or preserve in order to achieve their desired behavior change.
The remaining content includes anecdotes from Goldsmith’s broad client base. His charming, self-effacing style often made me smile. The inclusion of the Buddhist anecdote reminding us that anger is always directed at “an empty boat” is a perfect reminder to stay focused on our internal locus of control in the moment. The resounding feeling I had is that the book made me feel good, consider using some of these structures, and then wonder “Now what?”
There are no citations of published works in this book. However, an emerging body of academic research does exist. Positive psychology provides the theoretical construct that the profession of executive coaching sorely needs. There is abundant research in well-being. Seminal leaders include Richard Boyatzis’ Intentional Change Model and studies using neurobiology, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s Flow and optimal experience research, and Martin Seligman’s work in PERMA (positive emotion, engagement, relationships, meaning and purpose, and accomplishment.) These are evidence-based thought leaders, with broad following, who are not referenced by Marshall Goldsmith. That fact makes me wonder, why not?
According to the International Coaching Federation, there are now some 50,000 professional coaches in a $7 billion industry with little consistency. (Disclosure: I have been certified at the ICF-PCC level since 2006.) The Conference Board 2014 survey, from 142 companies, defines external executive coaches compensation ranging from $600-200/ hour depending upon the size of the company, developmental needs of the leader, and seniority. The average investment for 6 months and 40-45 hours is $25,000. The 2014 ICF survey states that the average salary is $214/hour. The market realities and financial value of executive coaching are significant.
My experience of countless “coaches” is that the profession sorely needs a) a scientific evidence-based backbone and b) a theoretical backbone. Without such theory, science, and applications, the profession of executive coaching is at risk.
In hindsight, I realize that I wanted Marshall Goldsmith to provide some leadership or insight into these aspects of executive coaching. Marshall Goldsmith’s book Triggers does not address any of these academic, social and market realities. Hence it fell short of what I had expected. I can imagine him chuckling and retorting, “OK, so what are you going to do that would make you happier?”
I recently did some research on trends in diversity and leadership coaching. As you may know, an international assignment is often mandatory for high potential employees in global companies. Recent research indicates that corporate leadership teams with more diversity yield higher shareholder values. Initiatives within companies designed to identify and promote internal talent lead to higher retention and engagement rates. Global markets require experienced leaders. Many companies want to increase cultural diversity for the employees who are relocated, and for those in the host culture. There is a subset of executive coaches who specialize in supporting the diversity goals of those companies. That subset is called “diversity coaches.”
One article is an interview with Bo Razak, a senior consultant and diversity coach, conducted by Wendy Conklin, editor of The Diversity Factor (2006.) Razak specializes in diversity issues, and developing leadership skills that can support organizational missions such as increasing diversity awareness.
Razak states that executive coaching “for diversity” narrows the focus or framework to specific leadership capabilities that support the leader in developing his or her capacity to incorporate diversity into all aspects of work (37). Also, the coaching engagement may be shorter term than another executive coaching engagement. The diversity coaching engagement may focus on “leading by feeling” so that members of subordinated groups may feel supported with examples of empathy, or awareness of group identity and its effects.
Group identity is so central to Razak’s description of diversity coaching that I include his explanation. “Everyone has multiple group identities, including age, ability/ ableness, class, education level, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, nationality, race, first language, religion / spirituality and sexual orientation. In organizations and society, the extent to which we are aware of the meaning and impact of these identities is key to understanding the impact of diversity and changing the status quo.” (38)
Razak describes 4 critical factors for diversity coaches.
1) The primary factor is organizational support for diversity coaching, and diversity issues, that are tied to compensation rewards. He states that leaders need to adopt a “diversity lens” and become inclusive in language, action, and words.
2) Leaders need to become comfortable with a common language that is inclusive and enables them to discuss words like “gender” and “sexual orientation” in any strategic or operational discussion,
3) Leaders must pay attention to the dynamics of difference, and multiple perspectives from multiple group identities, by engaging a broad range of perspectives.
4) And leaders must actively solicit feedback on how they are embracing the capabilities of diversity, and make open statements that reflect awareness of multiple perspectives.
My takeaways from this article include the following:
1) My 25 year-old nephew was recently promoted into a role that required an international assignment. That experience is exciting for him, and he is young for such an assignment. I cannot imagine that he will eagerly embrace that culture; he would benefit from such a diversity coach.
2) Diversity coaching requires a systems approach to others. The coach must be aware of the layers of corporate expectations. The leaders/ coaching clients must be willing to engage in anything called diversity coaching. If it is an EEO requirement for compliance, or an extension of a training, those requirements may minimize the impact of diversity coaching. Razak states that compensation must be tied to behavioral outcomes based on the diversity coaching. That point reminds me of Peter Drucker’s maxim that “what gets rewarded leads to results.”
3) Selecting and matching coaches with leaders/ coaching clients requires a high level of awareness of group identity. But there are no rules. It may be ideal to match people from dramatically different group identities in order to be more effective. For instance, if I were being coached by a Hispanic, lesbian woman from Brazil, and I am a Caucasian, heterosexual male from the U.S., we may be well matched. Or it may be a setup for failure.
4) Diversity coaching may be a shorter-term engagement than executive coaching engagements. However, the effects of diversity coaching may be more anecdotal than measurable, and longer term rather than shorter. And in a country that is more ethnically diverse, such as Canada, diversity coaching may be more effective than a country that is more ethnically homogenous, such as Japan.
Conklin, W. (2006). Executive Coaching for Diversity: An Opportunity for Leaders to Learn and Change. Diversity Factor, 14(2), 37-42.
What are some of your takeaways from this subject?
Most strategic partnerships fail. The often publicly stated reason is that there was some “inequity in resources.” That is rubbish. The private reason is that the potential partners did not have clear role definitions.
Great coaches should be able to help you develop successful strategic partnerships. Sadly, too few coaches have enough expertise to explain the following.
I invite you to adapt and forward this post. This formula works.
Let’s imagine that two consultants agree to partner on a consulting project. They each have something mutually beneficial to contribute. And the net result will exceed whatever they could provide individually. In short, they need one another.They need a formula to define clear role definitions.
Typically there are 3 phases in any consulting project: sales, technology/unique solution, and delivery. (Adapt this formula as you see fit for any project or partnership, but try to keep it simple.) Assume that each phase is worth 1/3 of the total value to the consulting project. If the project is worth $90,000 then the sale is worth 1/3 or $30,000, the technology is worth 1/3 or $30,000, and the delivery is worth 1/3 or $30,000.
Example #1: Assume that Matt brings expertise in sales and delivery. Assume that Doug brings expertise in technology and delivery.
So they agree to the following formula:
Matt provides 80% the sale of $30,000 for a total of $24,000. Matt does not provide any direct value for the technology. Matt provides 50% of $30,000 or $15,000 for the delivery. Matt’s total compensation for the consulting project will be $39,000.
Doug provides 20% of the sale of $30,000 for a total of $6,000. Doug provides 100% of the technology for a total of $30,000. Doug provides 50% of $30,000 or $15,000 for the delivery. Doug’s total compensation for the consulting project will be $51,000.
This formula assumes that each consultant will mutually benefit one another and their client.
Your partnership agreements should also assume that they are beneficial to all parties.
Last week I received a proposal to partner in a new venture. I used this formula in the following manner:
Example #2: Tom brings expertise in sales. Sue brings expertise in delivery. Doug brings expertise in technology.
After due diligence and some realistic fact finding, I proposed the following formula for $300,000 gross revenue in year 1.
Tom provides 80% of the sale of $100,000 for a total of $80,000. Tom provides 10% of the technology value of $100,000 for a total of $10,000. Tom does not provide any direct value for the delivery. Tom’s total compensation for year 1 of this project will be $90,000.
Doug provides 10% of the sale of $100,000 for a total of $10,000. Doug provides 90% of the technology value of $100,000 for a total of $90,000. Doug provides 20% of $100,000 or $20,000 for the delivery. Doug’s total compensation for year 1 of this project will be $120,000.
Sue provides 10% of the sale of $100,000 for a total of $10,000. Sue does not provide any direct value to the technology. Sue provides 80% of $100,000 or $80,000 for the delivery. Sue’s total compensation for year 1 of this project will be $90,000.
Call me if you have any questions about this formula. Or read Alan Weiss’ The Million-Dollar Consulting. He has developed this formula and deserves any credit for its success.
Yes, my clients have used this formula. Yes, I have used this formula.
But most people leap into a business “partnership” without using such a formula. Hence, most businesses fail.
Do not become another statistical failure. Hire a great coach. Today.