Marshall Goldsmith on Christmas Eve, 2019

You may think I’m a good planner.  Not always true.  When my loved ones want a Christmas gift they send me digital links.  I select something.  Then on Christmas Eve I run around Nashville, TN to pick up my gifts.  It’s a long time habit.  Full of joy and occasional  last minute substitute gifts.

Apparently I’m not alone.

On December 24, 20198 I raced into a jewelry store at Green Hills Mall in Nashville to pick up a gift.

Marshall Goldsmith on Christmas Eve, 2019

Marshall Goldsmith was doing the same for his loved ones.

You may know Marshall as the best-selling author of “What Got You Here Won’t Get You There” (2007) or “Mojo” (2009) or “Triggers” (2015).  Or as one of the most influential executive coaches and leadership consultants of our time.  Or as a contributor of CoachSource, the largest global provider of executive coaches, where I serve as an engagement manager.

Or as another person racing around to find meaningful gifts for his loved ones.

We are not alone.


Here are some gifts from 2018 that I’d like to share with you, my clients and associates.

I strongly recommend that you save this url in your contact for “Doug Gray” or “Action Learning Associates.”

You may want to download this new content and add it to your digital folder for “Action Learning Associates.”   There are many great resources here!

Here’s to you, at your best!  When playing with new friends like Spider Monkeys, or not.

doug graydoug gray

Q4 included several customized leadership development workshops.

  • One F500 client wanted to “develop a culture of fiscal accountability using Objectives and Key Results (OKRs).”  If you are a client and want to see the customized app that included that content please contact me here.
  • One client wanted to “introduce positive psychology practices into their organization.”  Over 1,300 people have viewed the content here.
  • One F500 client wanted to “develop the executive presence and the reputations of their leaders.”   A video of that content is here.
  •  Several small business leaders wanted succession planning content to accelerate their leadership to the next generation.

Q3 included trademarking the AD-FIT model for any managers or professional coaches to use.

  • Many clients asked, “What works?”  They needed a process or protocol to cascade consistent expectations to direct reports, to serve clients, to lead others effectively.
  • A 90-second video explanation is at and here
  • The AD-FIT process for external providers, consultants and coaches is at .
  • The AD-FIT process for managers and leaders is at
  • The AD-FIT Level 1 Certification Course is at www.WhyCoachesFail.  If you are a client and would like free access please contact me here.
  • Many consultants, managers and professional coaches have completed the AD-FIT Level 1 Certification Course.  And I have been invited to share the AD-FIT model at the Metrics That Matter conference hosted by Explorance, in March, 2019.  Contact me for licensing details.

Q2 included my PhD in Organizational Leadership dissertation defense from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology.

  • My dissertation title was “Positive Psychology Coaching Protocols: Creating Competitive Advantage for Leader Development.
  • My abstract / summary was:  A gap exists between positive psychology coaching (PPC) theory and practice because PPC lacks rigorous measurement, evidence-based protocols and standard processes. This quasi-experimental study assessed the relationship between PPC protocols and performance or behavioral outcomes of leaders. The participants were global professional coaches (n = 220) who completed two sets of surveys after delivering 90 days of coaching, and completed approximately 60 minutes of digital training. The primary assessments were (a) the Psychological Capital Questionnaire (PCQ-12), (b) the Values in Action (VIA-72) questionnaire, and (c) the Outcome Measures Survey that included the Goal Attainment Satisfaction (GAS) score. The PPC protocols included compliance using assessments, defining meaningful coaching outcomes, compliance over time, and compliance with the AD-FIT coaching protocol. Those participants with higher compliance to the AD-FIT coaching protocol (n = 16) reported slightly higher goal attainment scores than the participants with lower compliance (n = 18). Open text box analysis was conducted to deepen understanding of the relationship between participation and leader outcomes. The top two performance outcomes (n =100 responses) were increased productivity and focus. The top two behavior outcomes (n =115 responses) were improved relationships and effectiveness. The theoretical, methodological and practical significance of this research indicate opportunities to create competitive advantage in leader development.
  • A riveting 60-minute video of the dissertation defense with research findings is hosted at
  • In Q4 the dissertation was finally published online for researchers at ProQuest.  If you’d like a copy in PDF please contact me.
  • Yes, you may now call me Dr. Doug Gray, if you wish.

Q1 included a website redesign and marketing with new content.

A final note for your files…

All of you who are individual or team coaching clients are familiar with this new client intake document.   Here is a very generous gift.  When I work with leaders I ALWAYS use the AD-FIT process.  Since 1997.  It works.  Outcome-based coaching is a straightforward process.   I strongly recommend that YOU adopt the AD-FIT protocols.  Click on the bullet below.  Then download the content.  Then use these 28 validated outcomes for executive coaching or business coaching.  Leaders practice leadership, just as physicians practice medicine and attorneys practice law.

A friend recently asked why I like to GIVE AWAY so much content to my clients and associates.  I have several answers:

  1.   You are my champions and buying agents who will download and share this new content as you see fit.
  2.   My ancestors are teachers and ministers, accustomed to sharing practical knowledge.  I know what works.
  3.   I can share everything I know, and still know it.  Wisdom is meant to be shared.

May you have an OUTSTANDING 2019!

What Is More Important For A Leader – Identity or Reputation?

Before you answer my question, let’s define both “identity” and “reputation”.

Identity: is how you see yourself.
Reputation: is how others see you.

Now, back to the question: What do you think is more important for a leader – Identity or Reputation?

Pick one before you read ahead or watch this video clip.

Here are some interesting facts regarding identity and reputation:


  • Self-awareness is inflated and inaccurate.
  • Self-ratings of performance underestimate our capabilities.
  • Less predictive of career success than feedback from others.


  • Other-awareness is variable and biased.
  • Based on what others think I do or say.
  • More predictive of future performance than self-ratings.

So, what’s more important? The answer to my opening question is Reputation.

That may seem counterintuitive. Executive presence is defined by reputation, NOT self-identity. Let me explain this with a short video.

Video Link - What do you think is more important for a leader - Identity or Reputation?

P.S. What do you think is more important for a leader – Identity or Reputation? Reply to this email. I would love to know your thoughts on it.

Action leads to learning.  What are you waiting for?

To contact Doug Gray, CEO, PCC, call 615.236.1892 or contact us here.  Today.