Successful business owners look to me for leadership insight and a better way to communicate and connect with their employees. I met Stuart when he feared he was going to have to shut down his design company that had been recognized for innovative ideas for over 20 years. He sensed he was frustrated and angry more than he wished to be. He thought it was because his employees were not contributing as much as they once did and his clients were not returning his calls as often as before. He had an overwhelming feeling he was no longer relevant.
It did not take me long to realize that the reverse was true. He was telling himself a story that the competition of younger and more talented design firms was making him irrelevant. He felt powerless to do anything about it, which lead to him distance himself from his design team and his clients.
Stuart learned to lead his company from the bottom up. He became more trusting of his team and was more willing to share the burden of running the business with them. He allowed his need for control to fade away and he began to welcome new ideas. His team responded with renewed enthusiasm for their work. They began solving problems that used to keep Stuart up at night. In fact, the progress of our coaching was measured by the reduction of sleepless nights.
Stuart also began to change his way of thinking about clients. Instead of finding his clients' requests for last minute changes in design frustrating and annoying, he began to look at those requests as opportunities to please his clients. He began to welcome difficult conversations with his clients because they gave him the opportunity to respond to the clients' needs. Again, putting his needs aside allowed him to connect with clients more productively.