Lead Like a Rock Star
Virginia Zart, 36, is a typical Long Beach Businesswoman. Tall, lean, and grounded from years of yoga, Virginia is the Director of Operations for two co-joined companies: Global Trends Investments and ETFTrends.com (a popular Weblog covering the burgeoning ETF investment market). Virginia busily manages these fast growing companies, and on an almost weekly basis prepares her boss, Tom Lydon, CEO & President, to be on Fox Business News.
I felt lucky when Virginia engaged me as her coach a year ago and I’m always happy when she arrives at my Naples Plaza office because I know she’s willing to explore the hard issues, look deeply into herself, and do the work.
In a recent coaching session I asked Virginia how coaching has helped her be a leadership “Rock Star”: “At the end of each day, I want to go to sleep knowing that I worked to the best of my ability. Coaching helps me leverage the leadership skills, knowledge, and tools that I’ve gained through my MBA Program.”
Virginia sits up straighter, her presence bigger and more solid. I smile to myself.
“Through the knowledge and support I’ve received through coaching I’ve become a more confident leader. We’re a small company and we have so many things going on that having someone to talk to who is unbiased is invaluable. Coaching has helped me understand what I do well as a leader and what I can improve.”
Virginia talked about how she uses coaching to improve her leadership skills: “Throughout the week I save up situations that don’t go smoothly and we review them to look for better decisions, language, and approaches. We often role play, which helps because I’m learning by doing. It’s specific, one-on-one learning for the specific skills I need.”
Through our work together Virginia came up with multi-step plan to increase accountability for her staff. First she created higher expectations and communicate them. Then she started giving her staff more feedback. Next she had them create “To Do” Lists and set up daily meetings to prioritize tasks, review progress, and eliminate barriers. “Our productivity and focus have increased greatly.”
I feel a bit sheepish when I ask Virginia which other coaching activities have been useful to her.
“Reviewing leadership articles and discussing how the concepts apply to my job.”
One article we discussed the “Power Perception Profile” by Hersey, Blanchard, and Natemeyer, helped Virginia gain a deeper understanding of how people use different types of power (Coercive, Connection, Expert, Information, Legitimate, Referent, Reward). Through our discussions she came up with examples of people in her life who use each type power and then examined how she could use more different types in her work and life. Through this exercise I watched Virginia truly own her Leadership power. “Coaching is great because I make progress every week and that really adds up over time.”
I asked Virginia how our life coaching has impacted her. Virginia’s face transformed from indomitable business force to sunny woman of leisure, “I’m balancing my work and personal life better and since I feel I’m doing my best at work, I’m able to put it out of my mind at home. Also, I’ve started setting aside “Virginia time” to do what I want to do: go to the Long Beach Art Museum, walk on the beach, get a massage. I’m glad I’m finally taking advantage of the wonderful things Long Beach has to offer.”
Now I’m beaming. I’m glad to have helped Virginia be a Leadership and Life “Rock Star.”
Coaching Can Make You a Rock Star!
Through coaching you will:
- Become clear about your goals
- Determine who you need to be to attract success
- Develop strategies to attain your goals
- Create an action plan
- Create accountability for yourself to complete your actions
- Remove barriers that get in your way
- Be more successful
- Celebrate your successes!