Partnering With Leaders

What don’t you know that you need to know to move forward? That is one of many questions I ask my clients and then work on answering.

Executive Coaching is here to stay.  There are no ifs ands or buts about it.  When leaders like Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google can say the best advice he ever got was to get a coach, we know coaching isn’t going anywhere any time soon.


I work with global leaders in the private and public sectors and I work with them in real time as their worlds unfold.  These are amazing people!  My clients don’t have to be fixed.  They want to be better.  I watch as they construct interpretations about who they are and then demonstrate that in language and behavior.  People rarely see themselves as others see them.  That goes for all levels, leaders included. If you assume people in positions of leadership don’t need coaching then look at it from this perspective:

Leaders rarely have allies, those they can share their fears, concerns, and insecurities with and yes, they all have insecurities.  It’s called being human.  Coaches become thought partners, those clients can bounce ideas off of, look at behavioral drivers with, innovative ways of being, how to ‘dance’ in the moment and not be reactive, rather be able to see things with clarity and perspective with.

One of the things I encourage all my clients to work on is to always be learners; not to learn as in memorize data but to look for what they need to know that they don’t know to move forward.  We look at how to immediately integrate that learning into their every day worlds, keep what’s applicable and park what isn’t.  The second area of focus is to figure out who they need to know who they don’t know to expand their circle, their network, and to work with people who have skill sets they don’t have to create a strong cohesive team.  Leaders don’t need to know everything; they need to know who does know how to do what they can’t do.  The smartest leaders realize they don’t have to do things alone and know who they need to know to get the answers they need then I partner with them and watch them fly!  No ceiling…just sky.

Donna Karlin CEC Executive and Political Leadership Coach

About the author

Donna Karlin CEC, Diplomate IABMCP and founder and principal of A Better Perspective® & The School of Shadow Coaching, has pioneered the specialized practice of Shadow Coaching® with global political, government, business and senior organizational leaders in the public and private sectors. Donna capitalizes on almost 30 years of experience in coaching, consulting and training to help clients and their organizations evolve into their level of excellence.