Simple Shifts

2015 North American Book Award Winner.  A must-read for anyone serious about growing as a leader and creating positive influence on others. Simple Shifts focuses on self-discovery with tools and exercises to overcome challenges, recognize strengths, and achieve important growth.

Real People, Real Challenges

There’s something so simple about what I’ve learned in my many years of experience working with leaders. As people become self-aware, they become open to new opportunities, new ideas and new ways of doing things.

Their challenges may be similar, but my clients are not. They are unique, bringing their own experiences, backgrounds, beliefs and attitudes, along with their fears and doubts. All of it affects the ability to lead – until we take a step back and see our own contribution to the challenges.

Here's a snapshot of clients I’ve had over the years. They reinforce what I know to be true: Self-awareness creates new opportunities, new ideas and new approaches. You can learn more about my work in my book, “Simple Shifts: Effective Leadership Changes Everything.”

Letting Go of Old Habits

Challenge: Dan, a financial analyst, qualified to take on more responsibility, was overlooked for a promotion due to his actions and communication approaches. His behavior prevented him from managing effectively. He was the kind of boss no one would want: He micromanaged his team, failed to listen and thought he was always “right.”

Journey: Through a series of interviews with his colleagues and customers, I learned that Dan was a role-model coach for kids’ sports teams. He was loved and respected by the families, providing just the right balance of guidance and structure. Unlike his behavior at work, Dan was a good listener, offered suggestions for improvement and recognized the kids’ accomplishments.

Simple Shift: It turned out that Dan was modeling his managerial style from previous, ineffective leaders. He couldn’t be at his best because he was focused on being someone else's idea of a good leader. Dan had a Eureka moment and over a few short months became self-aware, realizing he could integrate “coach Dan” and “manager Dan.”

Benefit: Dan got a promotion to a chief financial officer position within another division of his large company. He also got something even better than a title: confidence to be his “true” self.

Testimonial: "I’m so much happier and less stressed being one Dan instead of two. Terri helped me come out of my shell. I’m now more optimistic and open to different ways of accomplishing objectives.”

Redefining leadership value

Challenge: With more than 80 direct reports and mounting responsibilities in a global company providing tactical brand execution solutions, Mitch was feeling overwhelmed, frustrated and exhausted. He wanted to spend his time as a visionary strategic leader and enhance his leadership capabilities, but instead wound up handling the day-to-day duties.

Journey: In observing a meeting Mitch led, I noticed that he took on every issue his team brought up. His desire to help provided him little time to be the team’s visionary thinker and encouraged his direct reports to rely on him to take care of the tasks.

Simple Shift: Mitch’s understanding of his leadership shifted during our coaching sessions and by the materials and exercises I recommended. He restructured his team, promoted two new managers to oversee the direct reports, and redefined his role and value to his team.

Benefit: Mitch’s newly re-framed role as director allowed him to focus strategically on areas he had no time or energy for in the past. He created a successful restructured organization, and further enhanced his role by mentoring and developing his new managers.

Testimonial: "This experience has helped me reach a new level at work, and I’m also coming away from it with a new-found confidence in my leadership capability. Terri gave me a lot of resources that helped me think about vision, leadership and managing change. I’m pretty sure I would never have had this epiphany without Terri’s guidance.”

Shifting from me to we

Challenge: Jamie was promoted from a project manager to a manager of people, shifting her focus from being an individual contributor to achieving results through her team. It was a big change in a large services provider organization, prompting her to develop an effective leadership style. It’s a significant stretch to shift focus from managing all the tangible tasks, to a focus on leading a team of project managers.

Journey: Jamie and I explored her assumptions and new ways to approach and communicate with her new team, including delegating tasks instead of “putting out fires” and taking on day-to-day duties. I’m a big believer in celebrating strengths so Jamie and I found ways of using her strengths most effectively in her new role.

Simple Shift: Through a series of one-on-one sessions and exercises, Jamie let go of trying to manage the details of every project and instead focused on effectively guiding her new team to take on those tasks.

Benefit: Jamie has learned how to shift her approach by asking good questions instead of telling what to do, and allowing her team to discuss and create solutions they can all learn from. She spends more time looking ahead and removing barriers, and celebrates her team’s successes. Jamie realized ,“An indicator of my success as a manager is how well I’m working myself out of a job – by providing continual opportunities for others to own processes, decisions, projects and approaches.”..

Testimonial: “Terri asks thought-provoking questions while providing supportive, positive guidance and feedback. She doesn’t insist on a single approach or ‘answer’ but practices what she espouses – focusing on people’s strengths and helping them consider workable solutions, and then following up to assess the results.”