Frequently Asked Questions
- How senior are the leaders you coach? Most of my clients are seasoned professionals, from middle to upper management, in organizations of all sizes. The common denominator among most of my clients is less their “level” in the organization, but rather the complexity of their role and the degree to which they must influence others who don’t report to them. I also work with professionals and small business owners to craft strategy and broaden skillsets.
- Can we do this online? Do I have to come to WS for these services? Virtually all coaching relationships start with 1-2 face to face visits, as it is helpful to build trust and rapport. Many times, first meetings are at your office, as I may also meet with your manager, your team of direct reports, maybe some peers. However, once started, most of our coaching interactions will be by phone, video conference, or in my office.
- What are examples of challenges that you work with coaching clients on? Most clients begin work with one specific challenge in mind, and though that serves as the primary focus, there are frequently a number of issues that clients choose to address over the course of our work. Common coaching priorities frequently include:
- Developing strategic focus and vision
- Influencing upward and laterally
- Improving team effectiveness
- Defining future career path
- Dealing with conflict
- Leading significant change
- Managing virtual relationships
- Becoming more assertive / drive accountability
- Rebuilding a breach of trust
- What is the length of a typical coaching relationship? Six to eight months is the average. Typically, the startup of a coaching relationship might include data gathering, feedback and action planning before coaching begins. The coaching plan is created with each client to meet their specific needs, and may include contact every 1, 2 or 3 weeks. The frequency of the sessions frequently declines over the course of the relationship.
- Can people really change? Only when there is a compelling reason to change. And the change itself cannot be inherently punishing or in conflict with someone’s values. Most clients find their greatest success comes in figuring out how to better leverage their existing strengths than to take on wholesale change for themselves.
- Are there “good” and “bad” coaching clients? Trick question. Clients who get the most out of working with me are those who:
- Are not looking for simple answers and advice
- Define what they want to accomplish with each session
- Accept challenges from me with curiosity
- Are willing to be pushed past their comfort zone
- Follow through on commitments, many of which are uncomfortable
Leadership Development & Consulting
- Do you have training programs available off the shelf? Yes & No. In 20 years, I have conducted hundreds of leadership programs dealing with a wide range of leadership content. Yet, I’ve never done the exact same program for any two clients. Leadership occurs in a particular context, and leaders learn best when a program feels relevant and consistent with a company’s culture and strategy. I have a wealth of training “modules” that have been tested and refined through the years, but they always are assembled with a client’s unique context in mind.
- Do you do public programs or do you only work with specific organizations? I don’t conduct public programs. I find too much value is gained leadership discussions are facilitated among peer leaders who share the organizational values, priorities and pressures.
- You have an impressive client list. Is my organization too small for your consideration? Some of my biggest impacts have been made in small, relatively unknown organizations, both private and non-profit. Size does not matter. What matters most is that the payoff of the work merits the investment on both sides, client and consultant.
- I’ve heard you are an auctioneer. What relevance does that have to Scruggs Leadership? I’m a “fundraising benefit auctioneer” working with non-profit organizations to create events that generate funds and build awareness and commitment to their mission. We call this service "smart GALAS". In many cases, I am also working in that non-profit helping them define executable strategy, or building leadership capacity with their staff or board.
- What kinds of consulting projects do you do? Most consulting projects are with leadership teams or non-profit boards that are seeking help addressing a unique strategic problem.
- How much do you charge for your services? I can never answer this question until we first establish what you need, and what the payoff is of addressing that need. I will not deliver a service that doesn’t have the expectation of a high return.