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How to Develop Character and Wisdom - Make Good Use of a Coach

Bay Area Executive Coaching

I was recently working with a new San Francisco Bay Area executive coaching client. We discussed the coaching process, and how to make the best use of a coach.

My executive coaching client and I discussed the importance of both formal (360) and in-the-moment feedback. I am coaching my client to achieve better results by focusing more on success than perfection.

Make Good Use of a Coach

Mediocrity is the gateway to disengagement and boredom. To sustain high achievement, you need to be continually learning and growing, in spite of uncertainty and anxiety. You need to ask for, and receive, feedback.

Even the act of asking for help can be risky. In your private sessions with an executive coach, discuss who to approach for help and how to frame requests.

Anyone in a leadership role faces high-stress decisions each day. In the absence of a consistent commitment to growth and development, executive teams are prone to create and experience “groupthink.” 

With groupthink, group members try to minimize conflict and reach a consensus decision without critical evaluation of alternative ideas or viewpoints. The safe road beckons strongly when there is accumulative stress and rising risk.

Developing Character and Wisdom

You want to maintain the best path for your career, yet still support short- and long-term organizational goals. Knowing how to navigate these tough environments is crucial for any achiever who wants to ascend to the top ranks.

History requires leaders to find and do the right things, in the right way, against the right time frame. It requires them to develop the capacity for executive wisdom and the ability to deploy it. It requires that they both see and pursue the development of virtue in their own characters.

Leaders routinely face situations for which they have no rules to guide them and all too often for which they have little or no knowledge. In these circumstances, they are always anxious and face incredible pressures to behave badly because they more often do not know what they do not know. Almost nothing is more difficult, anxiety arousing, and humiliating than for a leader to admit that he or she does not know the right thing to do.

~ Richard R. Kilburg, Executive Wisdom: Coaching and the Emergence of Virtuous Leaders, APA, 2006

Developing wisdom, virtue and true expertise in any domain takes time, a determined spirit and the courage to ask for help. With the right coach, you can further your professional growth in spite of the risks and anxieties.

Are you working in a professional services firm or other organization where executive coaches provide leadership development to grow emotionally intelligent leaders? Does your organization provide executive coaching for high achiever leaders? Enlightened leaders tap into their emotional intelligence and social intelligence skills to regularly ask for feedback.

One of the most powerful questions you can ask yourself is “Am I making good use of a coach?” Emotionally intelligent and socially intelligent organizations provide executive coaching as part of their high performance leadership development program.

Working with a seasoned executive coach and leadership consultant trained in emotional intelligence and incorporating assessments such as the Bar-On EQ-I, CPI 260 and Denison Culture Survey can help you learn and grow and sustain high achievement. You can become a leader who models emotional intelligence and social intelligence, and who inspires people to become fully engaged with the vision, mission and strategy of your company or law firm.

About Dr. Maynard Brusman

Dr. Maynard Brusman is a consulting psychologist, executive coach and trusted advisor to senior leadership teams. He is the president of Working Resources, a leadership consulting and executive coaching firm. We specialize in helping San Francisco Bay Area companies and law firms assess, select, coach, and retain emotionally intelligent leaders.  Maynard is a highly sought-after speaker and workshop leader. He facilitates leadership retreats in Northern California and Costa Rica. The Society for Advancement of Consulting (SAC) awarded Dr. Maynard Brusman "Board Approved" designations in the specialties of Executive Coaching and Leadership Development.

For more information, please go to, write to, or call 415-546-1252.

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