Client Success Stories
These client success stories will help you better understand how we work with clients, what some of the issues are and the results they've achieved through coaching. You may recognize some of your own challenges or issues in one or more of these case studies.
After five years, Kristin knew her company had outgrown its business plan and was no longer able to take risks like before. She had founded the business on her talent in marketing and finance, getting it off to a great start. At this point in the life of the company however, the role of CEO didn't feel comfortable, she could no longer rely on her instincts and just keeping things going was enough to put her in a state of constant fatigue.
Coaching has given Kristin the perspective and confidence to take risks again. She restructured her staff and renegotiated key contracts, reducing operating costs 18%. These moves required a steely belief in the decisions she was making. In the midst of a down market, they are now more efficient than ever and poised to gain new strategic accounts. It has been very challenging, but something has come alive in Kristin. the strength of a CEO. She is making critical decisions, executing with confidence and providing the backbone that her whole company is relying on.
In Kristin's words:
Brian processes information quickly and then provides surprisingly quick insight and assessment. His ideas don't fit the "standard" responses -- his ideas are creative, unique, and help me look at things differently. This has helped me become a better leader, and gain more confidence in areas that are new. Brian's integrity also makes him a valuable confidant for tough decisions.
Sharer and Associates
In the fast growing telecommunication industry, Russ Sharer transitioned from Vice President of Sales and Marketing to Vice President of Marketing. This represented a radical shift from the fast paced and short term tactical goals of sales to the longer term strategic planning and softer metrics of marketing. Russ was tasked with recasting the company's strategy and value proposition in order to reposition themselves in the market. His transition was emblematic of the shift needed for the whole company going from a highly responsive start up to a larger, more strategic business.
Coaching clarified Russ' new role and responsibilities allowing him to develop and implement processes enabling setting priorities and removing himself from previous responsibilities. Russ now has incorporated times of reflection into his calendar with regular half days in a quiet place with a pad of paper. He is providing a voice on the executive team for long term commitments which represents a cultural change underway. He has also arranged his team to allow him to be more strategically oriented and positioned for the long term. This has included providing coaching to develop the capacity of the Directors that report to him as well.
In Russ' words:
My coaching time with Next Step has had great value. Brian's questions continually cut through the details of a specific issue or situation to get to the heart of the matter. He continually helps me clarify my thinking about key business issues, and improve my personal execution.
In 2006 Gregg Foster made the leap to start Halifax, his own land development company. In his business the deals are big and the pressure bigger. He described himself like a dam holding back the force of three different currents in order to channel it into a single purposeful stream. He woke up many mornings before 5am with the sensation of a buzzing in the back of his neck resulting from the pressure he withstood.
As a result of our coaching together Gregg extracted himself from the management aspects of the deals as he hired a new project manager and added to his support staff. He began focusing on what he does best: building relationships and making deals. From there Gregg was able to triple the number of deals in a period of nine months.
In Gregg's words:
Confidence and perspective are the two things I come away with from coaching with Brian. His questions cause the light bulbs to start popping for me. Since working with Brian I've tripled our deals and expanded our staff allowing me to leverage my strengths. I couldn't be happier. The thing I love about Brian is his excitement for me- it's contagious. I absolutely recommend Brian as a coach.
"I don't want to work this hard anymore," Bill said to his wife on the flight home from a vacation in Hawaii. This wasn't the first time his wife had heard these words. Bill only knew one way to work and it was to be the very best, a demanding proposition for Bill and his real estate company in Pasadena, CA. Despite that sincere statement on the plane, Bill felt unable to escape the momentum of his high velocity business.
Coaching showed Bill that the first step to life beyond his business was to restructure his business. Bill elevated his role from partner to CEO so he had more power to shape the company in his favor. In the midst of a down real estate market, he has made difficult cuts, but he has also taken calculated risks for growth. As a result, his new leadership posture has actually elevated the confidence of his agents and staff in an otherwise discouraging environment. He is laying the foundation and setting a strategy for his company's growth that will ultimately rely less on his presence and give him the freedom he and his wife long for. Coaching is giving Bill the structure he needs and holding him to his highest standard.
In Bill's words:
"When I began working with Brian I asked him for two things: help me disentangle myself from a career which was all-consuming, and hold me accountable for the goals and desires of my heart. Brian has not let me down. He's gentle yet firm, and he listens, yet won't yield, when I get off track. A true coach knows what it takes to reach the finish line. Brian's expertise lies in helping you navigate the rapids and apply the action steps needed to fulfill your goals and dreams."
Certified Financial Planner
Fisher & Wiens Wealth Management
Larry's grandchildren didn't see their dad much during the week due to their dad's demanding biotech position. This motivated Larry to discuss with his son-in-law, Beau, the possibility of Beau joining Larry in his financial planning business. This gave the young father an opportunity for a different lifestyle, but put the pressure on Larry's shoulders to equip his son-in-law to succeed in his new career.
With coaching Larry gained a sound strategy for equipping Beau to excel and grow the business to a greater extent than Larry ever could have on his own. They have now moved into a new office and are using a new office support staff. Beau is surpassing Larry's expectations, due to a combination of his aptitude for the work and Larry's deliberate investment of energy into his success. What began as initiation planning has now become succession planning as Larry has the confidence and opportunity to turn over aspects of his business to his son in law, much sooner than he anticipated.
One of the outcomes of this has been Larry's freedom to pursue other charitable interests related to his Christian faith. Larry has taken on board positions, visited other countries and has become a strategic and financial partner for different international ministries.
In Larry's words:
Brian's coaching provides me with clarity. It helps me to define the key issues in my life and identify ways of dealing with them. I leave every session with a tangible, specific and realistic action list for the future. I can not say enough about his value to me. My time with Brian is probably my most productive 45 minutes of the week.
Karen Hanson Interiors
Karen was unable to give her interior design business the attention it required when special needs for her teenage daughter sent her out of state for school. This traumatic experience strained her family and her business. She turned to coaching when she realized her circumstances were causing her to act in ways "I don't want to be".
In the midst of confusing circumstances with elements beyond her control coaching gave Karen perspective. She got clear about what mattered most- her daughter. It was a special coaching moment when the reality sank in and she could say, "I saved my daughter's life".
Coaching also identified the aspects of Karen's talent that made her business successful and enjoyable. Everything else was delegated and outsourced in a way for her business to thrive and giving Karen more freedom. In Karen's words, coaching has made her "an empowered woman!" With this power, clarity and freedom her business is growing and she is acting as the mother she wants to be.
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