CEO Today - Executive Coaching Awards 2022


@ceotodaymag @ceotodaymag CEO Today Magazine /ceo-today f t y l n Connect with the Powerful and In uential. Follow uson social media to receive the latest updates, news and online features on the go. CEO T O D A Y

CEO Today Executive Coaching Awards 2022 - 5 - - INTRODUCTION - CEO T O D A Y EXECUTIVE COACHING AWARDS 2022 Welcome to the 2022 edition of the CEO Today Executive Coaching Awards. Every month, CEO Today Magazine features perspectives from business leaders at the top of their field. Though they may now be running S&P 500 and FTSE companies, they came from more humble beginnings. Often, their inspirational leadership and management skills were shaped by the expert training of an executive coach. This new publication aims to celebrate these professionals whose work in the world of business is less visible, but no less crucial for it. Every great figure of the modern business world, from Jeff Bezos to Larry Page, has benefited from the work of a coach to sharpen their acumen and perfect their leadership style – an advantage that even SMEs the world over are now beginning to recognise. The coaches featured in these pages include the likes of Navid Nazemian, Peter Baloh, Borut Jeglič, Tracy Clark, Mercy Situmbeko, Victoria Hepburn and many more beside. All are shining examples of leadership and emotional intelligence whose insights, shared in exclusive interviews, will fascinate any CEO with ambitions of industryleading success. We at CEO Today are proud to present this special publication. Congratulations to all of our winners and finalists.

Navid Nazemian Navid Nazemian Executive Coaching FZCO Peter Baloh Thriverse Borut Jeglič Thriverse Dr. Yin Haijiang Hai Jiang Peer Advisory Board College David Goldfarb Goldfarb Consulting GmbH Madeline Blanchard The Ken Blanchard Companies 8 22 28 32 FEATURED WINNERS 16 16

“My name is Navid Nazemian. My professional career started in sales, where I spent six years. I then moved to human resources, a function that I am deeply passionate about. I have spent the last two decades working for some of the world’s most admired organisations at country, regional and global leadership level, in both emerging and developed markets. Most recently, I was the Global Head of HR at Vodafone, based in London and working in the company’s global HQ. My recent recognition as HR‘s Most Influential Practitioner by the HR Magazine has been a humbling acknowledgement of my HR career and impact. I have been fortunate enough to work for some of the world’s most admired companies, such as Adidas, GE, BAT, Roche and Vodafone. As a Head of HR, I have been a buyer of coaching services throughout my career, and I have always been fascinated by the transformational results in leadership as a result of effective coaching. At some point, I felt ready to embark on a coaching journey myself. And after some consultation with coaches and coaching organisations, I chose a three-year coach training track that took me across three continents, and which is exclusively taught by Master Certified Coaches (MCCs). My employers have been supportive of my coaching on the side, as coaching senior executives is obviously very beneficial to the work that I do as a senior HR leader.“ Navid Nazemian CEO of Navid Nazemian Executive Coaching FZCO CEO Today Executive Coaching Awards 2022 - UNITED KINGDOM - - 8 - UNITED KINGDOM’S COACH OF THE YEAR

How have your previous roles and experiences, particularly in HR, informed your current work? The remit of a Head of HR can be broad, so one starts to develop different muscles throughout the years. Personally, I have been fascinated by impactful leadership interventions. So, it is no surprise that the transition topic – which is one of my key focus areas as an executive coach – started to emerge early on. Having lived and successfully worked in five countries across six sectors and working with C-level leaders throughout, has helped me to walk the walk for many of my clients as an executive coach. When did you decide it was time to branch into executive coaching, and why? After spending 26 years in large MNCs and having had the privilege to coach many senior leaders and CEOs in various regional and global organisations, I felt ready to transition into full-time coaching. My ‘why’ is simple: there are simply too many executives failing during their career transition, although there are proven ways to de-risk and accelerate those transitions. So my key focus as a coach is to help executives and their leadership teams accelerate and successfully transition into new roles and maximise their leadership impact. My passion lies in supporting executives during critical transitions. I am inspired by their courage to deliver value to their organisation whilst staying true to their authentic selves. Next to being a successful corporate leader and an executive coach, you are also an international bestselling author. Tell us more about that and how the idea of writing a book came about. The idea of writing a book came to me about ten years ago, at the same time when I started to work as a professional coach next to my HR role. I thought it would be a year-long project, at maximum. Little did I know that it would take me seven years from start to finish to publish my book. In between, there were three jobs with two organisations in three countries, and about a year after starting to write my book, our son was born. As you can see, life can get in the way – and thoroughly researching, writing and publishing a book on thought leadership can take much longer than initially expected. Please tell us more about your book and what it covers. My book is titled ‘Mastering Executive Transitions - The Definitive Guide’ and it is published by New Degree Press in New York City. My publisher and I were both surprised when the book was immediately a #1 new release on Amazon, before becoming a national and then international bestseller. Next to publishing the actual book, I also published the digital companion, which is the accompanying workbook. The workbook helps executives in transition, and coaches who work with executives in transition, to utilise the proven Double Diamond Framework© of Executive Transitions in a very practical and guided way. Our magazine has a deep focus on CEOs. How would a CEO benefit from transition coaching? First off, allow me to start with a recent study by Egon Zehnder that found that 70% of CEOs are either underwhelmed by their onboarding process or have had no structured onboarding process at all – so what would probably please about 99% of the employee population in a company is nowhere nearly sufficient for CEO-level onboarding. A study from the Aberdeen Group looked into the onboarding processes of 282 organisations. They found that the difference between organisations that get onboarding right and the laggard companies (bottom 30%) is significant. Best-in-class companies (top 20%) were able to distinguish themselves across key performance criteria: CEO Today Executive Coaching Awards 2022 - UNITED KINGDOM - - 9 -

1. 96% of first-year employees were retained, as compared to 18% of employees at laggard organisations. 2. 82% of employees hired in the last 12 months met their first performance milestone on time, as compared to 3% at laggard organisations. 3. 18% year-on-year improvement in hiring manager satisfaction, compared to a 1% decrease among laggard organisations. 4. Improvement in customer satisfaction by 12% and customer retention by 10%, compared to a 2% improvement of each at laggard organisations. As we can see, there are very tangible, commercial benefits from getting CEO onboarding and transitions right. What are, in your view, the ripple effects of not getting CEO transitions right? A study from the Corporate Executive Board (CEB) examines the ripple effect of high-impact leadership transitions. They examined over 30,000 executive leader transitions, enriched further by hundreds of executive leader interviews. They found that the direct reports of a struggling transitioning executive leader on average performed 15% worse than those who reported to a high-performing one, so there is a clear performance drag attached to failed transitions. Furthermore, in comparing the likelihood of the direct reports of high performing versus struggling transitioning leaders to be highly engaged or remain in the organisation, they found a statistically significant difference of 20%. If we add to this the set of executive CEO Today Executive Coaching Awards 2022 - UNITED KINGDOM - - 10 -

peers whose productivity is enhanced because they depend on the executive leader and additional business opportunities that are generated, the ripple effects of executive transitions become truly magnified. Lastly, CEB’s rich database suggests that any large organisation has 70 senior executives on average. With about 12% being replaced annually, this results in eight senior executive transitions each year. Despite this predictable pattern, many organisations approach CEO transitions like mergers and acquisitions. We know one of the most commonly identified factors when it comes to failed deals is ineffective post-merger integration. Similarly, most executive transitions fail because of poor ‘integration’ of the CEO into the new role in an organisation. Put differently, what would be the upside of getting CEO transitions right? The best organisations truly understand the ripple effects (both positive and negative) and orchestrate a structured and externally supported CEO transition process. This process would mobilise internal resources and apply innovative tools and systemic approaches to assist the newly appointed CEO with a set of high-impact transition activities. Significant research has been conducted to evaluate the benefits of successful onboarding and executive transitions. Many studies have focused on benefits related to the CEO in transition. However, the benefits are threefold, benefitting at least three distinct groups of stakeholders. Allow me to elaborate on each stakeholder group further. Benefits for the CEO A successful transition has proven to reduce the likelihood of derailment by up to 50% (Wheeler 2009). A structured and supported CEO transition also mitigates key transition challenges and associated risks. In return, enhanced role satisfaction is a clear benefit for the CEO. The other benefit that should not go unnoticed is that baseline productivity levels are reached in a shorter period. This has been measured in many studies and the results are an accelerated transition that is up to 50% faster than with the peer group who did not get the structured transition support. Lastly, it becomes obvious how successful CEO transitions will pay a dividend in an area that has not been mentioned yet: the future trajectory of the CEO’s career, such as a higher likelihood to be promoted externally after one or more successful transitions. Benefits for the Organisation The most obvious benefit is that successful CEO transitions reduce the risk of high-stakes placements and potential costs related to mishiring. Studies show that mishiring at the executive level is highly costly, with an estimate of somewhere between 10 to 30 times the salary cost of an executive. Corporate Executive Board (CEB) research suggests that successful CEO transitions demonstrate that 90% of leadership teams whose CEO had a successful transition go on to achieve their three-year performance goals. In those teams, the attrition risk is 13% lower than the rest. A successful transition also suggests the organisation is making better—if not the best—use of the CEO’s unique talents and potential. It is a strong and clear demonstration of the commitment to the executive and their professional development. Furthermore, if part of the mandate of the new CEO is to change the organisational culture, then a structured CEO Today Executive Coaching Awards 2022 - UNITED KINGDOM - - 11 -

transition supported by an executive transition coach can facilitate the adoption of a new and supportive organisational culture and management style. Also, it helps to reduce organisational anxiety by sending signals of proactive and thoughtful leadership. Benefits for the Stakeholders The RBL Group, a human resources consulting firm, published their findings in ‘The Leadership Gap‘, a study with 430 portfolio managers and institutional investors. They found that the top three criteria for an investment decision are: how the company performs (with 38.5%), industry favourableness with (33.1%) and quality of leadership (with 28.4%). What is particularly interesting is that the RBL Group also measured the confidence levels these investors had in their ability to assess the three criteria. The lowest confidence intervals were shown at the quality of leadership with 3.75 or a standard deviation of 0.96, versus 0.58 for performing firms and 0.66 for industry favourableness. That means investors and portfolio managers have the lowest confidence level when it comes to being able to measure the quality of leadership. Part of what makes the quality of leadership is onboarding the CEO effectively and minimising their chances of derailment. With these findings, we are “In a nutshell, Peer Group Transition Coaching is a faclitated, structured conversation that leads to inspired actions in small peer groups that are led by me as an expert coach. Or in other words, it is the perfect combination of coaching and mentoring coupled with thought leadership.” CEO Today Executive Coaching Awards 2022 - UNITED KINGDOM - - 12 -

now able to relate financial investment decisions to companies with their executive transition process. Another obvious benefit is the combined result of having a high-performing executive, their leadership team, and the organisation. It exudes confidence to the management board and to investors. We can see how greater alignment of an organisational strategy with cultural execution can increase employee engagement levels and the business performance of an organisation. Successful CEO transitions also provide a platform for thoughtfully engaging external stakeholders. When we look at what the younger generations truly want from their organisation, it becomes obvious that some of the above are not ‘nice-to-haves‘ but indeed ‘must-haves‘. What does this award mean to you? Firstly, let me say that I was not expecting it. But similar to the recent recognition as HR’s Most Influential Practitioner, it is humbling and rewarding at the same time to see one’s work being recognised like this. I am grateful for the award and will cherish it for years to come. The ultimate award for me, however, is seeing my coaching clients flourish and achieve the transformational results that they sometimes deemed impossible before starting to work with me. How do you measure success when it comes to coaching your clients? The way I was trained as a coach suggests that there is only one way that success can be truly measured. It is measured by the client’s feedback and their immediate leaders‘ feedback. So it does not matter how we as coaches think of ourselves or how incredibly competently we think we have been performing. What do you expect the remainder of 2022 and the coming year will hold for your executive coaching practice and your continuing professional growth? I have recently decided to move with my family to Dubai, U.A.E. to dedicate myself full time to my coaching practice (Navid Nazemian Executive Coaching FZCO) and continue to serve clients globally. In particular, I am very excited by a new product that I have developed, namely Peer Group Transition Coaching. I developed this innovative format as several 1:1 executive transition clients have shared the need to reflect with trusted peers about their transition challenges and encountered dilemmas. As you know, it can be incredibly lonely as an executive CEO Today Executive Coaching Awards 2022 - UNITED KINGDOM - - 13 -

in transition. Sometimes, for a variety of reasons, it might be difficult to share dilemmas with functional peers, line managers and team members and you do not necessarily wish to work with a transition coach on a fully-fledged year-long executive coaching programme in a 1:1 capacity. The power of peer group coaching is proven and the format provides a unique opportunity to engage with fellow peers. Peer Group Transition Coaching is a facilitated, structured conversation that leads to inspired actions in small peer groups that are led by me as an expert coach. Or in other words, it is the perfect combination of coaching and mentoring coupled with thought leadership. In a peer group, each executive will reflect on personal dilemmas and challenges they encounter by gaining varied perspectives from transitioning peers, led by me. That sounds rather intriguing – can you tell us more about this new format? What topics may executives bring to this format? During Peer Group Transition Coaching for Executives, you can reflect with your peers on any transition related topics that are relevant to you professionally, such as: 1. Understanding and reflecting on what makes executive transitions both challenging and exciting. 2. Learning how to avoid the biggest mistakes made during executive transitions. 3. Reflecting upon your interactions with key stakeholders such as your line manager, peers and ExCo/board. 4. Learning and exploring proven interventions to transition most successfully. 5. How to break down organisational fragmentation and what are key outcomes of that. There are multiple benefits to the executives, the organisation and the wider stakeholder group, but to name a few: 1. Trusted peers bring outside-in perspectives that provoke thinking; 2. Expert-led and shared learnings by observing fellow executives; 3. Upskilling the entire group on all angles of executive transitions; 4. Build powerful alliances that enable action outside of silos; 5. Expertly facilitated by a thought leader of executive transitions. And how does this format work? This is an exclusive, confidential and diverse group with like-minded peers. Each group consists of a minimum of three and a maximum of six members. Members get access to the executive transition video introduction series that I have created. Ideally, the group is carefully composed in terms of diversity and seniority to maximise impact. There are a total of four Peer Group Transition Coaching sessions over six months (1.5 hours/session), and the dates will be set in advance and will accommodate critical company events. Each session is focused on the Double Diamond Framework© of Executive Transitions and will involve a dilemma or a transition challenge presented by one or two of the group member. There is also one alignment call conducted with each participant ahead of the very first group session. Sessions are held face-to-face (virtual upon request only) and followed up with a social lunch or dinner to facilitate peer networking. They take place in the client’s city of choice. One of the best parts is that there are four 1:1 mentor coaching sessions per member after each group session to embed learnings and master uniquely individual challenges. How do you maintain confidentiality in such a setting? Information sharing in the group is based on strict confidentiality (members will sign an NDA to maintain the integrity of peer coaching conversations). CEO Today Executive Coaching Awards 2022 - UNITED KINGDOM - - 14 -

Email: LinkedIn: Twitter: Instagram: masteringexecutivetransitions/ Book: “My passion lies in supporting executives during critical transitions. I am inspired by their courage to deliver value to their organisation whilst staying true to their authentic selves.” CEO Today Executive Coaching Awards 2022 - UNITED KINGDOM - - 15 -

Co-Founders of Thriverse Borut Jeglič Peter Baloh LEADERSHIP COACHING & TEAM TRANSFORMATION SERVICE OF THE YEAR CEO Today Executive Coaching Awards 2022 - SLOVENIA - - 16 -

In your considerable experience as a team coach, what are the most common factors preventing organisational change from being realised? How do you ensure these are addressed during your work with clients? First is lack of true dedication for a set goal. “What must be true in six months, or one year, or three years?” is a question we keep asking teams, team leaders and CEOs we work with. Yes, there is always some striving, but if persistence to achieve the goal wears off in the middle of the process, the team will be thrown back to the same old same old. It is the curse of instant gratification that our brains strive for, and we must hack it. Acknowledging that we can only get to Mt Everest by climbing every single metre of it, we make the journey engaging and useful for everyone, every step of the way. All the activities we employ are combined and simplified enough to be digestible as we gradually but persistently help the team climb right to the top. Our Thriving Team and Thriving Leader programs take 4-6 months, and a year and upwards for a Thriving Organization. Second, “leaving the client half naked” as we say in our team. You see, there are amazing leadership and team and individual development concepts out there. Yet when going through trainings, organisations and leaders do not get enough help in incepting them into everyday reality. It is like starting off from the basecamp and going to the next camp, and then looking back on the last stretch. “What was most useful for me, and us, in the last three weeks? What new behaviours and conversations worked for me? What has held me back? How will we do much more of what has worked in the next three weeks?” Third, trying to adopt wrong behaviours. We are dealing with the most complex yet most important of all changes – behaviours and team dynamics – while at the same time knowing that 80% of attempts to change culture fail miserably. That is why we have based our methodology on leading insights and incorporating them into the client experience. You cannot really play a world-class game if you are not behaving like the world’s best. For us, nothing that is short of excellent works. We rely on Gallup and other great global analytical insights. We rely on the most effective habit-building approaches. We use the most effective mass movement principles. We use tacit experience built on the thousands of teams we have worked with to individualise the proven approach to the client’s context. Every step of the way, every activity in the team session is carefully designed to deliver exceptional experience towards the thriving team destination. Fourth, clients rely on consultants to bring the change. But we cannot do the climbing for them, nor we can support you after we are gone. And trust me, we do want to be gone and not support clients forever, as they must be capable of sustaining their thriving workplace. What, to your mind, are the key pillars of successful corporate leadership? Leadership is a well-researched phenomenon, but while there is a fair amount of consensus on what great leadership is, the devil is, as is often the case, in the details. In real life, leadership is extremely complex and there is one main reason for this – people. To be a great leader means to be able to engage and inspire people to dedicate their time, energy and creativity to achieve or create something which did not exist before. But people can only be engaged at work if they feel like it. That means that for me as a leader, my output is actually the right feelings in our people, and not the performance goals (which do result as a consequence). In our work with leaders, we find it helpful to provide a framework on how to think about what leaders need to do to be successful. We found that it lies in the following four key pillars: 1. Manage self – a leader needs to understand themselves first so they can manage their own well-being, emotions, behaviours and reactions with the goal of having a positive influence on the team and themselves. Here, we build on positive psychology of innate strengths, as they provide a profound mirror of their qualities as a leader. CEO Today Executive Coaching Awards 2022 - SLOVENIA - - 17 -

2. Create clarity – a leader needs to create, understand and communicate a compelling common purpose that aims the team in the same direction. Leaders must create fluent omnipresence of purpose and goals, as they are the backbone of meaning. Here, we embed that clarity into meaningful individual and team conversations that happen regularly, in the context of everyday work. 3. Support and coach – a leader recognises people’s contributions, gives effective and regular feedback and regularly engages in meaningful and difficult conversations with individuals and the team as a whole. The hurdle we help leaders to overcome is going from full-time judges and auditors (that KPI reporting and corporate systems force them into) to being coaches and enablers of flow and great performance. 4. Build capacity for future success – a leader recognises that their key role is not only to achieve results today but to build a team that will be able to achieve even better results tomorrow. Performance development over performance management wins every time and it is one mantra we incept into the leaders’ mindsets and train for according to behaviours. How do C-suite executives stand to benefit from your individual leadership coaching? Individual leadership coaching is always an important part of our work. First, it enables executives to dive deep into their challenges so they can truly evolve their mindset, behaviours and habits. Leadership is complex and C-suite executives have especially limited options to discuss their biggest challenges with people around them. That is why having an experienced coach who can guide them and challenge them in their thinking is crucial for long-term success and growth. Second, we align the individual coaching with the developmental journey of the wider team. There is a lot of leadership coaching out there, and what we have seen is that results do not truly scale. Change cannot happen in isolation and if there is a disconnect between what the leaders think or do, and what their teams think or do, things get stuck. In our case this means that we do not just do ‘leadership coaching’ in isolation, but also reflect through the point where their teams are on their journey to become one of the top 5% high-performing teams and how their actual daily leadership should change because of that. We couple that with another reflection: “Where am I as a leader when comparing my behaviours to the top 5% of leaders in the world?” Using this, the actual steps leaders take are much more confident and get adopted quicker. Because we are not just doing ordinary leadership coaching, but tying it to those golden reflection points, one could say that we provide ‘Accelerated Leadership Coaching’ for busy C-suite executives who are taking their companies to become the world’s greatest. Is there a particular creed or philosophy that informs your practices? We are a values-driven organisation. These beliefs guide everything we do internally and with clients: 1. Business is people. A thriving business can only be created by thriving people. 2. We do not decide our future. We decide our habits and our habits decide our future. For different results we need different behaviours. In organisations of people, nothing changes if the everyday behaviours of people do not change. 3. We focus and build on what is right with people. Our strengths are the key to thriving. 4. High performance is a habit. The minute you stop doing what brought you high performance, it vanishes. 5. Business is an infinite game. You can never win business. The name of the game is to grow and improve every day and keep playing. 6. High performance should feel good. Achieving arbitrary, short-term wins on account of our health or relationships is not high performance at all. We do not rev our engine into the red zone. Rather, we find a way to shift into a higher gear. “Thriving business comes from thriving people that come from intention and action.” CEO Today Executive Coaching Awards 2022 - SLOVENIA - - 18 -

Dr. Peter Baloh is an experienced consultant and coach who has worked with hundreds of global companies both before and after founding Thriverse in 2015. He has dedicated his career to building exceptional, people-first, high-performing teams and organisations. In his role of Chief Success Architect, he designs and delivers journeys that confidently take organisations from todays to tomorrow’s behaviours.

Borut Jeglič started his career by managing the largest national project for raising digital literacy in Slovenia. It gave him first-hand experience of how to create an engaged team driven solely by a vision of a better tomorrow for a whole nation. He believes that if we want to change the world for the better, we need more people who thrive in their life, and is dedicating his life to creating work environments that not only enable but encourage thriving.

Can you relate some past success stories in implementing team and organisation-wide transformations? Every single one is a shining star on its own. In one insurance company of 5,400 people, we significantly shifted the culture towards collaborative and responsive work which, amongst other results, moved the team’s net promoter score from 55 (where it was stuck for years) to 74, and it has been increasing since then. Another company, an IT-health services provider, boosted their CAGR from 16% to 48%. A European telecom services company raised the success rate of their strategic projects from 20% to 100%. A European computer cooling manufacturer became a global #1 niche player and has now expanded to green mobility and the space industry. While these are all ‘business performance’ metrics, what is most important is that they were all driven by a significant shift into thriving, people-first workplaces. How people feel, succeed and grow is where the true underlying success stories come from, and this is what we are most proud of. Can you tell us why you have just changed your brand? Our former name directly translated as “Catch the knowledge”, which we felt did not accurately describe what we do. Our passion and promise to our clients is to bring lasting impact with tangible business and wellbeing benefits. So we are not about new knowledge, but much Peter Baloh and Borut Jeglič are founders of Thriverse. More than a training or consulting company, their team combines the best in science and the art of leadership, team dynamics, positive psychology, experience design, habit building and change management to yield better behaviours. Thriverse has helped over 2,000 teams from global corporations, regional champions and SMEs to become exceptional in the way they perform and in the way their people feel. Thriverse T: +386 41 711 317 | E: more about new habits and mindsets that we help to create and sustain. The new name, THRIVERSE, comes from our mission: to create a universe of thriving individuals and teams. Our world faces many challenges and we strongly believe that only people who thrive in what they do will ultimately lead us into a better future, which we want to see realised for our children. Do you have any major projects in the works that you can share with us? One of our core values and guiding principles is courage, which means we are always stretching outside our comfort zone and advancing client journeys. We’ve spent 10 months on adding latest research findings and tools and are launching a revamped Thriving Leader program in early 2023. It is a hyper individualized journey creating leaders that incorporate all the areas of human wellbeing and the high performance in ongoing, mindful conversations. “For us, nothing that is short of excellent works.” CEO Today Executive Coaching Awards 2022 - SLOVENIA - - 21 -

“Hello everyone. My name is Yin Haijiang, I am 50 years old this year and I am from Shenzhen, China. I am an executive coach and also an entrepreneur – the founder of Shenzhen Hai Jiang Peer Advisory Board College. I studied my PhD in business administration at the University of Cote d’Azur (Nice) and passed ICF (International Coach Federation) PCC Certification. I am an expert of the Education and Examination Centre of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology in China. I have been engaged in coaching for 20 years up to the present, including eight years of experience in CEO coaching and executive coaching. Through the ‘Running with Private Board’ model I created, I have provided coaching services to enterprises with an annual operating revenue of more than RMB100 million to improve the leadership of their CEOs and help their executives to improve team performance, and thus help them achieve their strategic goals.“ Haijiang Yin Dr. Founder of Shenzhen Hai Jiang Peer Advisory Board College Was there a particular moment when you knew you wanted to be a business coach? Yes. It was in 2000 when I learned about coaching by reading an article about it in a magazine. The article shared that a Europebased branch of Shell improved its factory’s efficiency and performance through coaching and achieved great results. That was the first time I had heard about coaching, so I got to know the topic, and eventually started learning and practicing it. Between the end of 2001 and the spring of 2002, to learn the fundamentals of coaching, I embarked on a journey of almost 4,000 kilometres. For every three-day lesson, I went to Shanghai by train and each journey took me three days and three nights. I travelled between Urumqi in Xinjiang and Shanghai for three consecutive months to learn the methodology of coaching, and thereby started the first step in my coaching career: understanding the ‘why-what-how’ in the field of coaching. Now 20 years have since elapsed. CEO Today Executive Coaching Awards 2022 - CHINA - - 22 - BUSINESS CONSULTING COMPANY OF THE YEAR

CEO Today Executive Coaching Awards 2022 - CHINA - - 23 -

Why did you choose a career in coaching? When I learned the fundamentals of coaching in 2002, it was still a new field in China at that time, and the market was an initial market for both coaching practitioners and customers. 20 years ago, the overall development in the field of coaching was limited to individual coaches, and I was more interested in the sustainable development of the organisation. So when I found that coaches were solving only personal problems, I chose to engage in training and consultation. I preferred to becoming a trainer and consultant with only a small amount of personal coaching practice, and I spent most of my efforts and time on my role as a trainer and consultant. After more than 20 years of professional growth experience, I found that coaches have completely different professional competencies compared to trainers and consultants. The trainer can only provide a solution to the customer’s knowledge, ability and attitude; the consultant can only solve the problems related to the customer’s business development strategy and solution; but the organization’s strategy realisation problem still cannot be solved. So, what should they do? Faced with this situation, the client CEO is definitely not satisfied, and only hopes to solve the actual problem of his enterprise: how the enterprise realises its strategy! To this end, in 2014, I started another business and founded Shenzhen Hai Jiang Peer Advisory Board College. I was engaged in the promotion and practice of private boards. I also started to use the coaching model to serve the entrepreneurs in my private board group, thus beginning the learning and practice of executive coaching. In this process, I found that the best way to solve the strategy realisation problem that the CEO is most concerned about is the Running with Private Board strategy. I first proposed the ‘Running with Private Board’ coaching concept in 2016. This concept helps an enterprise to realise its strategy. It obtained the intellectual property certificate granted by China’s National Intellectual Property Administration in March 2019. At present, it mainly serves Chinese entrepreneurs and enterprises whose size exceeds RMB100 million. What major challenges have you had to overcome in your career to date? There were great challenges for me to engage in CEO coaching and executive coaching. As the customers of a CEO coach are different from those of trainers and consultants, they must have different competencies. According to my experience, I think that there are various challenges: First, in the past, the ability system of trainers was different from that of coaches. A Running with Private Board coach must have at least the PCC certificate, and the more important thing is that they must build a knowledge system, competency system and experience points of personal coaches, team coaches and organizational coaches. Second, in the past, as a consultant I focused on solving problems at the organisational strategy level and was only responsible for submitting the solutions but not implementing them. So I only performed the responsibility of a consultant and did not need to be responsible for the results of an organisation’s performance. However, today, the Running with Private Board coach must solve the problems related with an enterprise to realise its strategies, so they must solve the overall problems of an enterprise instead of only partial problems. The realisation of corporate strategy becomes their only goal. To sum up, I myself have gone through a process of rebuilding my mentality, knowledge and skills. I practically started my CEO coaching and executive coaching career from scratch, so my challenges were undoubtedly great. What is your proudest professional achievement so far? My proudest professional achievement from 2019 to the present is that I helped a retail enterprise group with an annual revenue of RMB5 billion and a 25-year history to successfully complete its three-year strategic transformation. By applying the Running with Private Board Coaching model through our executive coach, team coach and organisational coach, this enterprise coped with all the challenges arising in its transformation process, and we were duly recognised by the customer, thus successfully completing a three-year contract. In July 2022, we started the fourth year of our Running with Private Board coaching journey. During three years of the Running with Private Board coaching project, due to the COVID-19 outbreak and the fact that our customer was a retail enterprise, there were great difficulties and challenges. In addition, the customer, as an organisation with a 25-year history, faced huge organisational change challenges. For example, its market shares were invaded by eCommerce, and its executive team members did not have the transformation genes in the digital age because of their old age. There was fierce competition among peers, like hand-to-hand combat, etc. Faced with the above challenges, standing together with our customer’s CEO, we completed the strategic transformation of the enterprise through the five-step process of our Running with Private Board Coaching: Step 1: Identify the CEO mission and start a three-year Running with Private Board coaching journey. Through one-on-one coaching and team coaching, the CEO and the enterprise perfectly identified their new missions and outlined their new visions, and therefore a solid foundation was laid for the change with full driving power. CEO Today Executive Coaching Awards 2022 - CHINA - - 24 -

Step 2: Complete the three-year strategic plan with the customer’s team through team coaching. Step 3: Complete the breakdown of the key tasks for realising the strategy and create a three-year action plan with milestones based on that. Step 4: Allocate the right team members according to the key tasks for realising the strategy, implement the Level-A talent system, and increase the talent density. Finally, we and the customer’s executive team reached a consensus and clarified and defined the work boundary. We provided the three technologies and eight models of the Running with Private Board coaching and thanks to our coaching, the customer successfully completed its strategic transformation in this instance. The three-year Running with Private Board coaching was a complete ‘encounter battle’. There is no other case available for reference. We and our customer’s CEO and team coped with all the major challenges. During the past three years, we have initiated more than 30 reform projects, all of which have been completed with the help of our Running with Private Board coaching. Only I and the Running with Private Board coaching team felt the sorrow and joy in these reforms and changes. Now when I look back at the past, I am happy but also afraid. I am happy that the all the coaching projects have been completed successfully, and I am afraid that in the course of the three-year coaching process, the challenges were relentless, occurring one after another. Some of these projects were completed thanks to good luck. The reason why I take this case as our proudest achievement is because the customer felt very satisfied, and I was also very satisfied. We helped an old enterprise with annual revenue of RMB5 billion to succeed in its digital transformation and become rejuvenated once again. Of course that is our proudest achievement. What changes have taken place in your practice during your career? First, the greatest change was that I changed from focusing on things to focusing on people. I have worked as a trainer, consultant and coach since 2001. The customers changed from the improvement of their employees’ knowledge, ability and attitude to the potential development and performance improvement of their CEOs and executives. The greatest change in my practice is changing from focusing on things to focusing on people (staying together with CEOs and executives). Second, my work mentality has changed: it has now upgraded from career-oriented to mission-oriented. Before founding of Shenzhen Hai Jiang Peer Advisory Board College in 2014, I was proud of my profession as a trainer and consultant and was career-oriented. After starting my business again, I define the mission of the College as ‘To let every CEO identify their mission and achieve their vision’, so that I and my team have missionoriented enthusiasm and drive. Finally, after engaging in CEO coaching and executive coaching, my sense of achievement has changed dramatically, and I feel a high sense of value. In the past, I helped the employees improve their knowledge and ability, but now I help the enterprises realise its strategy, and I feel a great difference in my sense of achievement, influence and social value in this process. If you can change one thing in your role, what would you change? Why? If I can change only one thing, I should put improving my English proficiency on the agenda. I hope that in the coming year I will improve my English proficiency rapidly and let the Running with Private Board coaching model go to the international market to serve more CEOs and executives in the world and enable more international companies to realize their corporate strategies. How do you measure your success? The real measure of my success is the customers, and customer’s satisfaction is the best measure. From 2014 on, the annual expense for the coaches serving the customers has risen from RMB 19,800 to 39,800 per year, to RMB1.2 million per year, and then to RMB 2 million per year in 2022, which I think is the best example of measuring my success. What does this award mean to you? First of all, thank you for noticing me. It is wonderful to know that my efforts and practice as a CEO coach and an executive coach during the last eight years have been seen. During those eight years, my team and I have been standing committed to our customers. In fact, we conducted very little advertising and we are low-key, so thank you for seeking us out. Second, the Running with Private Board coaching model is the boldest innovation and original IP from China in the field of coaching, and now it is going to the international market for the first time. The Running with Private Board coaching model considers the realisation of organisational strategy as its only goal, integrating the personal coach, team coach and organisational coach into one, and helps the organisation to realise its strategy. Now I share this coaching model with my colleagues around the world, hoping to gain feedback from them, so that we can all provide better services to customers and enable the CEOs and executives to grow and realise their corporate strategies. Finally, there are many parts of the Running with Private Board coaching model that can be improved. I look CEO Today Executive Coaching Awards 2022 - CHINA - - 25 -

forward to better interaction with more coaches and colleagues globally and letting this model serve more companies and people. Do you have any upcoming plans for the remaining months of 2022? My new book, entitled ‘Running with Private Board is the Way to Realise Corporate Strategies - Embark on the Road to Industry Champion’ will be published very soon. It concerns the work of CEO coaches and executive coaches. Since it is the first book I have written, and its contents are also innovative, its publishing has taken a relatively long time. I expect that this book will be published in November. Now I am expecting its publish it just as I am expecting the birth of my child. What advice do you have for aspiring executive coaches? First: being driven by mission is the origin of executive coaching. There are huge challenges on the road to being an executive coach. It is completely different from being a personal coach. There are countless difficulties in the growth process. If there is no mission driving the executive coach to make progress, they cannot overcome these difficulties. Therefore, being driven by a mission is the cornerstone and driving force of an executive coach. Please look for your mission! Second, learning ability is the foundation. To be an executive coach requires the necessary knowledge, ability and rich experience, and strong learning ability is required to satisfy these conditions. Therefore, to be an executive coach, it is necessary to consolidate competence through the ability of sustainable learning. Finally, think digitally. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the digital transformation of enterprises, and their executives have already made great progress on the road of digital transformation. If the executive coaches want to dance with the executives in the digital age, as an executive coach, the executive coaches must have digital thinking and digital transformation capabilities, which is the key. What drives you to achieve the best results for your clients? With the help of the Running with Private Board model, I let the customers achieve the best results. In the practice process of the Running with Private Board coaching model, the model is currently the best way to encourage the growth of CEOs, team and organisations, no matter the coaching of the CEO’s leadership, the coaching of the executive’s ability, the coaching of the corporate team, or the coaching for realising the corporate strategy. There is no other way better than Running with Private Board coaching. Can you tell us more about the Running with Private Board coaching model? The model is indeed very important. I can say that it is the core of our practice. The Running with Private Board coaching model is not created out of nothing, but has three keys as shown below: First of all, I would like to thank to the executive coaches around the world for their practices and efforts, which led to the creation of this model. How is that? Because the Running with Private Board coaching model is based on the realisation of organisational (corporate) strategy as its goal, and it perfectly integrates personal coaches, team coaches and organisational coaches into one model. For example, in respect of personal coaches, both the ICF International Coaching Federation (ICF) and many Master Certified Coaches (MCC) have made great contributions to the Running with Private Board coaching model. Also, in respect of the team coaches, I would like to thank Mr Peter Hawkins for the contribution made by his systematic team coaching model. In respect of the organisational coaches, I would like to thank the “My work mentality has changed: it has now upgraded from career-oriented to mission-oriented” CEO Today Executive Coaching Awards 2022 - CHINA - - 26 -

Centre for Creative Leadership (CCL) for its practice and summary. I must express my thanks to all of them. Secondly, I would like to thank my customers, as I created the Running with Private Board coaching © model with their input driving me. In 2014, I started to found a private board, but I discovered that personal coaches solved the CEO’s problem. However, it was not sufficient to completely resolve the issues related with only the realisation of corporate strategy; the realisation of corporate strategy is a systematic project which requires the integration of multiple factors before it can be realised. I began to apply team coaches and organisational coaches to the enterprises. As I served more and more enterprises, the Running with Private Board coaching model that integrates personal coaches, team coaches and organisational coaches into one model naturally came into being. Finally, when I created the Running with Private Board coaching model, I considered the strategic realisation of the enterprise from the perspective of the coach, and found and searched for the key factors for the realisation of the corporate strategy. For example, if anything is done successfully by employees, then the corporate strategy cannot be realised without the CEO and the executive team. For example, the most important factor for the successful realisation of corporate strategy is that the strategic direction must be right. As another example, the factor affecting the success of a thing is that key factors must be identified and implemented well. Therefore, the Running with Private Board coaching model originates from practice but overrides that practice. Are there any stories from your executive coaching practice that have had a profound impact on you? Yes. One is the story about us and a customer’s CEO’s personal coach jointly creating ‘Flow Leadership’ in the Running with Private Board coaching project in 2020. The CEO coach sub-project of this project adopted the Intelligent leadership model of the coach Mr John. Mattone. The core of the intelligent leadership model is that the inner core drives the outer core. That is to say, it is only if the inner-core mission, vision and values are found and clarified that the outer core leadership can be improved and developed. After interpreting the inner-core evaluation report with the customer’s CEO, he was very conscientious. He referred to the books and literature at the library for three consecutive days, reading and thinking about the theories and methods about inner core driving. Then, he talked happily with me for six hours on the fourth day. He talked about psychology, management, organisational behavior and flow theory. Finally, he put forward the focus of innovation: the concept and model of Flow Leadership ©. We also agreed to jointly study and execute the Flow Leadership © model, and to have a book to be published. At present, the Flow Leadership © Lab has been operating for more than a year. Together, we have explored and practiced the flow theory from personal flow to team flow, to the concept of organisational flow, and to the elements. We did a lot of basic work to prepare for the publication of the new book. I am very happy; we have grown together with our customers. This is a story about an executive coach that has far-reaching influence on me. CEO Today Executive Coaching Awards 2022 - CHINA - - 27 -

RkJQdWJsaXNoZXIy Mjk3Mzkz