Services

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Improve Your Leadership Skills Through These Coaching Services

I am Elizabeth K. Olson of Preferred Futures, Inc., and I offer the following services:

 

Career Transition Coaching

According to the Labor Dept., the average worker can expect to change jobs 10 times and careers 3-5 times in his or her lifetime. As your coach, I will help you answer the following questions:

  • When is it time to consider a change?
  • Are you running toward a better future or away from a situation that can be improved?
  • What are you best suited for?
  • Are you looking for a job or following a calling?

What Is a Calling?

Theologian Frederick Buechner defines a calling as “the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.” What a compelling motivation for a career direction! No matter your age, it is never too late to seek your calling.

Find the Job for You

Whether in search of a job or a calling, there is a process to
find your preferred future. This includes:

  • Career History: Summarize your work history and identify the pros and cons of your present situation. All new beginnings must start with acknowledging an ending.
  • Personality Strengths: Use a profiler such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, the Strength’s Finder, or other assessments to identify strengths, apply them to ideal work environments, and employ the appropriate career search techniques.
  • Patterns of Aliveness: Document prior successes to help predict where your preferred future lies.
  • Expanding Opportunities: Take off the blinders to see the wide array of potential applications for your particular work passion.
  • Focusing Your Career Goal: Analyze your strengths, skills, interests, experiences, and opportunities to create a focused objective or mission statement.
  • Symbols for Change: Develop symbolic representations of what you want to create in your new career, and it will propel you towards your preferred future.
  • Marketing Strategy: Design a resume that will represent your past successes and future goals, as well as a marketing plan to make it happen.
  • Effective Communication Techniques: Try role-playing as it sharpens your communication skills and will prepare you for telemarketing and face-to-face meetings and interviews.
  • Living Your Preferred Future: Assimilate all of your efforts to manifest your new way of being at work.

If you think you are ready to make a career transition, get the help you need to find a truly satisfying work on your path to greatness. Remember: nothing ventured… something lost!

“Not in his goals but in his transitions man is great.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson

Executive Coaching

Executive Coaching is leadership development that is tailored to the client in the context of his or her current environment. People are rarely aware of their unique greatness. Discovering the genius that we all possess is profoundly rewarding for us and the people we interact with.

At Preferred Futures Inc., I develop a leadership charter for my clients. It is an invaluable map for professional as well as personal development that encourages breaking through perceived barriers and leads to inspirational results. Through this, I can support them in articulating their purpose and then create strategic actions and ways of being in support of that purpose.

“To love what you do and feel that it matters – how could anything be more fun?”
—Katharine Graham

Did You Know?

96% of coaching clients indicated they would repeat the coaching process, given the same circumstances.
—ICF Global Coaching Client Study

Outcomes:

  • Self-Awareness
  • Self-Development and Focus
  • Better Boss, Colleague, Employee
  • Greater Retention—Self and Staff
  • Customers Better Served
  • Greater Resilience
  • Higher Emotional Intelligence
  • Gain Coaching Skills To Employ With Staff and in Personal Life
  • Happier Person at Work and at Home
  • Loyalty and Retention

Potential Processes Employed:

  • Personal Reflection
  • 360-Degree Feedback Data
  • Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
  • Emotional Intelligence Assessment
  • Observation on the Job
  • Skill Development
  • Role-Playing
  • Professional Reading
  • Visioning
  • Conflict Management
  • Setting Measurable Goals
  • Action Planning
  • Holding You Accountable for Follow-Through

Hire an Executive Coach

Imagine Venus and Serena Williams playing world-class tennis without their father’s coaching from a young age. It’s unfathomable. So why would we expect leaders responsible for critical deliverables, huge budgets, and the productivity of thousands of employees to function without similar support? Executive Coaching has been proven to be vital to the success of high-level and aspiring leaders today.

“It’s never too late to be what you might have been.”
—George Eliot

New Leader Acceleration/On‐Boarding

According to a study by the leadership development firm Manchester Inc., 40% of newly promoted managers and executives fail within 18 months of assuming a new job, with the highest failure rate occurring among senior managers and executives. The study identified executives’ failure to build relationships with staff and peers as one of the prime reasons. In addition, extraordinary results are demanded of new leaders within shorter time frames while organizational realities are becoming more and more complex.

The typical sink or swim approach doesn’t work and wastes huge resources—recruiting and relocation costs, learning time, lost productivity from trial and error, outplacement—easily exceeding tens of thousands of dollars. There is also a PR cost to spitting out new hires. To avoid this, you will need a coach for your new leader acceleration or onboarding program.

New Leader Acceleration/On‐Boarding

According to a study by the leadership development firm Manchester Inc., 40% of newly promoted managers and executives fail within 18 months of assuming a new job, with the highest failure rate occurring among senior managers and executives. The study identified executives’ failure to build relationships with staff and peers as one of the prime reasons. In addition, extraordinary results are demanded of new leaders within shorter time frames while organizational realities are becoming more and more complex.

The typical sink or swim approach doesn’t work and wastes huge resources—recruiting and relocation costs, learning time, lost productivity from trial and error, outplacement—easily exceeding tens of thousands of dollars. There is also a PR cost to spitting out new hires. To avoid this, you will need a coach for your new leader acceleration or onboarding program.

Be Prepared for the New Role

Today, the pressures on recently hired leaders are enormous. The best performers need support to overcome stress and self-doubt to be highly successful.

It’s critical to appreciate the demand for future performance in preparing the mindset for a higher level of leadership with requisite new behaviors. Organizational cultures vary widely and are often tough to master at first glance. Achieving wins quickly, but not too quickly, can be tricky to manage. If a promotion is only seen as a reward for past performance, the leader will fail.

Jack Welsh, known for his pragmatism, initiated the “New Leader Assimilation” process at GE which became a model for institutionalizing the onboarding process. This is now seen as a critical commitment for new managers and key contributors.

Outcomes:

  • Accelerating the breakeven point (average is 6.2 months) of the new hire
  • Helping the new leader to understand the essential demands of the situation and adapt to them
  • Strategies to deal with resistance, challenges, and the unexpected
  • Increased confidence and skills to weather the transition well
  • Facilitating acceptance of the new leader by his or her team and boss
  • Saving the huge costs of a failed executive hire

Executive Team Alignment

Today’s business challenges require an aligned and effective leadership team, with a capital T. Just minding one’s function is not enough to create a successful enterprise. Being powerfully aligned means providing clear direction, supporting the success of the whole, and being a strong role model within the organization, both as individuals and as a team.

“Building a visionary company requires one percent vision and 99 percent alignment.”
—Jim Collins & Jerry Porra

Common Client Situations

The Executive Team Alignment Process is particularly effective for
executive leadership and leadership team building where:

Common Client Situations

The Executive Team Alignment Process is particularly effective for executive leadership and leadership team building where:

  • A new leader has been appointed or a new team is being established
  • A new and challenging strategy needs to be developed
  • A merger with another company has to be managed successfully
  • An existing team has become unsure of how to achieve its required growth plans
  • Competitive pressures need addressing in new and bold ways
  • The “blame game” is undermining collaboration and trust

Outcomes:

  • An understanding of the dynamics of sustainable peak performance
  • An aligned executive team truly committed and working towards a compelling vision for the future
  • A shared understanding of where the business stands and what it aspires to
  • Clarity on what is holding the organization back from achieving intended results
  • An experience of collaboratively working together to create the future
  • A high-level plan for what to do next as a team
  • Clarity about the initiatives required and how to take them to the organization

Testimonials

“My experience working with Elizabeth has been fantastic. My organization has benefited tremendously from my work with her. In one’s year’s time, profitability is up 60%, net sales are up 14%, people engagement improved 50% in nine months…

I couldn’t have done this without her! In the past, I would have tried to do this myself…Elizabeth got me to understand that it’s not enough to tell people. It may take longer, but it’s more effective when they come to the conclusions themselves because they will own them and become actively engaged in the solution—a big win.”

 

—President, Business Unit, multinational consumer products company

“Elizabeth has served as our strategic planning consultant for about 6 years and her guidance and observations have made a remarkable difference in how we approached change and managed our future. Elizabeth asks great questions, holds people accountable for their responsibilities and is able to engage a group. She is direct without offense, has a broad background of experience that enriches the experience and she adds a human element of fun and humor. She structures a useful process so that the strategic plan does not become a dust-ladened binder on a shelf. As we move into our future, we yet again face change. But we are prepared to deal with that change because of the good work and solid thinking Elizabeth brought to our organization.”

 

— CEO, CareLink, Inc.

“As a physician, I was not familiar with the concept of a career coach, because doctors are expected to “know” how to plan a career! In my stressful workplace there are several co-workers who are especially frustrating to work with, but she gave me tips that improved my relationships with them. An unexpected side effect was that those difficult personalities seemed to improve themselves when I started interacting in a different and more positive way! Instead of simply going to work and just slogging through the day, Elizabeth encouraged and helped me to map out a future for my career, giving me ideas of how to get to my optimum and most desirable professional life. After 20 years at my job, she helped me plan a 6-month sabbatical so I could finally take time to reflect, rest, and do meaningful volunteer work that I could never do working 40+ hours a week. Without a doubt, my professional, and even personal life has improved since she helped me analyze and change some of my workplace challenges.”

 

— Doctor, Prominent University Hospital

“What a dynamic woman! Elizabeth really focused on how to make this organizations grow. Please, please, can we have her back next year. I had no idea this retreat was going to be so fulfilling. The Alliance now has focus and clarity.”

 

— Participant at a Nonprofit Planning Retreat

Clients Served

Let’s Talk

Contact any of my staff today to learn more about the services I offer.