Tag Archives: leadership

Executive Coaching goes Mobile: 4 Reasons to switch to technology-based coaching

I have been blessed by a solid stream of coaching clients since I started my coaching practice in 2005.  It’s not been an easy road – I have worked very hard to promote myself and my services, hone my coaching offerings, earn my reputation, develop my skills and continue my coaching education.  I have done more free talks and workshops than I can remember and networked myself into exhaustion.  And it paid off. My deep thanks to all the people who have  supported and invested in my executive coaching services. My big aspiration has always been, and remains – to work with high impact individuals across the globe; to be a global player in this arena we call earth.  Up until a few months ago, at least 50% of my high impact clients were individuals and teams I met up with at various physical venus in my hometown of Cape Town.  Whilst I was very keen to move these coaching relationships toward a technology-based option, it seemed redundant, considering that I was there and so were my clients.  Until I took a bold step and moved myself physically to another city (you can read more in See you in Santiago).  Now all of my clients work with me via Skype and I attend all of my supervision and other meetings via various technology-based platforms.  And we are all delighted with our new way of working, and with our results.  Here are 4 Reasons why I see great benefit in switching to technology-based coaching;

(1) Save the planet

Many of us talk about ‘going green’, concern ourselves with sustainability and invest in sustainable projects, yet we jump into our motorcars willingly, or insist that others should do so, to drive around and meet up with one another.  We contribute to a growing problem of pollution, carbon emissions, traffic, toll road debates, deaths on the road and sadly necessary high insurance premiums.  It is a delight for me to not be driving at the moment, and it removes all the stress of needing to get to destinations on time, getting stuck behind refuse removal trucks, having to re-feul and so forth.  More than this, I can see how much less stressed my clients are because they did not need to fight any traffic either, to make our meeting on time.  And this allows us both to be centred and present.

(2) Save time, save money

It’s a horrible cliche – time is money – but it’s true.  As an executive or an executive coach, you earn well and may even earn by or charge by the hour or number of project hours.  Sure, we can charge out our traveling time within our project rates, but why pay or be paid to be on the road?  I can substantially lower my coaching fees if I eliminate the additional hour it takes to get there and back. And I’m saving on fuel and, if applicable, flight costs too.  As are you.  And Skype – bless it – is free. Our only cost now is internet connectivity.

(3) It is NO LESS intimate

If you’ve ever experienced a long-distance love relationship, you know that intimacy is not related to distance but rather to your ability to communicate across the distance.  Skype and other technology based platforms have allowed grandparents to connect with grandchildren, lovers to flirt and share sweet nothings, businessmen in India to design websites for businesses based in Peru. And executive coaches and their executive clients can do the same.   These platforms allow the same sense of togetherness and intimacy that my clients and I would otherwise enjoy.  There are many moments online when my clients and I share a tear, or a laugh, or a mindfulness exercise.  Sometimes I’ll pick up my computer and show my clients around my office, and they do the same with theirs.  Just because there is a technology platform between us, we are still two human beings having a human-connection, from anywhere we find ourselves a that time!  For even more on this, here’s a Forbes article about this visual technology revolution; Back to the Future with face-to-Face technology

(4) Develop a Global Mindset

The world is a village.  I am having my website designed by a women in Knysna, and developed by a guy in Bali. I’m partnering with a coach in Singapore on a joint project and getting photo tips from my brother-in-law in Hong Kong. While, as you now know, I am in Santiago de Chile.

Business is a now a global landscape and executives are dealing with clients and suppliers and teams in many different countries across the globe. There are mergers and expansions that bring new business cultures together all the time.  Our ability to think globally and play in the global spaces positions us well in future markets.  Part of this ability includes embracing the technology that allows us to connect face-to-face with people anywhere, and explore the possibilities.

If you’re ready to explore a coaching partnership with a coach who is going the distance to demonstrate that quality and effective coaching partnerships can take place no matter where each of us finds ourselves, I’d love to hear from you.  Drop me a note and let’s schedule a Skype call over the next few days.


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Michelle Clarke is an Executive Coach.  She works with Leaders, Executives and Executive Coaches, helping them to  develop strong, influential personal brands and to elegantly navigate the complexity of 21st century leadership . To learn more about her work please visit her website www.motivcoach.com, and be sure also to subscribe to this blog for future updates. If you enjoy Facebook, please join Michelle’s Business Page

Do you know someone who might benefit from this information? Please share this email in the spirit of coaching abundance. Thank You!


The Fake it ‘Til you Make It principal (and it’s application to leadership)

As I type this I’m admiring the treetops from an apartment in Santiago, Chile. My being here is a personal experiment intended to expand mine, my clients and future clients thinking around the portability of Executive Coaching.  My post See you in Santiago shares some insight into how I came to be here, but the bit I’ve not yet shared is my process – the classic Fake it ‘Til you Make it principal.  I often invite clients to use this principal when embarking on something new, scary and unfamiliar and for me, it really does work a charm.

When I decided to embark on this journey, it was daunting to me.  I was going to leave the familiar and step-out into the unfamiliar in a new way.  Some have called it courageous, and although I’m flattered by that, it hasn’t felt that way to me.  And that’s because I’ve been faking living in foreign surroundings for many months before I even got here.  About six months ago, despite living in Cape Town where everything is priced in Rand, I started converting the prices of everything into US Dollars.  My grocery bill, my lunches, my gym membership. Everything.  I was faking living in a whole new currency.  Part of my Fake It process also included visualisation and imagining.  When I went for my daily walk, I imagined the scenery around me to be different to that which I actually saw.  When I admired the moon from my balcony in the evenings, I imagined I was looking at the moon from another corner of the world.  Google Earth helped me to get right down to street level so that I could familiarise myself with what things looked like on the ‘other side’.  And ah, the joy of Facebook, where I joined several groups populated by people already in my new destination so that I could learn what they were doing, saying and asking for.   And so, this was not so much a leap of faith as it was a familiar entry into a world that I had sort of already created in my head.

Fake It ‘Til you Make it for Coaching and Leadership

As their Executive Coaching partner, I use the same principal with clients who are transiting from the corporate world of work into their own entrepreneurial enterprises. They’re overwhelmed by the unfamiliar of what lies ahead.  I invite them to start thinking of themselves as already self-employed.  This new perspective allows them to think differently about how they budget, spend, make choices and make decisions.  For several months, while they are existing the old, they are already living the new.

Similarly, my clients who are aiming for promotion and higher leadership responsibilities:  they Fake it ‘Til you Make It.  If the new position calls for a set of buzz words – they start learning them now.  If it calls for a different degree of confidence – they start displaying it (or pretending, if they must) right now.  Imagine yourself in that corner office.  Take on a strategic perspective.  Network at a different level.

It was Picasso who told us that  ‘Everything you can imagine is real’, and this extends well beyond art.  If you want to be someone different, and see something different in your world, start it now.  Consider the nuances that will change in your new future, and bring them into your present.  Keep walking, and one day you’ll notice that the scenery has indeed changed.


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Michelle Clarke is an Executive Coach.  She works with Leaders, Executives and Executive Coaches, helping them to  develop strong, influential personal brands and to elegantly navigate the complexity of 21st century leadership . To learn more about her work please visit her website www.motivcoach.com, and be sure also to subscribe to this blog for future updates. If you enjoy Facebook, please join Michelle’s Business Page

Do you know someone who might benefit from this information? Please share this email in the spirit of coaching abundance. Thank You!

Leaders! Awaken the Living Dead!

David Bolchover pulls not punches when we unveils the the truth behind the corporate myth.  In his book The Living Dead he speaks about the harsh reality of under work.  The gross under-utilization of talent.  The criminal waste of human potential.  The slow strangling of drive, creativity and ambition in today’s corporate world. Any leader and manager would do well to take a slow walk around their office floor to connect with their people, understand who amongst them are part of the Living Dead and begin an immediate campaign to awaken these poor souls back to creative contribution.

The book is loaded with numerous statistics to prove his case;  Continue reading

Memo to Leaders

This extract from Susan Scott’s Book Fierce leadership tickled me.  It’s frank, it’s funny and it’s real—a 10 point memo to today’s leaders.  The only piece if advice not made explicit is this; get a coach.  A confidential thinking partner to help you navigate the complexity of 21st century leadership.  We all deserve some straight-talk on the challenges that leadership demands of us.  Continue reading

The Creative Art of Leadership

I was once married to a writer.  It was not said explicitly but it was regularly inferred—he was the creative one—the artist—and I, as a pursuer of  business, was the facts-figures-hard-core thinker.

I knew it then and I am certain of it now—business is a creative pursuit.

All businesses are dynamic, moving, growing (or shrinking), in a constant change of flux dependent on market conditions, resources, capital and the like.  We, as leaders are the artists, the creators of the responses our businesses make and take in order to succeed.   Our canvas is the marketplace, our palette is our people and our creativity is our own intellect.  Continue reading

When are you Mature Enough to be a Leader?

Through a recent Executive Coaching intervention, I’ve been introduced to a group of pissed-off individuals who, much to their frustration, have had their application for a career promotion declined. The organization feels that they ‘not ready’ for more leadership responsibility, that they are ‘not functioning at the level of maturity’ that is required for the new role.  It’s quiet elusive – this notion of leadership ‘maturity’ – and the organization is struggling to articulate what it looks like.  Maturity, while sometimes but not always  age-related, it is definitely intention-related.  In the simplest, linear terms the process of maturation is about the transmutation of intention from being here to get, to being here to give. Continue reading

From Learning to Accomplishment: 7 steps

When we’re wanting to change aspects of our personality or learn a new skill or new way of being, the task can seem daunting.  Here is a lovely concept of consecutive modes of practice— an elegant 7 step process describing the evolution from learning to accomplishment.  The idea is B.K.S. Iyengar’s—Master Yoga Teacher. Although Mr Iyengar designed the 7 steps to define our journey of mastery in yoga postures, it aptly relates to all learning processes; Continue reading