Print Posted 04/25/2016 in Category 1

Change begins from within and manifests itself in behavior

Change begins from within and manifests itself in behavior

Feature interview with Jeff Boss of Adaptability Coach.

Of the hundreds of combat missions I went on as a Navy SEAL, not one went according to plan. Not one.

Every situation necessitated a change. A shift. A slight modification.

Every time we needed to adapt to a new, unexpected stimulus that went contrary to our planning and expectations, but nonetheless vital to success.

And the key ingredient to our success was how well we communicated with each other based on the decision(s) made.

Adapting to changes in the environment was a daily--if not hourly--necessity for success, but only to the degree that individuals made the right decision and communicated that information.

The constant influx of new data, regional and global dispersion of resources, and the pursuit of an enemy that constantly changed posed performance, adaptability, and leadership challenges to us as individuals, a team, and an organization.

To do so, we needed to be at our best both as individuals and as a team.

Interestingly, the challenges we faced on the battlefield are the same ones that leaders today face in the boardroom: self- and situational awareness, communicating amongst geographically dispersed teams, decision-making, adapting to change, managing perspective, the list goes on...

Whether you’re looking for an executive coach, business coach or consultant, you want the most qualified person who’s going to deliver the highest impact ROI; somebody who has had experience in dealing with the same challenges you face; someone who you like, trust, and respect.

As an executive coach, contributor to Forbes & Entrepreneur, author, and former Navy SEAL, I am passionate about helping clients achieve their goals in the context of the greater organization.

My coaching follows a practical, easy to follow framework that delivers tangible results.

- Jeff Boss  What are some of the biggest issues that your clients are typically dealing with that cause them to seek an Executive Coach?

Jeff Boss: The first is leadership development. No matter what role you fill, leadership is about authentic self-expression that inspires others to act; it creates value. Unfortunately, nobody receives the “leadership memo” after a promotion, and what’s effective as a VP or executive to get results is different than what worked as a manager or director. This is the gap I fill—helping leaders optimize their leadership potential such that their actions align with corporate strategy.

Another issue is complacency. As a Navy SEAL, complacency kills; in business, complacency can be a killer to morale, self-confidence, purpose and passion. When you’re not challenged, when you lack the information to make important decisions to A) make an impact and B) feel valued, complacency is just around the corner, and it’s not soon thereafter that chaos ensues. I help clients weave through their complacency back to a state of confidence and competence. I employ a framework called the 5C’s of Chaos that I talk about in my book “Navigating Chaos: How To Find Certainty In Uncertain Situations.” Essentially, the 5C’s is a framework that helps mitigate the potential for complacency to develop. Within that framework are three areas of focus that I have found to be the essential capabilities that drive long-term results: Human Performance, Adaptability, and Leadership.  What is the process you use with your client in a coaching engagement?

Jeff Boss: After an initial conversation and understanding about the client’s goals and definitions of success, we’ll begin the coaching process. This process runs anywhere from six to eighteen months with weekly phone calls running an hour in length. A monthly face-to-face is ideal, although not always possible. I begin each call with what the client wants to achieve by the end of our time on the phone, which serves two purposes: It directs our focus toward a tangible endstate; it creates small-wins and therefore a sense of accomplishment. If the client gains insight along the way and wants to shift gears—adapt—toward a new goal, then that’s progress!  What are some of the primary results you help your clients achieve?

Jeff Boss: I’ve helped clients become more self-and situationally aware, overcome unexpected career hurdles and turn their businesses into thriving entrepreneurial passion, not to mention receive promotions based on newfound leadership insights. The fastest clients have seen behavior change has been six weeks. We only progress at the speed by which we’re willing to learn knew information and willing and able to employ it.  What are some common misconceptions about being coached?

Jeff Boss: That the purpose of coaching is to correct behavioral deficiencies. This misconception couldn’t be further from the truth. Insight comes from unbiased perspectives; people who have more—or different—experience in a particular field. The purpose of coaching is to broaden the client’s thinking by allowing them to arrive at their own conclusions.

Another misconception is that coaching is all “touchy feely.” While behavior change is certainly rooted in emotion and arriving at that emotion is achieved through socratic questioning, coaching is not about unleashing your “inner hippie.” It’s about asking powerful questions that cause you to arrive at new perspectives you wouldn’t have discovered alone.  What does an executive need to bring to the table to receive the most benefit from coaching?

Jeff Boss: Simple, two things: an eagerness to learn and a willingness to do the work. Behavior change isn’t easy; neither is managing ego. Change begins from within and manifests itself in behavior.  What experiences lead you to the profession of coaching?

Jeff Boss: I was a Navy SEAL for 13 years before becoming a management consultant, and many of the challenges that I helped leaders overcome as a consultant were dilemmas that we had faced on the battlefield. After working in the tech, agriculture, oil and gas, and financial industries as a consultant, I realized that leaders face the same challenges in the boardroom no matter what field or industry they work in—communication and decision-making at both the individual and corporate levels—and gaining new, unique perspectives from somebody with new, unique experiences has been shown to wield positive benefits.  What are your primary areas of expertise?  What makes you unique as a coach?

Jeff Boss: There are three areas of expertise I focus on with clients to drive results. They are:

  1. Human performance: goal setting, effective thinking, habits, self- and situational awareness, impulse control, values, purpose beliefs, to name a few.
  2. Adaptability: Humility, learning, self-renewal, resilience
  3. Leadership: Communication, decision-making, vision

This methodology is something I began implementing with clients after realizing that they’re the same three elements we needed to execute as SEALs. Success—in any industry—is a direct reflection of how one sets goals, talks to him/herself, adopts healthy habits, and is self- and situationally aware, not to mention willing to change, communicate and make decisions.  What advice would you give to someone looking to hire an Executive Coach?

Jeff Boss: Make sure there’s chemistry. Chemistry—in any relationship—is everything. Chemistry is the magic that turns ordinary into extraordinary, and without that magic there is little willingness to commit to action (because being held accountable isn’t in high regard).  What book would you recommend to clients and why?

Jeff Boss: “Navigating Chaos: How To Find Certainty In Uncertain Situations” because I wrote it, haha! Okay, maybe I’m a little biased. If that doesn’t suit your fancy then I would recommend Ed Catmull’s (former CEO of Pixar) Creativity, Inc. It’s a fantastic read on not only staying competitive but also on organizational leadership and communication.

Other Background Information:

As a Navy SEAL at the highest level, Jeff’s top military awards included four bronze stars with valor, two purple hearts, two presidential unit citations, and six combat action ribbons. As a management consultant, Jeff worked directly with leaders to align their businesses to work toward one common purpose under a shared definition of success.

A founding team member of the SEAL Future Fund (non-profit), a weekly contributor to both Forbes and Entrepreneur, an accredited ACC level coach and member of the International Coaching Federation (ICF), Jeff also holds a Bachelor’s of Arts in Spanish from The Ohio State University and a Master’s of Science in Organizational Leadership from Norwich University.

Jeff is also co-founder of The Adaptability Metric, a proprietary tool that measures individual disposition toward change, as well as a business advisor to a Miami-based tech company, PropelU. He is certified in administering, interpreting, and implementing the Hogan Business Reasoning Inventory (HBRI). Finally, Jeff both educates and entertains by way of speaking engagements through the prestigious Harry Walker Agency speaker’s bureau.

Jeff is also author of the book “Navigating Chaos: How To Find Certainty In Uncertain Situations” and Managing The Mental Game: Learn How To Think More Effectively, Navigate Uncertainty, And Build Mental Fortitude.

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