The quote goes, “If you can’t figure out your purpose, figure out your passion. For your passion will lead you right into your purpose.”
From writing executive speeches to delivering keynotes on stage, John Baldoni leverages his ability to communicate with a passion for helping others see the best in themselves. John fulfills his mission in three ways: executive coaching, writing books and articles, speaking on what it means to lead with clarity, conviction, and compassion.
John Baldoni is a globally recognized leadership educator, certified Master Corporate Executive Coach, and author of 15 books that have been translated into ten languages. He is also a member of the renowned Marshall Goldsmith 100 coaches, a group of executive coaches, and thought leaders from the worlds of business, academia, and social service.
John’s thought leadership is reflected in his writing and his choice of media: columns, videos, and books. He also integrates piano improvisations into his keynotes, illustrated in his still life photos. John is the host of LinkedIn Live’s GRACE under pressure interview series, enabling him to interview 150 global business, academic, and thought leaders and doers.
John’s positive impact is evident in the people he has coached and taught. His passionate, laser-focused approach delivers energy and enthusiasm, demonstrating a good sense of humor during his sessions. Through his articles, books, and videos, John has become a source of practical wisdom on topics such as influencing without authority, applying power appropriately, leading with grace and conviction, and developing genuine followership.
John speaks widely to corporate, professional, military, and university audiences. Those who attend John’s keynotes and workshops find his advice practical and inspiring. Mixed with stories of great men and women and leavened with light-hearted humor, John seeks down-to-earth, practical advice that individuals can apply immediately. John’s presentations blend his passion for leadership with genuine enthusiasm for helping people achieve their leadership ambitions.
CIO LOOK caught up with John to know more about his journey and his coaching approach that makes a significant difference.
Below are the highlights of the interview:
What challenges you have to overcome to reach where you are today?
The challenge for any solo entrepreneur is building a strong enough client base to sustain you in hard times. The way to do this is through doing good work and being recognized by clients and peers.
What do you want to achieve as a coach?
I am passionate about helping women and men become individuals who lead with greater purpose and grace. Coaching is one way I can fulfill that aspiration. My coaching helps managers lead with authority, presence, engagement, and purpose. I also teach how to influence (sometimes without authority) — up, down, and across borders. My approach is centered on leadership principles, e.g., helping managers achieve personal and organizational goals that are right for individuals and the organization.
Why do you integrate advisory services into your coaching?
Coaching is behavioral change, and change does not occur within a vacuum. Executives with whom I work are looking for insights into the leadership and management issues beyond traditional coaching. Executives need perspective on strategy, talent management, and succession planning. They also need a sounding board that can help them navigate the ceaseless churn of change related to their business. That is a role I can play.
What coaching model do you employ?
I use the coaching model adapted from existing sources and my own experience. My model includes assessment, action planning, and evaluation. Assessment involves discovering where you are now and where you want to go. Action planning describes the steps you will take to achieve your goals—evaluation reviews what you have achieved.
What techniques do you use in your coaching?
My goal in coaching is “assisted self-discovery”; that is, I want the executive to discover for himself (but with help from a coach) what, how, and why he should change. Toward that end, I focus on listening to determine needs, issues, and behaviors. Questions I ask help the coachee discover issues and problems and work through solutions. I also provide insights and tips to stimulate thought and new direction. At times role-playing is useful to help the coachee see alternate points of view and experiment with new ideas. Personal growth is essential to self-discovery, and my coaching techniques support that aim.
What does a coaching engagement involve?
Once a coachee commits to a change process, I work with people to improve one or two behaviors. My coaching is designed to reinforce the executive’s business objectives, e.g., changing behavior to help them succeed with immediate and longer-term goals. In the beginning, my technique is directive and specific, e.g., things to do. Over time my involvement focuses more on listening and observing because I want the coachee to discover what is important and why. After a designated period, we assess progress via observation and stakeholder interviews. I conclude with a coaching summary document and recommend the next steps that may or may not include more coaching.
Where do you envision yourself to be in the long run and what are your future goals for your company?
My focus is balancing my work with my family and my outside interests. I make time for my grandchildren as well as my hobbies. I play piano and golf, both of which teach me the virtues of patience and humility.
What would be your advice to budding entrepreneurs who aspire to venture into the business sector?
Know what you can do. And do it. Surround yourself with a team of advisors, people you can trust. Find a mentor or two. Invest in your career. Develop yourself by seeking new challenges and professionally by educating yourself formally and informally.