"David has been enormously helpful to me as "my coach." His strategic insights have consistently been right on the mark and have unquestionably boosted my effectiveness as a leader. I thank him for his unique gifts."
City of St. Louis
What is most noticeable about great leaders is their degree of selflessness, their willingness to work for the benefit of other people and to serve something larger than themselves.|
Consider Mohandas Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Abraham Lincoln. Add to them the eleven "Level Five" CEOs out of the 1435 corporations that Jim Collins researched in Good to Great. Their stories tell us that leadership greatness is much more than an involvement with power and influence, material wealth, peoples' love or hatred, and outer achievement. Clearly great leadership is the expression of an enormous inner fire and vision.
Excellent leaders demonstrate strategic mastery, skillful implementation, attention to detail, and consistent decisiveness - important personality attributes. But great leaders also embody a profound commitment to serve the interests of other people. Such generosity is an attribute of character.
My mission is to support leaders in their growth toward greatness. I help them to connect their personality skills with their character, to integrate their outer accomplishments with an inner dedication to service.
Greatness arises from a leader's inner qualities. But our culture is primarily oriented toward external achievement. As a result leaders' internal qualities of heart and mind are frequently under-nurtured. Placing finer attention on the internal brings many benefits. Leaders become more confident and at ease, inspired, strategic, disciplined, and empowering. They also accomplish more.
For great leaders two qualities are indispensable.
The first is fearlessness. Significant achievement is a big challenge. Outer circumstances are difficult. Things do not work well. Institutions are moribund. People disappoint you. People attack you. The external environment changes, sometimes dramatically.
Great leaders are able to see things as they are and to respond with clarity and calmness of purpose. They look at things that others won't, and they act on that vision when others can't.
The second quality is compassion. In addition to their technical skills, great leaders are brilliant in how they work with people. Their empathy and kindness are rare gifts that bring out the best in others. Their compassion opens peoples' hearts and invites dedication and loyalty.
Being both courageous and gentle is a pathway to great leadership.
It takes work, but not "effort." The needed ingredients are mindfulness and a sincere dedication to serve others.
Over the years I have evolved a process for helping leaders to move toward greatness. I have been fortunate to have more than thirty-five years of business, civic, and community experience, spanning three continents; an education at Yale and at Harvard; and a client list of distinguished leaders, both private and public sector. My offering, like everyone's, is a blend of learnings from many sources. If I have been a good student of the wisdom traditions and of life's lessons, and if over time I have increased my skillfulness in sharing what I have learned, then what may be distinctive about what I help leaders to achieve is disciplined practical application, grounding their inherent greatness in the modern workplace.
The testimonials contained in this website indicate that I have had some success in this pursuit. But just as there is no one solution for every problem, there is also no one perfect advisor for every leader. To test the chemistry of my offering with your needs, here is a brief description of how I work.