Smart Isn't Enough Excerpt from Preface "It was involuntary. They sank my boat." -John F. Kennedy How It All Started I had not planned to be an executive coach, but when my phone rang, Hal was already on the road heading up Interstate 5 away from Santa Clara, California. The moving van was not far behind. Hal, a recently displaced executive from Intel, had the advantage of resume development, networking advice and interview training. These were all part of the exit package provided by the outplacement consultant who was now ...
Smart Isn't Enough Excerpt from Preface "It was involuntary. They sank my boat." -John F. Kennedy How It All Started I had not planned to be an executive coach, but when my phone rang, Hal was already on the road heading up Interstate 5 away from Santa Clara, California. The moving van was not far behind. Hal, a recently displaced executive from Intel, had the advantage of resume development, networking advice and interview training. These were all part of the exit package provided by the outplacement consultant who was now calling me. As a senior consultant in the Portland office of Lee Hecht Harrison, an international outplacement and career management firm, it became my job to assist Hal further. Not to help him secure his next job, but to help him figure out what went wrong in his previous job and how he could ensure greater success in his next endeavor. That phone call is how I got my first engagement as an executive coach. It was involuntary. This was not the first time in my life I said, "Sure, I can do that." My confidence has often preceded my competence, but it was too late to second-guess myself now. Too late to ask someone, "What is an executive coach anyway?" Hal was in the fast lane heading across the Oregon border from the Silicon Valley to the Silicon Forest. I needed to figure out quickly what to do when he arrived. Fortunately, I did figure it out (or more accurately, Hal and I figured it out together) - what to do first and second and throughout the consulting engagement. And as it turned out, my competence was not that far behind my confidence. In fact, I was able to draw on my career-long background of experience and training as a counselor, teacher, organizationalleader and businessman, as I coached Hal. We both learned a great deal from that experience in the Fall of 1990. Hal gained competence and confidence as a leader and eventually took a new position - one he successfully held for more than ten years when he semi-retired on his own schedule. I have been coaching ever since. The Purpose of this Book In 1991 I established my own private consulting practice. I have continued to learn from each new client, and there have been several hundred in the years I have been serving as a full-time executive/work performance coach. The motivation behind this book is the desire to share the lessons I have learned about what it takes to be successful in the world of work - what really makes the difference. I also want to share what I have learned about how those competencies so critical to work success and personal satisfaction can be nurtured and developed - both on one's own and with the aid of a coach. I say, "Smart isn't enough," and I mean it. It is true of all of my clients - doctors, lawyers, merchants and chiefs. They are all smart - some are very smart indeed, but in different ways. My doctor clients are kinesthetically intelligent with great hand-eye coordination. My lawyer clients have considerable verbal intelligence. The merchants I coach are usually adept in mathematical competencies. So, why are they not all professionally successful and personally satisfied? Because, smart isn't enough. I have come to understand through my work that we also need to be personally intelligent. We need intrapersonal and interpersonal competencies as well as IQ and technical expertise. Our professional and personal lives can never be fully stable if smart inthe IQ sense is not in balance with intelligence in the personal sense. What I know now, so much more clearly than when I met Hal, is that personal intelligence - the capacity to recognize, understand, value, and apply emotions effectively, can make all the difference. The less personally intelligent a person is, the more at risk he is. The more personally intelligent a person is, the more likely he is to succeed in life and in work. I have seen time and again how developing personal intelligence competencies have changed peoples' lives f
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