Professional summary

An independent leadership development consultant, Jim Moore is a Founding Member of the Marshall Goldsmith Group, as well as the Alexel Group. He has also headed leadership development and training divisions of internationally reputed organizations over a 20+ year career. He works with clients to build leadership development strategies and initiatives; and he coaches successful executives to become even more successful.

Jim was the Chief Learning Officer (CLO) at Sun Microsystems Inc where he was responsible for workforce planning, executive selection and development, and for SunU – Sun’s corporate university. Prior to that, he was the CLO at Northern Telecom Ltd. (now Nortel) where he had the corporate responsibility for talent management

Engagement overview

Duration and cost of an engagement depends on the scope of work, identified during the initial consultation.


• Accenture
• Acushnet
• Bell Canada
• Bunge
• Cadence Design
• Comcast
• Contour Global
• Del Monte Foods
• Express
• Gilead Sciences
• Guardian Life Insurance
• Masonite
• Memorial Hermann
• Radio Flyer
• Saudi Aramco
• Symetra
• The Nature Conservancy
• Walmart


First, I would recommend that you not look for a best way to “argue” your case but to look for the best way to sell your case.
The following thoughts are based on the article titled "Effectively Influencing Decision Makers" by my colleague Marshall Goldsmith.

Your job is to influence the decision makers who will approve the promotion & staff addition, and you should trea... Read more


We have experienced a number of coaching clients with excessive ego issues. (In all cases, they were older employees and leaders in the organization. So, my comments may not be relevant to your question.)
In most organizational cultures, these behaviors can be destructive to the individual and the team and are certainly a derailer if the individual wants upward mobility. In general, people who f... Read more


You ask a reasonable question. The challenge is that selecting a coach is more art than science.

There are almost as many coaching methodologies as there are coaches. Some coaches focus on leadership behaviors, some focus on business & organizational skills. Some use psychological & personality instruments. Some use stakeholder centered feedback. There is no single best method. Some methods are a... Read more


An executive coach could certainly help, but only if the leader wants to be coached. It doesn’t sound like this leader would be particularly interested in working with a coach.

I think you should frame the challenge not as fixing the leader’s ability to listen, but how you & your peers do a better job influencing the leader.

I recommend an article by my partner Marshall Goldsmith titled: Eff... Read more

The best & most practical advice I have seen on this question is described in an article titled "The Six-Question Process: Helping Executives Become Better Coaches" written by my colleague, Marshall Goldsmith.
You can download it here:

We have recommended this to many of the executives we coach and they report th... Read more

I think creating the company’s values is a responsibility of the CEO. The effort should be visibly led by him or her. It should not be led by the VP HR to avoid the final product being seen as “another HR program.”

Here are some success factors I have seen of values statements that make a difference:

It starts with the CEO having a passion to do it.
It is developed over the course of ... Read more

I don’t know enough to fully prescribe. I have several random thoughts:

If you are trying to help women learn to be more politically savvy, mentoring is a better option than an external coach.
If you are trying to give high potential women more visibility with senior executives, mentoring is a much better option than an external coach.

If you are trying to help change the culture of work ... Read more

I’d pick one area to start. The example you gave that struck me was failure to arrive to meetings on time. This behavior not only wastes everybody’s time, it is a sign of disrespect to the other members of the team.

I might suggest a session with the team to dialog the question; “What are your suggestions for making our meetings more effective?” As the boss, I think you are entitled to... Read more

One small idea. Implement "after-action reviews following major initiatives to discuss the question; "If we experience this in the future, how could we approach it in a way that improves efficiency or increases customer satisfaction." They may come up with the ideas themselves to prevent crises in the future... Read more

We have done this exercise with hundreds of executive teams.

Congratulations, if your team scored it a 5.6, you are average.

We ask 3 questions in our exercise:
1. Where are you now in team effectiveness?
2. Where should you be?
3. What needs to be done to close the gap?

The average current score is around 5.5.
The average should be score is 8.5.

There are lots of different reasons on what nee... Read more

Well, I have managed older employees when I was young & I have been managed by young, whipper-snappers when I was old. I liked the former better than the latter.

First, I would say, don’t assume there will be difficulty in managing him until you experience it. Start positive & let him & all the others know how much you are looking forward to working with them. I would let him know how much his ... Read more

I have led & participated in successful charge-back processes in several companies.
Charge-back lends itself well to single, transactional, low cost decisions (like training.)
It does not lend itself well to large capital expenditures with long term payback that must be implemented consistently across the company (like IT projects.)

I think a better option is a client advisory board that help... Read more

I think it is important that these behaviors be corrected for the following reasons:
1) If she corrected them, her organization could likely be even more effective.
2) Organizations should care about the “how” of the way work gets done. It helps define the values & culture of the organization. To the extent that her behaviors are not dealt with, they become an acceptable part of the culture
... Read more

What you have described – the dreaded annual performance review, is not that uncommon. I suspect that many people who read your question can relate to it. I like to compare it to a colonoscopy – the anticipation & preparation for the event are often worse than the event itself. I believe that real performance management happens in the more frequent, informal dialog during the year than at an a... Read more

I have never seen a high rate of success when coaches are imposed on leaders collectively, whether they want them or not.
I also have not seen financial ROI data that would convince a skeptic of coaching that it is valuable. (There are studies, but skeptics are usually able to shoot holes in them.)

In our coaching work, we do not send a bill until the coaching is completed (6 to 12 months) and... Read more

Congratulations on your new role.

Dealing with the Board is certainly an important difference in the transition to CEO. (Assuming it is a Board elected by the owners & not an “advisory” Board for a non-profit.)

We have seen several CEOs struggle with this challenge. Board members often do not understand the business as well as the CEO, are not as focused on the business as the CEO, don’t h... Read more

In my experience, the Board is the boss and the CEO is the subordinate.

I would ask questions about succession that can only be answered if the CEO has some simple form of a succession planning process in place. If the CEO decides not to comply with a Board request, the Board can decide to replace the CEO. Ensuring the continuity of the business is a Board responsibility to the owners of the bu... Read more

I would start by focusing on what you can control & not try to start an organization wide culture change especially since you are relatively new.

What you can control is whether you conform to the culture of workaholism or whether you work a schedule that you feel is more appropriate for you.
I would talk to your boss & let her/him know that you intend to meet or exceed all expectations for re... Read more

Ah yes, you have discovered what has already been pointed out – it is harder to change perceptions than to change behavior, and until you have changed perceptions, you are not viewed as a more effective leader.

The higher you are in an organization, the bigger the problem because people like to tell stories about executives. If someone hears a story today about something you did 3 years ago, it... Read more


Creating a learning organization is a big & complex topic.
One small & simple suggestion - create "after action reviews" following significant events. There is lots of information "out there" about how to conduct these in a way that is future focused, positive, and avoids finger pointing & blame assessment. The U.S. military is a good example. It requires structure & a good facilitator... Read more

It sounds like you have a desire to “sell” some organizational & leadership change initiatives that would benefit the business & the executive team isn’t “buying.” To give specific advice, I would need to understand how compelling your argument is, the efforts you have made to build acceptance, & how strong your personal credibility with the senior executives is. I have no silver bullet ... Read more

I have never heard of an internal tool where anyone can give feedback on anyone else's performance, completely anonymously, and where the feedback will be public to all employees. It sounds like it has the potential to be a disaster. This also doesn’t sound like 360 feedback.

It would be good to build a culture where people feel free to give each other feedback directly. Giving feedback about... Read more

My simple answer is that diversity in thought in an executive team is a very good thing, particularly if innovation is important.

Unfortunately, I don’t know enough about your business to give more than that simple answer. I only offer questions to explore.

How much do you want to change the culture? How significant is your competitive advantage from being quick to execute? How much risk w... Read more

You could try giving her constructive feedback (a longer response would be required to discuss what this might look like;) however, if she is being encouraged to show this behavior by the boss to “shake things up,” there may be little you can do to change her behavior.

The only behavior you can control in this situation is your own. I would advise you to take the high road, avoid making destr... Read more

Consensus is great if you can afford the time to get it.

Getting consensus doesn’t always mean convincing everyone to go with your idea. It might mean compromise.
It does mean making sure everybody feels their input has been heard and that the merits of their plan or objections to your plan have been understood. At some point, delaying the decision in order to get consensus causes excessive... Read more

I have done it both ways. The advantage of using the same coach is that the leaders can reinforce the coaching points & methodology with each other as a form of peer coaching. Using the same coach can also inject some fun into the process, makes communication about the coaching process more effective, and is less confusing to the organization. It can also be more cost effective if that matters. If... Read more

I predict with an administrative staff based in Hawaii, you already have a unique culture – I hope with a spirit of aloha. (That would certainly make you unique.) Every company has a unique culture. Culture happens whether companies want it to or not. Building & sustaining a specific desired culture is a complex process & develops over time.

Having vision & values statements hanging on the wall... Read more


As has been said, a discussion with the employee is critical.

I would avoid disclosing that you are aware that he/she is interviewing elsewhere. You don’t want the employee to feel caught in the act or create any defensiveness.

I would merely affirm to the employee that the she/he is very important to the business, that you appreciate his/her contributions (Be specific about what you value so... Read more

My advice would depend on whether you are a candidate for the “permanent” CEO position & whether your goal is to increase your odds of getting that position or to return to your CFO position. The First Ninety Day's is an excellent book, but you may want to avoid spending time on long term strategy unless you are the likely choice for the CEO position. The interim tit... Read more

First, I would be thankful that one of my executives was interested enough in a topic for which I had some responsibility that she/he would read a book about it. I know a lot of HR professionals that would like to have that problem. At a minimum, it creates an opportunity for you to build a personal & credible relationship with the executive (or not.) I would not interpret it as a lack of respect ... Read more


If most projects had a clear ROI (as measured by $), leaders wouldn’t get the big bucks they do because decisions would be easy & judgment would not be required.

Getting approval of your projects is a combination of your personal credibility, how compelling a presentation you make, and the appetite of the decision makers. Let’s explore the first & third.

To have personal credibility it�... Read more