Professional summary

Jim Smith, PCC, SPHR, NCOC™ is an executive coach, international speaker, author, and change consultant. I work with business leaders like you, who are smart and successful AND who feel stressed and overwhelmed by the pace of your job and often struggle with the shift from Doing the Work to Leading your organization.

My passion is to create a Happier world and workplace, one Leader at a time.

I spent 20 years in Corporate America where I held senior executive roles in Sales, Finance, Operations, and HR. I have coached leaders from 27 countries and six continents to achieve greater leadership effectiveness and balance, and have touched the lives of over 16,000 leaders through my work on leadership, positive emotion, and positive

Engagement overview

1. you complete preparation & self-assessment
2. we conduct 2-hour intake, then
3. schedule ongoing Conversations (typically bi-weekly)
(4) onsite engagements include shadowing in your native habitat
5. we pause to review progress & value, adjusting as needed
Notes: your goals form foundation for all conversations; my approach is ontological, so we work with your head, body, & emotional space


My clients include small and large businesses, including global firms and organizations in the US Fortune 500. I have supported leaders in the following sectors:
• Manufacturing
• Oil & Gas
• Financial Services
• Healthcare
• Academia (both university and secondary)
• Consulting (the Big 5)
• Government (state and federal, US)


Above you have lots of great advice for your major concern, which is creating a case for promotion. What about your secondary concern, which is having more support? If you have 270+ people in your downstream, you might want to look at how you are currently allocating the work that hits your desk.

Who in your downstream is seeking some development of their own? What's on your plate, slowing... Read more


Since I work with small businesses, I see this culture shock often. Larger corporations might manage culture and be purposeful about it. In small companies it just...exists.

First I suggest you decide your goal. Do you raise the question here because you want to get projects done without stressing out, or because you are feeling compelled to "help" the organization “improve” the culture?

... Read more

No. Big no. John is an ex-employee who demonstrated low social and emotional intelligence. Look at the data: 75% of a leader's effectiveness flows from emotional competencies. And see all the prior posts -- you will send a very bad message to your surviving staff.

Your responsibility is to the organization, not to John.

One more thought: Heck, let him go to a competitor. Just think ... Read more

Unless you intend to age out of your organization and have it close after you retire, you'll eventually be hiring younger leaders to succeed you anyway, so why not start now with someone whom you label "very talented?"

Generational gaps are part fact, part fiction. The fiction part is that younger people are so dramatically different. Not so much. The people in charge of organizations have been... Read more

Previous answers gave you a great deal to reflect on, including the process for selecting a coach and setting your goals.

To the specifics of your request, "What should I expect to happen from the first interaction to the end…?" I add:

1. You complete preparation & self-assessment (as noted, coaches use various tools as part of your prep)

2. We conduct a two-hour intake, during which ... Read more

Previous answers gave you a great deal to reflect on, including the process for selecting a coach and setting your goals.

To the specifics of your request, "What should I expect to happen from the first interaction to the end…?" I add:

1. You complete preparation & self-assessment (as noted, coaches use various tools as part of your prep)

2. We conduct a two-hour intake, during which we est... Read more


Dear New Manager of a Suddenly Larger Team:

I invite you to notice that you have already answered much of your own question. I quote: "I will have to rely on the team members to help me understand their roles."

If you have no expertise in their technical area, I'm guessing that someone in the organization who made this decision is not expecting you to show up as an SME; rather, they look... Read more


Coaching with Jim is well worth the investment of time and dollars. I learned more about leadership and real world experience through this sometimes gentle, sometimes tough coaching experience.

Suzanne Nixon, Senior VP of Development

I want to thank you again for your work. Our manager took your sessions very seriously and was able to effectively apply what she learned. The great thing about what you do is that it not only applies to work, but more importantly to life. And in watching her transform, and her willingness to share her learnings with us, we were able to both directly and indirectly benefit from your guidance. You should be proud of yourself, as your influence may be but a drop in a bucket, but the effects of that drop have reached out and touched all areas.

DJ, technical staff member

Jim is a coach in every sense of the word. He's in my corner cheering me (and all of his clients) on as we work with him to learn and grow. He actively listens to every word said and picks up on views and beliefs I did not realize I had communicated. Jim offers practical, ready-to-immediately-put-into-practice advice for personal and professional growth. With the patience of a saint, he ceaselessly encourages his clients or 'coaches' to stretch and grow at a pace that is challenging and yet somehow manageable at the same time. Jim brings a perfectly human perspective to all of his coaching conversations. Working with Jim is like working with a friend who has gone through the same struggles – rather than working with someone who has book-only knowledge of personal struggles. Perhaps it's that humanness that makes the sense of safety Jim creates in his coaching conversations so genuine. Conversations with Jim about personal and professional growth are always challenging. And always safe. That is a rare and valuable combination. And creates an amazing environment for growth.

Lisa B, Office/HR Manager for a large Financial Planning firm

Jim's strengths as a coach are his natural curiosity, willingness to challenge my thinking, and his passion for making a positive difference.

Luanne Paynick, Executive Trainer/Coach

Jim is a very knowledgeable, experienced, and positive coach. He is a master at leading someone through his/her own muck using his/her own compass. He doesn't say where to go or necessarily how, rather, he checks in on where his student is, confirms where the student wants to go, and then provides all the support necessary for the student to find his/her way through.

I am now the head of [Business Advisory Council] and am leading a team of seasoned professionals. The team is smarter than me and yet I'm filling my role of leading them. Wow. What a concept! It's given me a lot of pride.

Greg W, Global Sales Leader

Your ability to listen is your most obvious strength. Your ability to think on your feet is second and your ability to vary our methods on a moment's notice is a close third. Practicing what you "preach" is huge! Your facebook posts, your monthly newsletter, your blog. They all show a consistent message all of the time. Happiness is a choice. Happiness is a decision. Happiness is intentional. You are real and alive in what you write, in what you share. It resonates with people because it's your real life. You are living it. It's not just something you talk about and when hard times come you abandon. You use the same tools you teach. You go through the same crap all of your coaches go through. And you use the same things you ask them to use. You are so genuine. That's a huge strength. You don't hide your struggles, your challenges, your stumbling blocks. You use them as teaching tools.

Conversations with you about personal and professional growth are always challenging. And always safe. That is a rare and valuable combination, and creates an amazing environment for growth. Since you've given me different tools and helped me learn different ways of dealing with situations, I've been able to be more duck-like (you know… water off a duck's back). Thank you!

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Lisa Boise, HR & Administrative Services Manager, Financial Services

Jim wants to really understand his clients. Within 2-3 visits, my conversations with Jim felt as though I was talking with an old friend. Jim also wants to challenge his clients to dig deeper. This approach worked well with me as a motivating factor.

Ryan Evans, IT Manager

I desperately needed some guidance and you came to my rescue at the right time. You reminded me of how I want to live my life, and to be true to myself. I just want you to know that I truly appreciate you, not just for what you do to help others, including myself, but for always being a good friend to me.

Chad C, Analyst World Bank

I experienced some very significant, career changing achievements in the first few months of my coaching with Jim. Until then, I had been under-achieving. The coaching gave me the boost that I needed to get over the bar necessary to make progress in my career. I remember my Dad saying to me, 'I wish I was just 10% smarter. It would make such a big difference.' Coaching has made me 10% smarter, and it has made a big difference.

Coaching helped me to be more positive about myself and my capability. Paying attention to where I am physically has raised my awareness of where I am mentally and emotionally, and also about what I am communicating to others. I find that 'fixing' my physical state doesn't take me all the way, but it's like a wake-up call and I can get my mental and emotional self aligned much more readily when I'm aware of the physical clues and strategies.

I've learned how to find my best self, and how to turn that into business results. My coaching experience has given me a real chance at the career that I want and given me a great start. Before coaching I really felt that I didn't have the chance and couldn't get started.

And on top of all that, I have a new friend!

Ed Britton, ChinaCoach, Executive Directory Tianjiao Institute, Fujian Province, China

I first hired Jim to help me get out of a professional rut. It wasn't long before I was off and running in a more effective, more engaging, more balanced and much happier way. His coaching helped me recognize the value I bring to the executive staff of my company. My gifts and talents help that team achieve more than they would without my contributions! I feel more confident, more appreciated 'at the table.' Jim is a great listener, encourager, challenger. His services and counsel are worth every penny and then some! His coaching has had a lasting impact on my life both professionally and personally.

I HIGHLY recommend Jim. Did I mention he is honestly one of the happiest people I know?

Kay Panovec, Marketing Director