back to index of newsletters

Leadership Services LTD. Newsletter - MAY 2005


Welcome to the Leadership Services Newsletter! As you know, my name is Mark Gross, and I am the founder of Leadership Services, Ltd. (LSL). I am a leadership coach and consultant providing executive coaching, organizational and team development consulting, leadership assessment (360 Surveys, etc.), and management communications and performance improvement workshops. This newsletter is for your benefit. Our goal is to stay connected with you and provide ideas and resources to assist you with your current leadership and management challenges.

We will feature a monthly leadership topic that we see as paramount to achieving high performance in our rapidly changing workplace environment. All of the topics we feature will be focused on our areas of expertise and will hopefully inspire further dialogue and networking with LSL. These topics will also serve as resources that we believe provide best practices and leadership development solutions. For your convenience, you can reference many of these resources from links throughout this newsletter as well as in the expanded materials at the LSL website.

Respectfully, Mark Gross, President LSL

FEATURE ARTICLE - "Journey of Passion"

"Journey of Passion" is the focus of this feature article. My hope is that this article will bring you up to date with our work and our exciting evolution over the last few years. We would like it to serve as a resource to stay connected with you, our valued colleagues and customers.

2004 was another record year of tremendous growth for Leadership Services, Ltd. (LSL). Our business continues to develop as we deepen our focus on individual and Team Leadership and Manager Development. LSL's beacon, "What Kind of Leader Will You Be," continues to challenge me to live and serve this call to action with our most recent, as well as ongoing, client relationships. Our continuing intention is to stay focused on our three core service offerings: ASSESSMENT, COACHING, and TEAM TRAINING. The LSL mission is to strengthen leadership and management skills to effectively energize, develop, and direct the workforce into a high performance mode.

7 years ago, when I made the decision to leave IMPACT Training Associates (ITA) and devote 100% of my time to coaching and consulting at LSL, I was apprehensive, yet excited. The demands of running and supporting ITA for 13 years left little time to nurture my passion and devotion to personal coaching work. However, these last 7 years in Santa Barbara have built upon one another to become the most rewarding and successful years of my life, both personally and professionally.

Finding the "LSL Zone" is best described by experiencing peace with high performance. Following my passion for being the work, instead of assigning it to others, produces for me what is described in our featured book this month, Primal Leadership, by Goleman, Boyatzis and McKee, as "resonance". In my mind, resonance is being attuned to my family, work, clients, and community. It was illuminating to discover that it was only when I moved into the "LSL Zone" that I realized how much more resonance there was available to experience. As a result, we have added 10 new clients over the last three years, expanding our client portfolio to 25. Our average length of active client services (site-wide) is now 4 years for sustained coaching and training activity. Individual development assignments ranging from 90 days to 18 months are now easily framed and budgeted in advance of each assignment based assessed need (see Leadership Coaching).

Several factors contributed to our success over the last several years:

  1. I have been able to devote all of my time and passion to doing what I love, which is 1-on-1 coaching and launching leadership/management development initiatives for new and existing clients.
  2. Bill Terry's contribution to LSL as Principal Consultant has been essential in rounding out our practice with team effectiveness sessions, management training, and his unique approach to 1-on-1 coaching.
  3. We have significantly improved the depth and breadth of our assessments with all new 360 assessments driven through our website, leadership competency development and benchmarking, strategic communications audits, and personality and career assessment services.

We have also concentrated our coaching and leadership development services in three areas:

  1. Surveys: We initiated improvements on the results of a major Strategic Communications Audit we completed. Our largest Leadership Competency Assessment was validated after a second year of action research that included over 55 recipients and 250 participants. We also conducted over 350 individual personality and leadership assessments for workshop and individual assignments.
  2. Coaching: We coached over 25 executives and managers on ways to improve their leadership effectiveness. Our process helps executives and managers establish their "High Performance Model" by learning to find a new balance between relationships and results. Our charge is to demonstrate the value of time, and to focus on continuous learning by modeling and coaching on the following practices: Leading with Vision and Accountability, Straight Talk & Decisiveness, Teamwork & Communications, Passion for Product and People, and Management Excellence.
  3. Team Sessions & Management Development Workshops: All of our workshops and team sessions are tailored for each specific client need. Additionally, they are designed to support on-going coaching work that we are conducting at the same location. In 2004 alone, we facilitated or conducted half and full day sessions for more than 500 participants. What is exciting is that our team development sessions are focused not only on improving communications and relationships, but they also work on real-time problems and process improvements. The team sessions are comprised of both intact departments and cross-functional teams, depending on the business requirements. Management development workshops also build on LSL's assessment services to ensure that we develop a strong foundation for learning that produces action.

2005 Outlook

In 2004, I was honored to have been elected as the 2005 Volunteer President of the Board of Directors for Professionals in Human Resources (PIHRA), the largest regional Human Resources Association in the United States, located in Southern California, with membership approaching 5000. Not only will I have an opportunity to give back to a profession that served as my foundation, but I will also have to practice what I preach in leading an organization that just celebrated its 60th birthday. I look forward to the challenge of supporting HR Professionals dealing with the complex employment environment in California.

Our coaching and research team (link) at LSL has never been busier with exciting client engagements and continuing to work on strengthening our assessment products and framework to ensure integration and alignment of our services. We also anticipate:

  • Continued growth
  • More assessment services
  • New workshop offerings

We will remain a boutique practice based in Santa Barbara and serving clients with leadership and management development needs in the Western United States.

BOOK REVIEW - Primal Leadership ... by Daniel Goleman;

Learning to Lead with Emotional Intelligence

In terms of emotions, Goleman feels they are often described as the soft side of leadership. They are something to be watchful of and even concerned about for fear that one might lose emotional control, ergo, it is best to keep the lid on them. Balance of course is the key, but how do you find it when the emotional side is all too often avoided? I included this book review based on an elegant description of how to see emotions from an analytical and practical point of view. In reading this selection, you will find a convincing presentation of the necessity of bringing to the surface the emotional intelligence you possess in order to support the leadership required for the task at hand. Finding emotional and mental balance creates a feeling of resonance in your work and with those around you. This kind of harmony is essential for lasting well-being and effective leadership. Enjoy. See the book on Amazon

TESTIMONIAL: Ben Lawrence, Beringer Blass Wine Estates

"I have been working with Mark Gross and LSL for almost 10 years now, both in my current and past organizations. Mark has a unique and impressionable way to assess, and most importantly provide, constructive leadership insight and development programs to executives and managers. His coaching style and insights, coupled with a strong business and pragmatic orientation, results in actionable plans." - Ben Lawrence, Senior VP Human Resources, Fosters Group (Beringer Blass Wine Estates) More client testimonials

MEET THE EXPERT: Bill Terry, Principal Consultant

How To Motivate People In The Workplace

Bill is a very special executive coach and organizational development consultant who combines his pragmatic background in engineering with a passionate style of engaging with others to create breakthrough learning. Bill brings 25 years of professional experience to individuals and work teams that are stuck and need encouragement and direction to find a new level of high performance.

To read more about Bill Terry, click here