Archives For leader

coachThe most successful coaching clients love to learn; they are coachable. They are wide open to many ideas and new concepts. 

One of my coaching clients has an opportunity to travel to the UK to study the management/leadership practices of a world-class car manufacturer. They are turning the industry upside down with some new break-through, and innovative leadership practices.

He can’t wait to learn and observe.

Other characteristics of a successful leader who is open to coaching include some of these:

Good Communicators

  • High Emotional Intelligence
  • Read others well
  • Listen well
  • Willing to ask questions 


  • Know their strengths
  • Recognize weaknesses
  • Ask for help, support or encouragement
  • Able to describe their preferred learning style


  • Challenges fire them up
  • Sets goals and achieves them
  • Motivated to try new ideas
  • Identify innovative solutions and don’t give up

Appreciates Feedback

  • Willing to discuss their blind spots
  • Values recommendations
  • Solicits regular feedback
  • Open to discuss problems


  • Embraces change
  • Desires candor and truth-telling
  • Takes calculated risks, and challenges self
  • Open to young talent of both genders

The best leaders are coachable. They show up on time and open themselves to loving critics. These are the leaders who gain trust and followers willing to give heart and soul.

Give honest assessment to your personal leadership – how coachable are you as a leader?


For information regarding keynotes, training, and leadership coaching call or contact Steve via his website, email  (, or call him at 425 681 9871


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young woman

“The best gift you can give people you lead is a healthy, energized, fully humble, and focused self.”

-Steve Gutzler

 I recently read some work by Daniel Goleman, the author of landmark best-seller: Emotional Intelligence. Goleman has spent much of his time analyzing why only a small percentage of leaders develop to their fullest potential while most hit a plateau far beneath what one might expect from them.

His conclusion? The difference is self-leadership. He calls it Emotional Self Control. According to Goleman, this form of self-control is exhibited by leaders when they persevere in leadership despite overwhelming opposition or discouragement. When they refuse to give up during tough times, when they manage to hold their ego at bay, when they stay focused on their mission rather than being distracted by other people’s agendas – these are the moments that make a leader truly a cut above.

Goleman contends that exceptional leaders distinguish themselves because they know their strengths and limits, and weaknesses.

As I read Goleman’s data, I thought about my own self-leadership. Here is my attempt to better lead myself.

  • I try to practice intense leadership activities quickly followed by time set aside for rest and recovery
  • I have been setting aside 60-90 minutes each week for reflection and solitude
  • I have found a quiet place by a park where I recalibrate my mind, my motives, and remind myself of my calling
  • I established my Eight Key Characteristics of Self-Leadership
  1. Is my vision clear?
  2. Is my passion hot?
  3. Am I developing my gifts?
  4. Is my character solid?
  5. Is my pride subdued?
  6. Am I overcoming my fears?
  7. Is my soul being fed?
  8. Is my pace sustainable?

Can you answer these questions honestly? How are you doing? Take a little time to lead yourself – it is the best gift you can give to others


Leading myself – Steve Gutzler


For information regarding keynotes, training, and leadership coaching call or contact Steve via his website, email (, or call him at 425 681 9871


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The Balloon Stomp

“I got a sinking feeling in my mid-section…”

Robert Roberts writes about a fourth grade class in which the teacher introduces the “Balloon Stomp.” A balloon is tied to every child’s leg. The signal is given then the object of the game is to pop everyone else’s balloon while protecting your own.

Balloon stomp is a zero-sum game. If I win, you lose. Everyone else’s success diminishes mine. I must regard others as someone to overcome.Survival of the fittest! Eat or be eaten!

It was a balloon brawl. Some of the shyer students tried in vain to hide on the edges only to be popped! The battle lasted only seconds. And when the final student stood proudly with their balloon intact, no one cheered. There was complete silence. He was the most secretly disliked kid in the room.

Then a worrisome thing happened. A second class emerged to play the game. A class of developmentally challenged children. They were given balloons and the same instructions. “I got a sinking feeling in my mid-section,” said one of the on lookers. How can we spare these kids from the balloon brawl?

Only this time, as the instructions were given in haste, the students only grasped that the balloons were to be popped. So, instead of fighting, they helped each other. They formed a kind of “balloon stomp co-op.” They held each other’s balloons, they assisted each other in sitting on them until they popped.

Every time they heard a pop, they all cheered and smiled and clapped their hands. And when the final balloon popped, they cheered louder and hugged each other and passed around high fives. There were big smiles!

It was a representation of a scoring system that was a little different. The second class did not score against one another, but with each other. No longer opponents, but teammates! It was a win-win situation!

How Do Leaders Keep Score?

1. Look to “team up” with like-minded win-win people. Your success will be compounded.

2. Go out of your way to acknowledge and celebrate other’s successes. You’ll build bridges and goodwill!

3. Remove envy from the heart. It is insidious and only causes you to play small.

4. Be more joyful and care-free. Be less uptight and competitive. Life is short!

5. The best way to keep score is if we can win together! It cultivates powerful emotions and energy.

Getting a new scoreboard! (And a bouquet of balloons),

Steve Gutzler


For information regarding keynotes, training, and leadership coaching call or contact Steve via his website, email (, or call him at 425 681 9871