Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Who Hires a Coach?

Who hires a coach? Well, Steven Rattner, for one.

Former New York Times reporter, former investment banker, former venture capitalist, and former Car Czar, Steven Rattner had once had a manner that was "distant and haughty." His colleagues did not like it.

Here is how New York Magazine described Rattner's effort to deal with the problem: "So Rattner hired an executive coach, Art Gingold, and worked with him for a couple of years until he left for Washington. It was essentially a likability course. 'He took the feedback as diligently as anybody I've coached,' says Gingold, who declined to discuss personal details. 'He studied it, almost memorized it. He really took it to heart. Gingold helped Rattner change his behavior, and gave him pointers. Now Rattner walked down to people's offices. In meetings, where he'd been business-only, he now opened with, 'Good morning, how was your weekend?' He took junior people to lunch. 'It sounds simple and obvious, but it wasn't [to him],' says Gingold."

Here is how Rattner approached his new position as Car Czar: "... he worked at getting along. While upending the car industry, Rattner tried out his new personality skills. This was a fresh start with people who didn't yet have a view of him, he told a friend, and he fought his tendency to be cool and remote. He was proud of himself; the guys really seemed to respect and to like him."

Link to New York Magazine article here.

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