Coaches ask questions
Who are you, really? How are you today, really?
What behaviors do you need to learn or unlearn to become a better person, a more effective leader or board member?
How can collaboration help expand your mission and control costs?
Are your values and mission worth some pain to achieve? Could your organization governance and leadership benefit by a tune up to align with the values and mission?
Is your board in front of or behind your organization? Do you need to accelerate your board to greater effectiveness to more fully achieve your mission?
Are you ready to lead amidst the new realities of rapid change and pressure for increased effectiveness with tighter budgets?
How must your leadership style expand and change amidst the trends towards greater consensus, collaboration and pluralism in a post-modern world?
Do you have adequate succession planning to assure the ongoing growth and sustainability of your organization?
Have the pressures of leadership created an imbalance in your personal and spiritual life?
Are your values aligned with your activity towards a greater purpose and higher calling?
Are you working through an excess of immediate issues where assistance in navigation might simplify the decisions?
Do you know the difference between a consultant, counselor, and a coach?
How does coaching work?
What kind of coach do I need? Coaches come with different descriptors – performance coach, life coach, executive coach, career coach, personal coach, and more. Because your life is complex, I coach the whole person, as a part of an organization, or completely apart from work.
You may not know if coaching is right for you. You may not know me very well. Am I trustworthy? Will you benefit from it? Do I “get it?” Let’s see by trying.
A typical coaching engagement begins with a preliminary 90-minute meeting without charge. I will listen to your story for an hour, asking a lot of questions along the way. In the last half hour, I will reflect what I have heard from you directly, and what I have discerned between the lines. I will suggest issues and topics that may be of the greatest benefit to explore further.
As we continue, we will craft together a program to assure self-awareness, a solid understanding of where you are now, and where you want to go in your life, career or community. We may do our best in face-to-face meetings, yet people are becoming more comfortable with interactive video. Apart from meetings, I am on call or readily available through email to help you talk through immediate opportunities or obstacles.
Everything we talk about is strictly confidential, with two exceptions. We do not share counselor confidentiality privileges. I must respond to law authorities about our conversations if they inquire. If I believe you are an immediate risk to yourself or others, I will proactively engage others for your protection. This has never happened yet it is necessary to understand this fine print of our relationship.
You can get information and knowledge by reading books. Wisdom comes from within. I come alongside to help you navigate your individual and organizational dreams, concerns, priorities and performance needs by simplifying and accelerating your thinking. We will explore different frameworks and processes that you can use to define the need, alternative solutions and your best decision. I will not be your mother, but I will be one of your best fans. See a sample below of people and their needs that have been met through coaching. See the FAQ section for much more detail.
Here are some samples of coaching engagements:
“Coaching” means so many different things to people. I “coach” people and organizations in that I bring out the best in them as individuals and groups. They “own” their needs and desires, their problems, their potential solutions, their decision-making process and their ultimate directions and decisions. My role is to assure awareness of who they are and where they are upon starting, where they want to go, and how to get there. That role and approach has allowed me to engage in a wider range of activities than what most coaches engage.
Some sample coaching engagements:
“An organization can be no greater than its Board” – Bob Andringa. “Board members are usually intelligent and experienced persons as individuals. Yet boards, as groups, are mediocre” – John Carver.
I coach boards and board members to bring out the best in them. As a coach rather than a consultant, the board members/board own their need, the options, their selected approaches to decision making and the solution they create.
Board Dynamics are the portions of boardsmanship that are affected more by people than policy. If “culture eats planning for breakfast” – Peter Drucker, then culture will drive much board work. “People, personalities, and politics may overwhelm policies, programs, and priorities” – Robert Hodge. Board dynamics are about team development and the human factors that can threaten or assure board effectiveness.
We actively promote true governance for boards over administrative, working or operational boards. There is no model of governance more systematic and logical that Policy Governance ®. Still, most boards are in transition to true governance and choose portions to implement, but not all. Leadership, vision, board culture, an understanding of governance, and many issues of the day may delay a board’s move to mature governance. Externally, there are and will become more pressures for the board to become more aware and involved with administrative and programmatic issues. Astute leadership must navigate the increasing compliance requirements that demand board involvement while assuring and maintaining the Board’s focus on ends rather than means.
Sample topics for the Board as a whole:
Sample topics for individual board members
“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together” – African proverb. The benefits to collaboration are clear. Collaboration takes more time yet usually provides better results. I coach and facilitate groups to clearly identify their goals, the process to consider collaboration and make choices, and then implement them. In several collaborations, I have become the “glue” for the collaboration or even the duty expert for something never accomplished before. I work in the areas of Policies, Programs, People, Personalities and Politics to guide groups to effective collaborations. I am certain that collaboration, especially among non-profits, is one of the best tools for the future.
My career with collaborations began in the early days of banking IT when a group of banks worked together to create their own ATM network. The opportunities for collaboration in higher education and non-profits abound. The donor base and market place demand more attention to this approach to minimize operational costs and create new ways to improve the programs to achieve the mission.
Obstacles to collaboration are more often in the “soft” areas rather than what can be seen in a spreadsheet. Are we really competing? Just communicating, cooperating, coordinating or truly collaborating? The culture of an organization is sometimes difficult to define, yet is foundational to a successful collaboration. We must develop trust, a common pace, culture, sense of proportion, and a common vision for success to be start, then keep on track to make wise decisions, get broad buy-in, and finally deploy. A coaching approach, with no authority nor power, can provide the glue and energy to bring collaborations to fruition.
Articles, work in progress, bibliographies
Collaborations Resources - links are coming soon - write to me for the full document
1 Getting Started in Collaboration
2 A Vocabulary for Collaboration
3 Creating a Foundation for Collaboration
4 How to Collaborate
5 URLs, Books for Collaboration
Quotes From Clients
Coaching, Board Dynamics, Collaboration
Thank you for your friendly help and for blessing me with your professional insight. You breezed into gear, zeroing in with exceptional counsel, flowing past the weeds (where others, including myself, have been often mired). You demonstrate a rare ability to hit the ground running, to efficiently hack through my ideological clutter, and to hone in on the salient points. You're the real deal. Thanks for helping me pull back my own curtains to reveal a fresh perspective that had been eluding me.
More than anything, I have appreciated your insight and experience that you have brought to the succession process. On a personal note, I appreciate your helping me as I transition mentally… Thanks again, Bob. What a gift you have been to me, the board, and this ministry.
Bob has been an excellent coach as we've worked through our strategic challenges. Bob set a very personable and informal tone, while doing a great job asking questions that revealed and helped articulate the purposes/passions that truly drive us. He also helped us identify practical action steps and an overarching strategy that directly relate to our focus and vision.
Overall, Bob brings clarity, insight and wisdom drawn from his own experience, yet in reality we see wisdom far beyond his years.
Pete H and Cecilia M
I have greatly enjoyed collaborating with you over the past years and have learned a great deal from you. Your skill set, expertise and kind of communication style will be huge assets for any organization.
Let me express our sincere appreciation for the fine job you did in challenging and coaching us during our Board retreat. It was all I had anticipated, and more. I felt you “connected” with our trustees very well, and that significant progress was made toward understanding the various roles of trustees, and especially the part our Board will play in securing SACS accreditation.
Don Hawkins, President
Southeastern Bible College
I did not get what I had expected from the CEO Dialogue Workshop. I got something much better! I arrived expecting some 'new tools' for my 'administrative tool box', or maybe just expected to have some tools re-sharpened. What I received was a new way of thinking about leadership. For me, it is impossible to put what happened into words, but I am convinced that I will be a more effective leader because of the experience.
Alabama Baptist Children's Homes
Bob doesn't bring you cookie cutter, standardized solutions to organizational issues. He has the rare ability, in fact passion, to understand who and where you are before he begins to weave highly appropriate solutions for your enterprise. We were enriched both by what Bob showed us and how he did it.
Bethany Fellowship International
I was personally challenged to move out of my 'comfort zone' and take risks to think (and rethink), evaluate, and in some cases, test the traditions and administrative practices of our ministry. Opportunity and encouragement to engage in this kind of leadership introspection and 'critical thinking' has been very helpful and will make an overall positive impact upon our organization.
The Fold Family Ministries
I am very proud of what we were able to accomplish for all of the colleges, and you were so very creative in putting such a “turnkey” program for them. That made their jobs a lot easier, and we ended up having some participate that probably would not have had you not done such a good and thorough job.
I found the CEO group one of the most valuable contributors to my leadership development that has happened in my life... Many of us restricted our breaks and sleeping in order to absorb more heart level contributions we could take back to our work place as leaders in the New Millennium.
World Team USA
Bob Hodge brought to us a rare and welcome combination of cutting edge professionalism, a sensitive spirit, keen discernment and a nurturing heart. Where we were bleeding, we are now blossoming. His invaluable assessment and advice has strengthened our information systems and services from executive leadership to technical performance.
Columbia International University
You are indeed an enigma and it fascinates me so much about you. On the one hand you remind me of a couple of my highly respected college professors for whom I would never have dared to disrespect by being late to class. This “sternness”, however, is held in tension by a “personal side” that I have witnessed in your facial expression of love as you have interacted with the retiring director, your obvious amazement as we walked the dusty trails of Petra and now this overwhelming demonstration of generosity.
The young leaders organization that I joined is BOOMING. I'm the current Chairman and soon to be first President. This has been a terrific outlet for my energies. I don't know if I'd have ever found this avenue without you. THANK YOU SO MUCH !
Just a quick note to share with you some documents to give you a sense of how the [ministry] dissolution process has come very near to a conclusion. I (with the entire Board as well) reflect on your role as advisor 2 years ago with great gratitude for your clarity and courage.
A month later I came looking for your email to reread and nourish my soul. That's how much it meant to me to have someone express understanding and encouragement. Your terms of hovering dark shadows can only indicate that you have been there or God has given you special understanding eyes. My metaphor for the past 2 years has been '3 bricks sitting on my chest' . . . extended times of literal heaviness (checked out fine physically with cardiologist). The sustaining presence of God in grace and mercy is very real. My weakness and sin are no match.
God used you to profoundly encourage me many times over the past 30 days. Thank you.
Thank you for your friendly help and for blessing me with your professional insight. You breezed into gear, zeroing in with exceptional counsel, flowing past the weeds (where others, including myself, have been often mired). You demonstrate a rare ability to hit the ground running, to efficiently hack through my ideological clutter, and to hone in on the salient points. You’re the real deal. Thanks for helping me pull back my own curtains to reveal a fresh perspective that had been eluding me.
"I cannot teach a man anything. I can only cause him to think."
Who We Are
Coaching, Board Dynamics, Collaboration
I coach leaders and organizations to identify, pursue and achieve their visions and goals. Together, we Discover their dreams and needs, Describe alternatives for improvement in actions and behaviors, Discuss with others as needed to obtain consensual Discernment and Decision, Design the appropriate next steps, and Deploy a course of action.
My most frequent engagements include leadership development, behind the scenes board member/CEO development, one-on-one coaching, strategy setting, and facilitation of collaborative initiatives.
My experience covers forty years at a senior level with leaders in business and non-profit organizations. I have always had a coaching style, supporting others to their best performance. I naturally see the questions that will help a person or group work identify their own needs, options and solutions so they “own” everything from the beginning of an engagement. Education in marketing and systems provides the backdrop and analytical mindset needed to bring people to their own conclusions. Senior level positions in for-profits, non-profits and education provide the breadth of experience needed to engage people where they are.
Different people and organizations need different approaches from their coach. Many business people desire assistance to obtain quantifiable change and immediate results. Many non-profit organizations and donors need to draw all stakeholders towards a deeper engagement in the mission and vision of the organization. Leaders and emerging leaders appreciate an objective view to help them simplify and accelerate their thinking. Most need an injection of experience and assistance to consider collaboration with other organizations.
Within organizations, I focus on the human aspects, on the soft-skills of leadership. Beyond good Board governance policy are programs within the more-human aspects of organizational and personal principles, persuasion, perceptions and politics. My role is to help a person or organization identify where they are today, where they want to be tomorrow and how to get from here to there. We work within all aspects of that transition.
Clients describe me according to what they need and how I have served them – Coach, personal champion, counselor, fencing partner, harbor pilot, and a relatively new favorite of mid-wife (“it is my baby but you helped birth it”) as I coach as many women as I coach men, and all generations. I prefer face-to-face meetings, yet I engage different generations of people at great distances with solid technologies.
Local, national and international for-profit and non-profit organizations, through their coached leaders and board members, have accelerated their efforts in such areas as financial services, insurance, manufacturing, literature distribution, child sponsorships, real estate sales, hospice, theater, crisis pregnancy assistance, world relief, micro-enterprise development, and inter-cultural education programs. Many are faith-based organizations and/or share those values and worldview.
Sample List of Organizational Clients