How HR can Help Turn Managers into Strategic Leaders (Part 3: Tips to be more Strategic!)

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Our last two posts gave a recap and summary of some of the topics discussed during the chat along with some tips. In this post, however, we hope to provide you with more actionable tips to help you or your employees be a more strategic leader.

After the event commenced, we wanted to keep the discussion active, so we asked our Sounding Board coaches what advice they give their coaching clients on being more strategic. Below is the advice they shared with us that have had a big impact on their clients.

  • Be thoughtful about when to Ask vs. Tell. A general rule of thumb is to ask down the org chart and tell up. It’s a little counter intuitive, but it can create a real shift in thinking strategically and communicating your point of view to upper management vs being more collaborative and enlisting input and buy-in from their team.
  • Make the distinction between strategic and tactical. You have to remind managers that they’re a boss now and the higher up the ladder they are, the more important it is to focus on strategic and delegate tactical.
  • As a manager you have greater opportunity to impact people. Raise the difference between intent and impact with a simple example, “My intent was clear communication. The impact it had was it created uncertainty within your team.” You role as a manager is to close that gap so your intent translates to the impact you want.
  • Use the Urgent/Important Matrix (Eisenhower Matrix). It’s easy to implement and powerful in helping people see where they are spending their time.

To learn more about Sounding Board and how we combine best-in-class coaching with technology to help companies grow their next generation of strategic leaders, visit our website and request a demo.

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Lori Mazan

Co-Founder & Chief Coaching Officer

Lori Mazan is the Co-Founder and Chief Coaching Officer of Sounding Board, the preeminent global leadership development enterprise platform changing the face of leadership development through innovative technology for leaders at all levels of an organization. Lori is a seasoned executive coach who has guided hundreds of corporate executives through 1:1 coaching focused on business outcomes and developing critical leadership skills. Client companies advanced by Lori’s expertise include Fortune titans such as Chevron and Sprint as well as high growth and public companies like Intellikine, and Tapjoy, plus 10XGenomics, which became a public company in 2019 while top executives worked with Lori and the Sounding Board team.
Lori has spent the last 25 years coaching C-Suite executives to leadership excellence. Many of those public and private company CEO’s expressed that they would have liked this caliber of coaching earlier in their careers. Inspired by these experiences, Lori joined with Christine to launch Sounding Board as a feedback-driven, cloud-based leadership coaching platform that could maintain best-in-class leadership coaching while lowering costs to make it affordable and scalable for leaders at every level of their careers.
Before founding Sounding Board, Lori received her Masters’ in Adult Educational Psychology/Counseling from the University of San Francisco and a Bachelors’ in Psychology from the University of Virginia. Lori is an educator and has spent over 10 years as a professor of social psychology and group dynamics while acting as the interim Dean of Students at Holy Names University, She is certified by the industry’s gold standard, the Coaches Training Institute, and is a founding member of the Genentech Preferred Network of Coaches. Sounding Board is one of <3% of sole female founded startups receiving venture funding. In 2019 Sounding Board was selected as 1 of 7 startups (out of 100+ applicants) as part of SAP’s HR tech cohort, a group that represents the rising stars of the next-gen HR ecosystem.

Christine Tao

Co-Founder & CEO Sounding Board, Inc.

Christine Tao is the co-founder & CEO at Sounding Board, a Silicon Valley startup redefining how organizations are developing their leaders. Her extraordinarily rapid career growth to executive management in the media, mobile and tech sectors of Silicon Valley became her inspiration for founding Sounding Board. As she began to manage larger teams and be responsible for growing revenues, it became clear that she needed a “sounding board” to coach her on the development of her leadership skills. That’s where her Sounding Board co-founder, Lori Mazan came on the scene. A seasoned executive coach focused on leadership development, Lori coached Christine on real-world leadership skills that had a direct impact on business outcomes. Based on her positive and impactful experience with leadership development, Christine was driven to make leadership development coaching accessible to people at all levels of the organization.
Christine advises several startups, is a budding angel investor and is also a Tory Burch Foundation Fellow, a foundation dedicated to investing in the success and sustainability of women entrepreneurs.
Prior to co-founding Sounding Board, Christine was a Senior Vice President of Developer Relations at Tapjoy, a venture-backed, leading mobile advertising & publishing network. She led the growth of Tapjoy’s publisher advertising business from 0 to over $100 million in revenues in less than 3 years. Prior to that she led e-commerce partnerships and strategy at YouTube. Christine holds an MBA in Marketing & Operations from Wharton and a BA in Business Administration from UC Berkeley.

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