Leadership for the Hybrid Workforce – August 2021 Coaches Corner

“Coaches Corner” shares perspectives from Sounding Board’s global network of coaches on trending and relevant topics, as explored through our leadership capabilities coaching model.

We asked our Coaches to reflect on how the pandemic has impacted leaders, and what skills they think strong leaders will need to succeed in the new hybrid workforce. Here's what they had to say:

The global pandemic is creating unprecedented volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. What leadership lessons can we draw from this global health crisis?

In my experience the leadership lessons we can draw from this global health crisis is the power we possess together, as individuals within communities, organizations, countries and nations, to navigate our ways through adversity, chaos and crisis.  On a personal level this may be called resilience; our ability to regain our self-agency by finding our way back to what we care about most.  I term this Self-authorship as leadership begins with Self, what we’re authoring and spirals out through leading others and ultimately leading for impact.  

During these times of great consequence “what are you tolerating” and “where were you wrong today” are even more powerful questions to ask as they raise self-awareness and our levels of consciousness.   True power lies in recovering through self-awareness as it’s fundamental for consciously choosing how to move forward, like it or not.   When one feels lost, overwhelmed, burnt out we can still intelligently choose in each moment versus trying to force an outcome.   I believe the collective leadership lesson is we are living and leading ecosystems (not ego systems) of change and we’re being asked to broaden our focus in stewarding new ways within a new world.  These are not times of force, or to be “right or wrong”, they are times of “with certainty” getting comfortable in uncertainty for the sake of growth and evolution.    

Leadership for the Hybrid Workforce - August 2021 Coaches Corner 2

Susan J.

Leadership Coach, Sounding Board
Vancouver, B.C., Canada

What are the most critical leadership skills for the hybrid workforce?

When we cut deep into thinking about this pandemic, it is clear that it has not created fundamentally new behaviors—human nature has evolved to deal with pandemics over the millennia—but rather made visible what had hitherto been invisible. In some respects, this is quite literally true: the interior of your colleagues’ apartments, the loudness of their dog, the health of their mother, their fears, their neuroses, you’ve seen sides of your colleagues you’d not seen before.

This gives great leaders an opportunity to continue to do what you’ve been doing during the crisis. You rose to the occasion. You listened, you paid attention, you adjusted, you respected.  You did what you had to do, under the circumstances, to make it work. You did what you could to help your colleagues excel, rather than think of what they could do to help you.

Having seen what you’ve seen, do not avert your gaze. The care and empathy you showed during the crisis? Keep showing it.

“Ask not what my country can do for me, but what I can do for my country.”

Richard Nash

Richard N.

Leadership Coach, Sounding Board
Brooklyn, NY

“Coaches Corner” is a blog series where we share perspectives from Sounding Board’s global network of coaches on trending and relevant topics, as explored through our leadership capabilities coaching model.

To read previous Coaches Corners, click here

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Piyush Gupta

VP of Product and Technology
Piyush Gupta is VP of Product and Technology at Sounding Board and champions the voice of customers and users with deep empathy. Piyush envisions Sounding Board to be the first window of coaching experience for professionals and leaders worldwide. His approach is deeply rooted in proven scientific research, modeling human behaviors, and data-informed insights to deliver mindset shifts and desired business outcomes for organizations at scale. He believes that a world-class UX is key to drive simplicity that will lead to millions of professionals to access coaching for their development. Piyush co-invented the world’s first ‘landmark intelligent driving directions’ technology that led Google to redesign their routing algorithms for the Asian markets. For the next decade, he led two disruptive FinTech companies to the market leadership positions and delivered two award-winning products that serve more than 70 million users worldwide. His teams filed 20+ patents while he himself authored three patents. He is an active startup investor and advises selected AI-driven startups on business and product strategy. He is the recipient of the World Summit Award, one of the most prestigious international honors for product innovators. In addition, he is a James Swartz fellow, the most prestigious fellowship at Carnegie Mellon University funded by the founder of the iconic venture firm, Accel Partners. Piyush holds an MS in Software Management from Carnegie Mellon University.

Tommy Perkins

SVP OF SALES, PARTNERSHIP & CUSTOMER SUCCESS

Tommy is at his best helping clients think through complex challenges in order to create a positive impact on their organizations. He thrives when interacting with others whether helping his team succeed or working with clients to build long-term partnerships. He has extensive experience consulting with organizations on driving their employee experience, guiding organizations through change, and working to ensure organizations are moving the needle when it comes to their results.

Most recently, Tommy was a Client Services Leader overseeing some of GP’s most prized accounts on a global level. His responsibilities included overall client growth strategy, retention, and satisfaction. He represented all of GP Strategies’ major business lines including leadership, coaching, and engagement, digital transformation, outsourced services, and technology implementation solutions.

Before GP Strategies, Tommy spent several years with TTEC Digital (formerly rogenSI) where he led the sales team,  eventually becoming the regional Learning & Performance practice leader for North America. While managing the P&L and sales team he also led the largest global relationship for the firm (Deloitte Globally). During his time at TTEC, he focused on delivering blended learning solutions that incorporate technology and hands-on training. Before TTEC Digital, he spent several years dedicated to strength-based leadership disrupting the business landscape regarding performance management and employee engagement with thought leader Marcus Buckingham at The Marcus Buckingham Company / TMBC (now ADP).

Tommy has had the privilege of working with some of the most well-known global brands in professional services, retail, technology, and healthcare including Deloitte, Facebook, Microsoft, Bank of America, Novartis, Gap Inc., lululemon, and Intel. Several projects he led for Deloitte were Global GNPS, New Partner Pivot, NextGen Partner Program Deloitte China, Present to Win, the RPM project on performance management, and Unconscious Bias.

Tommy holds a BS in Health Sciences from Texas A&M University, and an MBA from Universidad del CEMA.

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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.
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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.

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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.
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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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