CU Insight: Real Conversations – The Five Questions Worksheet

As published in CU Insight When I ask executive audiences, “How many of you know that you need to have a conversation but you have been putting off actually having it?”, almost every hand will raise. Maybe your direct report hasn’t delivered the report when he said he would. Or perhaps you noticed how a newer team member has been a courageous voice on a challenging project. Whatever it is, we know we need to get better at addressing the real conversation, in real time, and to do so directly with the person or people involved. However, not many of us are comfortable doing so. Many prefer to avoid confrontation or any form of conflict. We are also surprisingly inept at sharing the positive impact others have upon our lives and/or the incredible contribution of their work. There are so many great things we think and feel about others that we simply do not share. For some, sharing the positive impact others have can be even more challenging than sharing the things we want them to do differently or better. After all, why provide feedback that sounds like praise? Isn’t it their job to get the work done well? We [...]

By |2020-11-06T10:08:46-08:00November 6th, 2020|Leadership Communication, Self-Mastery|

CU Management – Leadership Matters: How We Build and Break Trust

As published in CU Management. Practice these leadership fundamentals to consistently convey your intentions, competency and reliability. Although many of us have had to deal at some point with a senior manager who seemed to lack morals, empathy or sincerity, the majority of organizational leaders are not compulsive liars and cheats, out to pull one over on the rest of us. Most leaders are healthy, well-adjusted adults who have invested greatly for the opportunity to contribute to their chosen profession and industry. They are often highly educated, competent and want to do the right thing. They are you. Why, then, does a lack of trust plague so many professional relationships, teams, departments and organizations? As we work at leadership level, we might notice that we still have these kinds of thoughts: “He is so frustrating to deal with.” “I don’t like her.” “We can’t count on the sales team.” But what we are really saying is that the person or people involved have not fulfilled some necessary level of trust: “He is so frustrating to deal with because I don’t trust him to follow through.” “I don’t like her because I don’t trust that she has my best interest at [...]

CEO Magazine: What Can Only You Do?

Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should. I know it feels quicker or more rewarding to do it yourself: to answer that question, respond to those emails, and/or solve the problem of the day. However, every time you jump in and do something that others could do, you detract from your work, work that only you can do. You also hinder others from learning, leading, and working at their appropriate level. We each have only eight to ten good working hours per day, so it’s imperative we leverage ourselves first, and then coach and develop others to do the same. Start With You What are the two or three key things someone at your level of leadership needs to be spending the majority of his/her time on? What is your real job? What is it that only you can do from your title and position of power? Where do you need to show your face because your presence matters enormously? What communication can only come from you? Where do you currently spend the majority of your time? Look at your calendar. What changes need to occur? What do you currently do that really needs to be owned [...]

By |2020-09-30T15:52:07-07:00September 30th, 2020|Global Leadership, Latest Articles, Leadership, Leadership Coaching|

The Secret of Exceptional Coaching

I have spent the better part of the last 19 years teaching mid-to-senior-level leaders how to more effectively coach for performance. My clients have included thousands of successful men and women in some of the world’s best organizations. These talented professionals have advanced degrees, upwards of 40 years’ of leadership and management experience, and sometimes even advanced coaching certifications. Many consider themselves to be highly skilled at coaching. Some are, most are not. It is not that all of these exceptional men and women do not understand what great coaching entails. Having asked thousands of leaders in many parts of the world to tell me about their own personal best coach—someone who had a profound and significant impact on them becoming the person and professional they are today—I know they understand it well. Some tell me about their mother or father, a grade school math teacher or football coach, a first boss, or, better still, their current supervisor (although I hear this less frequently than I should). When I ask them to tell me about the character of their own best coach, the relationship they shared, and if there is something that this coach did or said that they still [...]

By |2020-03-06T01:55:16-08:00March 5th, 2020|Leadership, Leadership Coaching, Leading Culture, Self-Mastery|

The CEO Magazine – Up Your Mental Game For Your Strongest Business Year Ever

This article first appeared in The CEO Magazine 2019. Up your mental game for your strongest business year ever When stress builds it becomes harder to relax and enjoy your downtime. It’s time to take back control of your thought processes so you can raise your mental game. A number of clients have recently shared that last year turned out to one of the hardest. Whether their situation involved a merger, an acquisition, a significant restructure, a new (and much bigger) job, and/or a significant family illness or loss, it seems that many today feel that life is becoming more challenging and complex, and that fulfillment and success are more elusive than ever before which impacts your mental game. I feel so anxious on Sundays. Why did I spend my entire weekend ruminating over that conversation? Why do I struggle so much in being present at home? I am not sure I am having fun anymore. During the course of a single day, we each handle countless relationships and tasks, and then judge ourselves ad nauseam. We might feel grateful for a special moment we enjoyed with our partner, be excited we won the big deal, and feel on top [...]

By |2020-02-06T13:09:02-08:00February 6th, 2020|Leadership, Self-Mastery|

FORBES – Become A Better Communicator: One Simple Change That Changes Everything

As published in Forbes.  Listen to others speak, and one of the first things you will notice is how often people use words like “we,” “you,” “one” or “they” when they are really talking about themselves. For example: We are getting frustrated … You try to connect with millennials, but … If one hasn’t bought into the idea, then … They might not trust him … One of the smallest and most powerful changes we can make to significantly improve our communication is to replace these four words with “I”: I am getting frustrated … I try to connect with millennials, but … I have not bought into the idea, so … I don’t trust him … This one simple change changes everything, and it has a big payoff. When I speak from my own experience, my listener(s) experience me as more authentic, transparent and, often, trustworthy, all qualities we seek and expect from those we work with and through. Using “I” creates more trust because it actually is a more honest way to communicate. When I use the word “I,” I no longer get to hide behind vague identities like “one.” Instead, I immediately take ownership and accountability by [...]

By |2020-01-29T12:01:48-08:00January 29th, 2020|Leadership, Leadership Communication, Leading Culture, Self-Mastery|

Keynote At Pebble Beach: The Inner Game of Executive Leadership

This past November we gave a keynote to 40 CEOs of some of the largest credit unions in the United States. The #1 and #2 “Best Places to work” in the entire nation were among them. The event was held at the beautiful, world-class Pebble Beach. What we shared with our audience, we will now share with you. You are a success. You have reached the pinnacle of success. You are a C-suite/executive-level leader of a value-based organization that serves thousands, no doubt positively impacting many more people in the communities and businesses in which you operate. Well done! It is extremely important to your future leadership impact and success that you really accept this acknowledgement. Why? Because what you do inside of yourself you will do with others out there. If we cannot acknowledge, validate, and champion ourselves, we simply can never do this well for others. In your role, it is imperative that you easily and frequently acknowledge, validate, and champion those in your care. Nothing could matter more than you feeling good. And by good we mean whole, loved, enough; valued, seen, recognized; alive, excited, inspired… Why? Simply because your life matters. Because you feeling good will [...]

By |2020-01-29T11:44:15-08:00December 1st, 2019|Leadership, Self-Mastery|

Leadership impact: Let’s get real, arrogance won’t get you anywhere

Featured in the May 2019 Issue of The CEO Magazine, Executive coach Susanne Biro from Syntrina Leadership shares what it takes to be an impactful leader with CEO Magazine.  There’s a question I routinely ask potential clients because I want to understand what led them to seek out an executive coach: “Why are we speaking?”“Well, apparently I’m an asshole.” This is an answer I have heard countless times, sometimes verbatim and sometimes couched in politer words. “Are you an asshole?” I inquire. We both laugh. “Yes, I suppose I can be.”“Hey, me too. We all can. Here is your coaching: stop doing that.” Again, we both laugh.We then get to work, exploring all that is occurring for the executive: the challenges of leading in a global marketplace; the politics playing out at the senior leadership level and the resulting lack of trust; engagement and specific results throughout their organisation.And this is to say nothing of their personal life and its complexities, which might include raising children, caring for ageing parents or coping with divorce, illness and death.“What is actually happening within you?”The answers to this question vary greatly but the essence is always what is happening within each of us: our personal histories are impacting our present [...]

By |2019-05-16T09:06:52-07:00April 23rd, 2019|Global Leadership, Latest Articles|

Richard Branson’s Necker Island Inspires Launch of Executive Leadership Firm for Credit Unions

Richard Branson's Necker Island Inspires Launch of Executive Leadership Firm for Credit Unions Executive Development for World Class Leaders Indianapolis, IN – July 23, 2018 – Credit union industry leaders announced today the launch of Syntrina™ Leadership, a newly formed partnership with experienced executive coaches. Syntrina provides one-on-one coaching services for C-suite and executive-level leaders, as well as custom-designed, expert-facilitated leadership development offsites to create stronger leaders and more effective teams.  Syntrina’s mission is to guide executive-level leaders towards initiating positive change across organizations and around the world through their own self-development. The idea of building a network of experienced coaches and authorities on leadership was born over dinner one evening at a retreat held on Sir Richard Branson’s Necker Island in June of 2017 when Susanne Biro, a master leadership coach, Christopher Beltran, a serial entrepreneur, and Carrie Birkhofer, a credit union CEO, discussed how the world could be a better place if there were more compassionate, kind, and thoughtful leaders like Branson. A year later, nine seasoned executive coaches and leadership development practitioners were united to form Syntrina with the goal of positively impacting the lives of executives by showing them a better way to process information, view themselves, and influence people and profit. [...]

By |2018-08-02T06:49:08-07:00July 24th, 2018|Press Releases|

Richard Branson’s Necker Island Inspires Launch of Executive Leadership Firm

Richard Branson's Necker Island Inspires Launch of Executive Leadership Firm Executive Development for World Class Leaders Indianapolis, IN – July 23, 2018 – Syntrina™ Leadership, a newly formed network of experienced executive coaches and thought leaders, announced today new one-on-one coaching services for C-suite and executive-level leaders, as well as custom-designed, expert-facilitated leadership development offsites to create stronger leaders and more effective teams. Syntrina’s mission is to guide executive-level leaders towards initiating positive change across organizations and around the world through their own self-development. The idea of building a network of experienced coaches and authorities on leadership was born over dinner one evening at a retreat held on Sir Richard Branson’s Necker Island in June of 2017 when Susanne Biro, a master leadership coach, Christopher Beltran, a serial entrepreneur, and Carrie Birkhofer, a credit union CEO, discussed how the world could be a better place if there were more compassionate, kind, and thoughtful leaders like Branson. A year later, nine seasoned executive coaches and leadership development practitioners were united to form Syntrina with the goal of positively impacting the lives of executives by showing them a better way to process information, view themselves, and influence people and profit. The company [...]

By |2018-07-31T10:31:28-07:00July 24th, 2018|Press Releases|