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|

FORBES: The Thrill of Seeking Mastery

As published in Forbes. Photo credit: Lori Ann Hansen Photography As a senior leadership coach, I am a human behaviorist, an avid reader and a life-long student. I know that working on myself is a critical requirement for effectively helping others. I would like to tell you that this work has always come naturally and easily to me and that I have been a willing and eager student of myself, but that would be an outright lie. Only a decade ago, I recall telling my professors, who had strongly encouraged me to visit the on-staff counselor, that although I was certain that kind of professional help was needed by my classmates, I myself did not require it. I am sure they struggled to keep a straight face. The irony now is not lost on me. Here I was completing my master’s degree so I could advance leaders by having them look at themselves and how they interact, react and impact others, while I was unwilling to do the same. Worse, I actually believed I had no personal work to do. Now, that is the definition of arrogance. Today, I still struggle to master myself in terms of my inner thoughts and [...]

FORBES: More Humanity. Not Less.

As published in Forbes. Every true act of leadership has only one purpose: to make life better. As such, leadership is rooted in our humanity. It is curious then that so often we hide ourselves within a professional mask of what we think we ought to do and be, only to lose connection, both with ourselves and the people we are meant to serve. When we approach leadership, human “resources,” recruiting, coaching and professional development via mechanical methods, we generally miss the mark entirely. There are a lot of good leaders today. However, too often they lack the one quality that would make them truly great: their humanity. You see, being human is hard. Perhaps the hardest thing we ever do. After all, we seek leadership positions to fulfill our desire for power, control and authority. Yet to be human is to be weak and vulnerable, something most of us fight against our entire lives (and why we love superheroes, as they allow us, if only briefly, to escape our very limited human form). We don’t really understand the power of our humanity until life forces us to our knees, generally through challenging events like job loss, divorce, aging, illness [...]

By |2017-12-20T09:45:13-08:00December 20th, 2017|Leadership, Leadership Communication, Self-Mastery|

TEDx Talk: Leadership. Lessons Learned in a Barbershop

My TEDx Talk, a tribute to my beautiful mother, Elfie Biro (1945 – 2007).Years ago I wrote this post for my mother to capture all I learned about business by working in her barbershop. She loved it! I am so glad she got to read it before she died. I am certain she would be over-the-moon to know that her lessons continue to live on in me and in the work I do with senior level leaders. I sincerely hope you enjoy this talk and that it reminds you that love is power. May you journey well. With love, Susanne.

By |2017-12-18T12:14:04-08:00December 17th, 2017|Leadership|