I was coaching Sanjay,* a leader in a technology firm who felt stuck and frustrated. He wasn’t where he wanted to be at this point in his career.
He had come to our coaching session, as usual, prepared to discuss the challenges he was currently facing. This time, it was his plan for conducting compensation conversations with each of his employees. After a few minutes of listening to him talk through his plans, I interrupted him.
“Sanjay, you’ve had these kinds of conversations before, right?” I asked.
“Yes,” he said.
“And, for the most part, you know how to do them, right?”
“Yes,” he said again.
“Great. Let’s talk about something else.”
“But this is what’s on my mind right now,” he protested. “It’s helpful to think it through with you.”
“I’m glad it’s helpful, Sanjay,” I said. “But you don’t want me to be merely helpful. You want me to be transformational. And focusing on what’s top of mind for you right now is not going to get us there.”...
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