081: Leadership Coaching at Fortune 500 Companies with Aviv Shahar

On this episode of Build Your Network, Host Travis Chappell interviews Aviv Shahar. Aviv helps senior leaders create radically new futures.

Here’s what Travis and Aviv discuss in this episode:

  • About Aviv Shahar:
    • The most exciting thing is getting together with a team of very smart people.
    • When Aviv works with those teams, they produce radical clarity, sense of purpose and a set of strategies.
    • Many senior executives in all sizes of companies experience the VUCA environment with a sense of overwhelm.
      • The impact of clarity is dramatic and meaningful.
      • It impacts business benefit, but also people and teams.
    • Aviv’s book, Create New Futures.
      • Two core premises:
        • The currency of leadership is conversation.
        • Strategy is an exercise in imagining the future and working backward.
      • Do organizations reach out to you or do you prospect; how can you tell you can help?
        • Nearly 100% of organizations come to him by word of mouth or referrals.
        • Sometimes there will be conversations that take three weeks and then there’s a project, sometimes it’s 12-18 months.
        • He must produce value up-front even before people make the investment.
        • Mostly his company engages when someone is new to a role or two organizations come together and have to address situations with limited resources.
        • This work has a science-inclined data, but the art of what is possible is also important.
      • Have you seen a common denominator that allowed senior leaders to get there?
        • Most of these leaders struggle with a chaotic environment (velocity of change, technology, etc.)
        • Leaders struggle with internal mechanics of a large company.
        • There are always more needs and demands and less organizational energy to achieve it.
        • All the first three things need to happen while the leader is trying to live a whole life as a spouse, parent, citizen, healthy human.
      • Do you believe that what you know or who you know is more important, and why?
        • In the first 10 years of your life your experience is defined by who your parents know.
        • In the next 10 years it’s defined by who you do and don’t mix with.
        • In your 20’s you’re defined by what you understand by your core competence and the people you choose to pursue things with.
        • In your 30’s you’re defined by your family and what you choose to devote yourself to.
        • In your 40’s you become the product of your habits, rituals and updates.
        • In your 50’s you find out that you’re defined by whether you’re prepared to make a whole new start, or you’ll level off and shift into coasting.
        • It’s a combination of who and what you know, but different phases of life dictate how you pursue who and what you know.
        • Aviv would not be where he is now without the kindness and generosity of the people he knows.
        • He can trace the majority of the work he’s gotten back to less than a dozen of key champions.
          • If you can be that kind of a champion for other people, it’s gratifying to pay back and forward.
        • Tell us about a time a connection became a champion for you.
          • Story #1:
            • In the early 2000’s he was leading a leadership course for the AMA.
            • One of the participants was a leader from Hewlett-Packard
            • He said he’d never experienced that before, could Aviv “HP” that for them?
            • In three weeks he met with HP’s team, it’s not 15 years later and he’s still working with leadership teams at HP.
          • Story #2:
            • He had a conversation on a flight from Seattle to San Jose.
            • Sat by someone on the flight and it led to a series of phone calls.
            • Ended with him engaging with a team from Sysco.
          • The key to building your network is to be curious.
          • Treat everyone the same way, you’ll never know where it will lead.
          • The best most meaningful networking relationships occur inside the confines of living your life.
        • Throughout your career, how important have mentorships and masterminds been for you?
          • He’s benefited from long-distance mentoring.
          • If you’re driven to grow and evolve as a professional, you need a mentor, coach and peer group. They are different modalities.
          • If you’ve never had a mentor or coach or been in a mastermind, look for someone who has a skillset you’d like to develop.
          • You need someone who’d 3-4 steps up the road from you.
          • Look to create value for the mentor in return.
          • The kind of coaching Aviv engages in, the coach doesn’t have to have the exact experience you need.
          • In peer groups, never look to be the smartest person in the room – you’re going to learn a lot less.
          • Your two precious assets are your time and your focus.
            • You must be guided by a profound sense of guidance and purpose.
          • The motto of his life is “an undebriefed action is a wasted action.”
            • First, what worked well?
            • Second, what did I learn?
            • Third, what will I do differently?
            • Fourth, where will I implement the change?

The Random Round:

    • What profession other than your own do you think it would be fun to attempt?
      • Movie Director, Sherpa, talk show host
    • If you could sit on a park bench for an hour with anyone past or present, who would it be?
      • In the ancient world: King Solomon, Jesus, Mary Magdelene.
      • In the renaissance period: Leonardo DaVinci.
      • Early 20th century: Theodore Roosevelt, Rudolph Steiner.
    • How do you like to learn best, books, blogs, podcasts or video?
      • Framing a question and writing.
    • Give us a glimpse of your morning routine?
      • Wake up between 5:15
      • First hour is writing and centering
      • Run for 15 minutes
      • After breakfast, head out to the ocean to run again and swim
    • What is your go-to pump up song:
      • The Sound of the Ocean
    • What are you not very good at?
      • Filling forms, IRS forms or any other.
    • Find him online at avivconsulting.com or on LinkedIn at Aviv Shahar or Twitter or his Podcast Create New Futures.

Tweetable Quotes:

  • “The key to building your network is to be curious.”
  • “In peer groups, never look to be the smartest person in the room – you’re going to learn a lot less.

Resources Mentioned:

Buildyournetwork.co– Podcast website

BYN.media/fb – Facebook Group


Create New Futures Podcast

Create New Futures Book


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