In the business world you hear constant talk of differentiating yourself and your business. How to differentiate yourself is not hard. If you are a leader you outperform your peers. If your company has a culture of leadership you will out perform your competition.

What is hard is being a leader and creating a leadership culture. What does it take? It takes starting with a solid foundation:

  1. Establishing your vision
  2. A ruthless assessment of where you are today
  3. The soul searching process of validating your values
  4. Taking consistent disciplined actions to live by and run your organization aligned with your values

Easier said than done. Do you know of any individuals or organizations that articulate and consistently live by their values? If you do, I will venture that they are high performing trusted individuals and organizations and seen as leaders.

What actions are you taking to develop yourself as a leader and develop a leadership culture for your organization? If your actions are not based on the foundation of values what is the foundation? Set a solid foundation for your actions otherwise you are destined to be in the middle of pack – just ordinary.

Leadership differentiates you and your organization from the ordinary.

Career Change

What if you had clarity about where you are going with your next career transition and why? What would the impact on your life be if your home and work lives were in balance, your current position capitalized on your strengths, and your career path was fulfilling your values and life purpose? That is the goal of transition coaching, to assist you with your career change.

I want to help you get on that path by introducing you to transitions coaching. Your first question probably is: What does transition coaching look like? I will give you the general framework I use to guide my transition coaching. However, every engagement is unique and tailored to meet your specific needs.

My Transition Coaching Process

As a formally trained professional coach I provide support, encouragement, perspective, strategies and accountability to support you in achieving your desired results. I provide the coaching, and you do the work. My process is built on the well-researched scientific foundation of Intentional Change Theory. You will start by defining and discovering your “ideal self” and future situation. That definition will intentionally drive your transition to your new career or position. This process is not about resumes and networking, it is about you discovering what would be ideal for you based on your strengths, values, and what is important in your life.

For maximum growth the recommended engagement time is six months with coaching sessions every 2-3 weeks. Some engagements may be shorter, however shorter engagements may limit the overall success. My minimum engagement for transition coaching is four sessions. A typical six-month engagement for transition coaching looks like this:

Session 1

A two-hour session. We set the agreement for the engagement, establish the relationship, explore your strengths, focus areas, and overall goals. Generally sessions after the first are for one-hour unless you would like longer sessions

Session 2

We will focus on the vision you have for an ideal transition. Working through a process you will define your vision for an ideal transition. In this session values and life mission or purpose are explored.

Session 3

We build on session two and we will continue to gather more data. That data may be self-assessments or self-reflective exercises. The goal is for you to build your self-awareness and take inventory of your strengths and gaps compared to your ideal vision. Relationships that will provide support, help, and encouragement throughout the process will also be explored. Using the acquired data a learning agenda is built to set the path to pursue your vision.

Session 4 & Beyond

Consist of working through the learning agenda; setting goals, taking action, experimenting, developing new behaviors, evaluating successes and making adjustments as needed to achieve the vision. Values, strengths and progress towards your vision will be constantly revisited and assessed. Health, self-care, balance, and family life are integrated into the process.

The Final Session

This is where the engagement is extended or closed and plans for next steps are put into place to ensure continued growth towards your ultimate vision.

The Result

The result is clarity about where you are going with your transition and why. You will have also developed a plan to take charge of putting your home and work lives are in balance, finding a position that capitalizes on your strengths, and determine a career track with the potential to fulfill your values and life purpose.

Want to learn more? Contact Gary Slyman at Great Transitions Strategies at:

Are you a leader or are you just in charge?

  • If you do not understand this question –  get in touch with me
  • If you do not know how to tell the difference – get in touch with me
  • If you are just in charge and want to be a leader – get in touch with me

“What is my return on investment?” As a business owner you constantly ask yourself this question. Here is a case study of a startup that made the investment in a professional coach.


You have the experience, the technical expertise, and are accountable for your people and the results of the organization. Are you fulfilling the responsibilities of the leader?

Reflect on the following:

Do you feel your responsibility as a leader? To reach a leadership position you must have a number of prerequisite skills and experiences. But to truly be a leader you must feel the responsibility of your position. Military leaders readily talk about how they feel the responsibility of keeping their charges safe. Business owners clearly feel the internal pull their responsibilities have on them. Until you feel that strain – you are not a leader you are merely in a leadership position.

Take the perspective of a subordinate; ever observe a leader who did not feel the responsibility of leadership? Put that picture in your mind and recall what it looked like. Did they truly care about the critical issues? Did they resolve challenges no matter the personal cost, or were they able to walk away with the intent to resolve it later. The responsibility of leadership is a selflessness that puts others and the mission before self.

Leaders carry the burden of responsibility and can feel its gravity. Good leaders do not buckle under the load, but shoulder it without complaint. How does your leadership responsibility feel and look? Do others see the responsibility of leadership on your face? Should they?

Do you take action on your responsibilities? At times the burden of responsibility can be paralyzing. The information is not perfect and the results not always positive, however being responsible requires taking action. Sometimes your action may be incrementally small, while other times grave and drastic. Nonetheless, action is required, based on the reality of your situation and your position as a leader. Action establishes your credibility as a leader. Fail to act and you undermine your credibility. How do you act on your responsibilities?

Do you own your responsibilities?  You alone are responsible for your decisions, actions, and inactions as a leader. Ever experience a leader who would not take responsibility for their own decisions or lack thereof? How do your subordinates talk about you in this area? Respect is garnered by taking responsibility.

There are many facets of being a leader, with few being more important than accepting and acting on the responsibilities of leadership. How did you do with this short reflection? If you don’t feel the weight of your leadership responsibilities, if you don’t act on them, and own them, you are not a leader. You are merely standing in front of a group.


The best performers in every field have a coach to optimize their performance. Why don’t you?

If you want to accelerate your professional growth or the growth of your organization/startup/business stop by our office hours for a free 30 minutes coaching session. Explore any area of your life or business you want to improve or just experience what coaching is and what it can do for you.

Sign up at:…/1df3uzUvGzsJ58eKX7MAZsto3Id…/edit…

You will meet with Gary Slyman a professional coach, leadership educator, and trainer. His focus is to empower you to transition to the next level of performance by developing your leadership capacity. For more information go to: or contact him directly at:

It is difficult to find a leader who would answer the above question with a “No”. However, how do those you lead and serve know you care and what you care about? There are two ways to communicate your level of care: The depth of your commitment and level of accountability to your vision, your work, your teammates, and your customers communicate – you care.

What is meant by commitment? It is doing the small things consistently correct. Attention to detail in your interactions is contagious to those around you. It sends the universal message that details are important. The more you know about your endeavor and those with you on the journey, the louder the message. When you tend to details of your vision, your, work, your teammates, and customers those around you sense – you care.

The depth of your accountability and to whom is the second element that transmits – you care. As a leader you are accountable first to yourself for your vision and work. Being true to yourself takes care of any superiors you may answer to. A close second are teammates and customers. Being able to look your teammates and customers in the eye and be accountable for your work ethic, performance, and results sends the clear message – you care.

Put the theory to the test. Pick two leaders that stand out to you as caring. Think of an icon and one of your leaders.

An icon that comes to mind is Steve Jobs. He was committed to making Apple into a force that delivered life-changing products. He was known for his relentless obsession with details, how employees performed, each product, and the Apple experience. On commitment it was clear – he cared.

On accountability, he was just as relentless. He set the vision for the company and pursued it with passion, being his own worst critic. He used continuous feedback from within Apple and customers to improve products to reach new standards. Demonstrating accountability to his teammates and customers. His methods and the fervor with his approach invite much criticism. However, there has never been any doubt – he cared.

Now put yourself to the test. Take time to reflect and provide specific examples on the following questions:

  • How committed am I to the details of the organization I lead?
    • My vision, my work, my teammates, and my customers
  • What is the depth of my accountability for my vision and work to:
    • My self, my teammates, and my customers

Consider receiving feedback by using the above questions as a 360-degree evaluation. Have your teammates and customers answer the same questions as you just did. Does the thought of asking and receiving this feedback make you nervous? Consider this: everyone except you already knows the answers. It will show your commitment and increase the depth of your accountability. Take the risk and get the feedback. It shows – you care.

How many Startups or businesses have you seen fail because of the relationship between the leadership team?

If there were specific actions you could take to almost guarantee a positive relationship amongst your leadership team, would you take them?

John Gottman, PhD a relationship researcher has developed the ability to predict with over 91% accuracy the success or failure of marriages for the subjects in his studies. Through his research he identified seven principles that are predictors of healthy lasting relationships and documented them in “The 7 Principles for Making a Marriage Work.”

As founders the relationship with your cofounder or leadership team is a marriage. You go through the best and the worst of times together and are committed to making your business work in sickness or health. Read or better yet listen (multiple times) to the audiobook and apply the 7 Principles. Applying the 7 Principles to all your relationships, not only your leadership team, will dramatically improve the probability of success for your business.

What are the 7 principles? Here is the link to a short clip of Dr. Gottman at the start of a workshop listing the 7 Principles:



Leadership Coaching Workshop: The Gift of You as A More Capable Leader for 2017

Wednesday, 11 January 2017, Dupont Circle, 10th Floor Conference Room 10I

1875 Connecticut Ave, Washington DC

If you could do ONE thing to make yourself stand out as a professional would you do it?

Come grab your morning coffee and join Professional Coach Gary Slyman for a free interactive workshop to begin accelerating your growth as a leader. The two goals of the workshop are:

  • To help you build the vision of the leader you want to be
  • To help you assess your current leadership capabilities

This workshop will bring the benefits of thoughtful introspection, increased self-awareness, and the foundation for your leadership development journey, for 2017.

Program Schedule   9:00 AM – 11:00 AM

9:00 AM – 9:30 AM Check in and grab a cup of Joe

9:30 AM – 10:30 AM Presentation

10:30 AM – 11:00 AM Q&A and Wrap up

If you were asked “Do you have specific moral principles that guide you as a leader?” The inevitable answer would be: “Of course I do.” I bet you would probably be able to rattle off a list. But what does that mean? Recollect the most challenging moral dilemma you were faced with in your professional career. Now reflect on the following:

  • How were my moral principles applied in the event?
  • Was I flexible with my principles?
  • What did I learn about my principles and myself?