Sailing Executive Career Success

At the Helm of Work and Career Success

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the
things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So
throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor.
Catch the wind in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
— Mark Twain

One of my favorite quotes. Whether you’re finding your way in a new job or career… taking your business in a new direction, or an executive leading your organization through challenges to new opportunities, Mr. Twain’s wisdom rings loudly and clearly.
Be bold. Listen to your inner wisdom. Trust life. Trust yourself!

Discover Your Executive and Career Development Patterns

“The outer conditions of a person’s life will always be found to reflect their inner beliefs.” ― James Allen (1864 -1912)

From an author and philosopher who lived so long ago, this quote speaks so concisely to who we are in our work success and lives today.

Whether you’re an executive leading an organization or company, or an individual managing your career, your patterns of beliefs and perceptions are reflected in your work accomplishments and success. These patterns can sometimes hold you back and/or limit your results.  And with increased awareness, your patterns can propel you forward to greater fulfillment, work success, and expanded leadership presence.

Consider signing up for a complimentary Results Accelerator™  introductory session. Your patterns are waiting to be discovered!

The Coaching Hammer — and Why You Don’t Need One

Sometimes when looking to hire a coach, individuals will talk about needing accountability support. Speaking of their frustration, potential clients will sometimes say they are looking for a coach who will “hit them over the head with a hammer” if they don’t do what they say they’re going to do.

If you’re like most people, you have had times of frustration with not moving forward on a particular goal or project. You know what you want to accomplish and the steps for getting it done. And yet at the end of the day or week, you realize you haven’t moved forward, i.e., the article didn’t get written, the phone calls didn’t get made, the filing didn’t happen, etc. At these times, you may find yourself thinking, “If I had someone holding me accountable, I would get that done.”

Accountability is certainly an aspect of coaching. Having someone who is seriously committed to your success is powerful support. Accountability can sometimes be addressed by creating a system, restructuring your time management or organization, delegating, etc. And sometimes, there’s a bigger goal hidden in your agenda – one of missing clarity, conflicting agendas, a lack of confidence, or others.

If you’re thinking of hiring a coach only for the accountability support – looking only for the “hammer over the head”, you may want to ask a friend or colleague to partner with you on this. Find an accountability partner that is equally invested in success — that is reliable and will be direct with you. Set clear goals and check in with each other to champion each other’s progress. The cost is low. The value is yours to determine.

On the other hand, if you want to gain new perspective regarding what has been in the way of your accountability or accomplishment, so that you can step more fully into your potential… If you would like to transform how you bring yourself to your work – to your focus, organization, energy, confidence, etc., hiring a coach may make great sense and be a priceless investment.

If you’re ready to expand your business, leadership, or professional success to the high level that awaits you … Claim your vision. Hire a coach. Go for the big stuff! And forget the hammer.

What helps you with your accountability?

I welcome your thoughts and comments. Please feel free to send an email or post a response. I appreciate the opportunity to share my work with you and value the learning that comes from people sharing their thoughts and ideas.

An Executive Coach’s 5 Tips for Getting into Your Productivity Groove

  1. Embrace energizing goals. You may or may not consider yourself a goal-oriented person. One key lies in finding the “right” goals – the ones that spark your energy and creativity. Here is a “career goal” worksheet to help you uncover and define the New Year goals that will “pump you up!”
  2. Notice your focus. Begin by noticing what takes you “off focus.” Is it a specific time of day? Or are you easily distracted by unopened emails? …Or the happenings on social media? You may need to connect with people. And you may simply be avoiding the task at hand. Acknowledging challenges and addressing distractions proactively can be key to increasing your productivity. Which brings us to…
  3. Have a WIP!  Ground yourself with a WIP (works in progress) spread sheet . One of the best defenses against distractions is a clear list of tasks to return to after being pulled off-track. Email Trish ( for a beautifully-blank WIP to get you started.
  4. Clog Up the Drains.  Not the ones in the kitchen or bath! …but the ones that are zapping your energy. Energy drains such as: a messy office where finding things is taking too much of your time; the regret you have about what you said, didn’t say, did or didn’t do regarding a relative, friend, colleague, etc.; or the indecision you feel about …? well anything. These drains can zap your energy, wear down your enthusiasm and cause your mind to work too hard for only fruitless results. So ease up on yourself. Take necessary actions to clear up or clean up anything that isn’t sitting well with you. Begin with one change. And move on into the flow~~.
  5. Notice Your Thoughts. What researchers notice is that we often quickly and easily believe any negative thoughts about ourselves, but look endlessly for validation of our positive thoughts or traits. The result of all this can undo your confidence and cause you to lead your life, work, and decisions from a place of indecision and doubt. So step bravely and confidently into your attributes and accomplishments! You really are incredible!

Wishing you a new year of happiness, and your perfect goals achieved!

What Women Leaders Offer Businesses

Thank you to @BostonGlobe @BostonGlobeMag for last week’s Globe Magazine issue, “Women & Power.”  The articles, interviews and personal quotes provide a behind-the-work perspective of these women leaders and the wisdom and advice that inspired them along their way.  Hearing from women executives about what they have learned and how they address the challenges of managing a family and personal life while thriving in their careers, offers inspiration and also very real advice.

In a larger context, the article reminds us that the world is not only ready for more women leaders, the time is ripe for torch bearers leading the way to different, more expanded version of what it means to lead.

This expanded concept of leadership addresses more human needs, such as the need for:

  • greater emotional intelligence and self-awareness,
  • appreciation and respect,
  • inspiration and support of individual growth and work engagement,
  • support of a work environment and schedule needs in ways that build trust, foster loyalty, and spark innovation.


From “Women & Power” 

What advice has had the biggest impact on your success over the years? From Maryrose Sylvester, President and CEO, Current, Powered by GE…

VISION   “A number of years ago, a GE leader told me to “find the open door.”  Our business was going through a very challenging time, and his point was that I needed to change my lens and start viewing the struggle as an opportunity….  There’s always an open door; a leader’s job is to find it and guide others through it.”

What words or mission statement do you live by in the workplace?  From Maureen Franco, CEO of Cambridge BioMarketing…

EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE   “My mantra is all about people — success comes down to who you work for, who you work with, and who you hire.  I have never regretted spending extra time to vet a candidate, mentor a rising star, or even closely evaluate the people who were hiring me.  It is crucial that those you work alongside challenge you to think more creatively and strategically.”


How does having more women in positions of power benefit a company?  From Mindy Berman, Managing Director, Investor Group Services…

OPENNESS   “It ensures that a company benefits from diversity of thought and perspective, which research shows results in better decision making.  Women make up a large percentage of the workforce, so having women in power ensures that the leadership can best represent female employees, clients, and customers.”



Trish Pratt,  Certified Executive and Career Development Coach — Greater Boston area

7 Leadership Challenges that Executive Coaches Address Head-on:

Leadership is about influence, and positive, productive communication.  Leaders are called to think in a forward direction, recognizing possibilities for innovation and new levels of purposeful progress.  They are team builders.  They are propellers of energy, engagement, and solutions.  

And leaders are human.  Their behaviors can go out of alignment and get in the way of creativity, connection, and accomplishment.  

Executive coaches support leaders in stepping forward to their vision, and managing the course of direction for their organization or company.

 7 Key leadership challenges that executive coaches support clients in addressing are:  

  1. Leaning away from stale or less than effective strategies to Embrace innovation.
  2. Spending less time in frustration to Manage engagement and energy to stay in flow.
  3. Depending less on tactical communications to Expand their communication style to build more positive and potential-filled relationships. 
  4. Reacting less from old habitual patterns to Respond more from authenticity and other strengths. 
  5. Asking fewer questions from the intention to give advice to Strengthen their capacity to hear what is being said. 
  6. Spending less time “on the fence” of indecision to Build a leadership framework to support solid decision-making.  
  7. Presenting less from pattern extremes to Step further into the power of authentic Leadership Presence.


Trish Pratt,  Executive and Career Development Coach — Greater Boston area

Thought is the sculptor of Leadership

“Thought is the sculptor who can create the person you want to be.”  – Henry David Thoreau

Leadership is about awareness — awareness of our thoughts and behaviors.  When we notice thought patterns that may be holding us back, we can shift these thoughts to help us lean into our power, creativity, and confidence and so open the door to opportunity and possibility.

Noticing our thoughts gives us the power to change them and so change ourselves.

Sounds so easy, doesn’t it?

Trish Pratt,  Executive and Career Development Coach — Greater Boston area

How to Protect Your Company from Employee Poaching

For most companies, their greatest resource is their employees.  The best defense against employee poaching is to know the engagement level of your key leaders and staff.  Do they feel valued,  appreciated  and supported in their career plan?  Do the company’s values reflect more than simply revenues and the “bottom line?”

When the Competition Is Trying to Poach Your Top Employee Great article from @HBR, “When the Competition Is Trying to Poach Your Top Employees” – by Rebecca Knight.

Trish Pratt,  Executive and Career Development Coach — Greater Boston area.

Expand Self-Awareness: Unlock Your Leadership Strengths

Where are YOU holding yourself back?


In his book Life Unlocked, brain and psychology expert, Dr. Srini Pillay (@srinipillay), describes how science shows it’s not simply the fears you’re aware of that can stop you, but also the fears of your unconscious brain.  When unconscious fears get in the way, you may find yourself wondering what happened to your goal, or why you’re not moving forward or feeling energized by your plan.  At these times it’s easy to feel  frustrated, perhaps even stalled out, and distract yourself with a change of direction.

And this is a perfect place for taking greater notice what you really want.  Consider how you can expand and deepen your self-awareness and stay on the path of confidence and fulfillment.  Whether through meditation, developing some awareness practices described in leadership books, or working with a coach, expanded self-awareness will help you see any self-imposed limits for what they are, and lead from your true values and strengths.

Unlock your leadership strengths and claim your career success!


Trish Pratt,  Executive and Career Development Coach — Greater Boston area.

Do You REALLY Believe You Can Change?

Executive Career Coaching Aristotle“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.” – Aristotle

Do you really believe you can change? Not simply change your eating plan or your exercise program, but your communication or management style? Can you react less and respond more? Can you view yourself from a new or different perspective?

Like many, you may (perhaps without noticing) hold the common misperception that you simply cannot change your long-time, set ways of doing things — that your old patterns have been around too long and there is no “real” way to change all these years later. You may wonder if the whole idea of self-change was created by hopeful thinkers with few facts to support the idea.

Motivation towards excellence spawns the desire to change – the desire to shift behaviors to more positive, more effective ways and bring your “best” self to your life, work, leadership or career.

Coaching supports individuals in shifting their mindset to ways that allow and support behavioral shifts by helping them step out of old habits to create new ones. Leadership growth is about growth and self-development, and so change.

Aristotle believed we could change and he was a scientist.

The Power of DISC and Your Career Success: Part 5 of a 5-part series

Career Executive Coaching DISC Logo

In parts 1 through 4 of this series we discussed DISC and how it can bolster career success. We looked at the strengths of each DISC dimension and some of the coaching challenges that can show up with each.

As you read through the brief descriptions, did you recognize a dimension that describes you in your work? Perhaps you saw your strengths in one, clear dimension, such as a D, I, S, or C. And maybe your strengths are best described by two or even three dimensions together? A combination of dimensions is not unusual and a DISC report is based on the measure of each dimension as it contributes to your career success. Along with providing you with specific information regarding where you fall in the DISC model, a DISC report can also provide you with the fifteen most common patterns.

What’s your biggest take-away?

From a Career Development coach’s perspective the most important information here is that the DISC can help you expand your career success in the following key areas:

  • Understanding of behavioral strengths and challenges
  • Description of your ideal work environment and what motivates you in your work
  • Ways to increase your effectiveness at work
  • Understanding of motivating and demotivating factors
  • Strategies for expanding your communication approach
  • Strategies for expanding your management style
  • Ways to increase your sales success

What clients say…

Typically sounds like “I’m amazed that the 24 simple questions captured me so accurately!” Or “How great to see my strengths and challenges listed so clearly!”
If you’re interested in learning more about how DISC might be the perfect support to your career, consider taking this assessment for yourself. It takes no more than 10 minutes to complete and you will have your report within 1 to 2 business days. Mention this post and receive a 10% discount on an expanded DISC PPSS report.

Not quite ready? View a sample report by sending an email via
with “sample DISC” in the content line.


Trish Pratt, Executive and Career Development Coach — Greater Boston Area