Who we are

Nicki Roth

My education and career have focused on how people think and act individually and collectively. I have fancy degrees and impressive clients. I have worked in most sectors, domestically and abroad. Those are the boring details.

 

The more interesting ones are about the success of my clients. Through meaningful conversations, people were able to gain insight and new approaches to change longstanding interpersonal habits. They were able to move past obstacles and unproductive patterns that kept them stuck. Getting unstuck propelled them to achieve greater things; organizational results, relationships, promotions, admiration.

 

I understand how we are wired separately and how messy it can get when there are ten of us trying to get stuff done together. I know how to bring out the best in people and how to tame the demons that can sabotage our efforts. My super power is a sincere curiosity to hear people's stories. By asking questions and deeply listening we are able to uncover the solutions to complicated issues.

Gavin Fenn-Smith

 

The traditional part first: I have worked in many countries and with many types of organizations around the world. Like Nicki, I had a fine education. I have observed leadership in many contexts and have written about some of those in multiple thought pieces over the years. And I coach at the MIT Sloan School of Management, and the MIT Leadership Center. With Nicki, I co-created a leadership model specifically for non-profits. 

What about the real me? I am one of life's observers. If I am in a cafe, on a train or in an airport, I want to watch what other people are doing. I tend to listen much more than talk. I find human beings infinitely fascinating and I'm amazed what we can learn if we just pay attention. 

 

So I put a lot of my energy into understanding other people. And I am committed to helping others be the best they can be. 

 

What's more, I know a thing or two about leaders and leading. And I can help people leverage what they do well, and limit what is unhelpful. 

What We Do

Leadership Coaching

Executive Team Coaching

Keynotes and Events

Done well, coaching can propel you into the next phase of your career. Done poorly, it has no impact at all. A good coach is someone you connect with and challenges your usual ways of thinking and acting. The sign of your success is when your colleagues are eager to work with you instead of avoiding you like the plague. 

A high performing executive team does not happen by chance. It is hard work. At the heart of a great top team are productive relationships and an ability to be of service to the whole organization rather than just a departmental view. Once that collaboration across boundaries kicks in, big things start to happen. (We use a combination of team and individual coaching to accelerate the learning and changes.) 

Leadership events can be catalytic moments or they can be deadly dull. We design and facilitate all kinds of leadership gatherings. We lean towards electric experiences that can carry over into the real work long after the session is over. We also deliver keynote talks about leading and leadership. We tell stories from the trenches and offer a fresh and pragmatic view of the realities on the ground.

How we think about leading

Decades of work has convinced us that what is missing in most approaches to leadership development is a strong emphasis on the human aspect. So we have tucked all our organizational tools (like change management and org design and engagement processes) in our back pockets and focus most on what it takes to create productive relationships. We speak plainly and supportively about establishing rapport. We believe that this is what all the best leaders are able to do. We've seen it and want to generate more of these types of leaders in the world.  

Psychological Safety is creating an environment where people feel comfortable speaking their minds without negative repercussions. 

Curiosity and Connection is having a thirst to learn as much as possible about people, situations and the world.

 

Collaboration and Teamwork is when we subsume our individual ego needs for the good of the whole team and organization. It is about playing well with others.

De-coding and Differences is being able to accurately read the signals others send and embracing and deploying all the ways in which we are different.

Voicing and Conflict is being able to find and use your most effective voice and bringing that to the important work of debating ideas. 

PSYCHOLOGICAL SAFETY

Admitting shortcomings and mistakes / Being aware of and managing emotional reactions / Keeping your ego in check / Learning from feedback / Showing kindness towards others / Not punishing or lashing out at others for failures or mistakes