Becoming a Best Boss Workshops
We are experiencing high velocity growth and the many changes that comes with it, including an almost entirely new C-Suite. We’re committed to 50% growth next year as well as embracing a new servant leadership culture. That’s a lot to take on, and I knew we needed help.
I contacted several trusted colleagues asking for recommendations, and I interviewed several providers accordingly. One of my colleagues had just used Thomas Cox for a leadership offsite and recommended him highly. I spoke with Thomas and he impressed me greatly, so I hired him.
Thomas came on site and led a half-day session for our executive team plus the extended leadership team — a total of 15 people — on Leading Strategic Change.
The results were tremendous. Three things especially stand out.
Number one was, the interaction and involvement of all the team members. Participation was very strong and genuine. We are a new team so this was a crucial opportunity to build cohesion. The session also gave us a shared language for dealing with the high velocity strategic changes we’re putting ourselves through.
Number two was, the commitment from each participant at the end of the meeting. Thomas challenged everyone to pick one thing to do differently, and follow through with one new action, and they each found a tool or a lesson to take to heart, and we each committed out loud in front of each other to tackle something significant. Every change that each person took on, is in support of our new culture.
Number three was, Thomas facilitated masterfully. As a new team we really needed to have some big conversations, and several came up during the highly interactive Best Boss training. Thomas was able to pause the curriculum and create a safe space for us to say what needed to be said, to hear each other accurately and honestly, and to build an enormous amount of mutual trust and goodwill. (He did it so flawlessly that I don’t think any of us noticed until afterward that we’d departed from and then returned to the agenda.)
(And number four, Thomas was a hit with the new President and my colleague the head of HR, and my direct boss the head of Operations. He made me look terrific. We’re already planning to bring Thomas back and use his Best Boss materials in the new year.)
For any organization that is going through any sort of change, whether downsizing or culture change or rapid growth, I encourage you to reach out to Thomas and have him deliver the amazing transformation of Becoming a Best Boss.
— John Sanders, Regional Vice President, Sono Bello – Body Contour Centers, Kirkland, WA
I highly recommend Tom Cox. He has a solid grasp of systems strategy, and his understanding that success comes from focusing and repairing the inner workings of a business can only be dramatically helpful. I’ve known Tom for a while now and although I rarely offer testimonials, confidently recommend his consulting services.
— Sam Carpenter, Owner, Centratel, “The Highest Quality Telephone Answering Service in the United States”
“Your consultation has made a bigger difference than any other consultant we have ever had. You taught us the discipline of what not to say and when, as much as what to say, and with the appropriate timing for it to be said. We still run our meetings using the techniques you introduced.”
— Hank Barton, CEO, Forest Dental
Tom helped me raise my coaching game. With my most junior manager, I used to offer him ideas and suggest solutions. Now I’m much better at coaching him to find his own. I can see him improving and gaining confidence as a result.
— Cloy Swartzendruber, Sr. IT Manager, City of Portland
I simply wanted to extend a personal thank you and straight out say, “you rocked!”, as a speaker during our Welocalize Business Conference in Portland on Monday. Your two cents on human nature and communication spoke mountains, valleys, and oceans to me. I was engaged 100%. Thank you.
— Carolina Haro, WeLocalize
Sitting down with Tom was like being struck with a lightning bolt of great ideas – he is sharp, powerful and full of energy and truly helped me skyrocket my planning to the next level! An hour with Tom receives my highest recommendation.
— Dave Rose, restaurateur
Always be grateful for the people in your life. I’m super grateful for my coach, Thomas Cox. His belief in me and his willingness to stand behind me and push me to be the person I was meant to be is amazing. He is one of the most caring, yet structured and efficient coaches I’ve ever met. He sees my weaknesses and finds solutions on how I can overcome them.
— Cathey Armillas, co-author of The Unbreakable Rules of Marketing
Tom, thank you for the huge difference that you made in my life. A year ago, I felt lost and sometimes hopeless. I stepped down from my manager role to individual contributor, to gain experience and figure out what to do next. You gave me valuable tools to start digging deep into my own mind and learn more about myself. From simple recommendations to write down thoughts, meditate, and be willing to make myself vulnerable, even to listen to podcasts in my free time.
I followed those recommendations. I have been consistent and persistent and after 6 months, I got the promotion that I thought would take me 1 to 2 years. Now, I’m preparing to take a new position [within my firm] and relocating to Texas. I start the new job on 10/01. So again, thank you!
— Edith C.
“Tom, I followed your advice regarding writing — it was fantastic. By following your guidance, I was able to get my ideas on paper fast and without self-editing every word. This drastically shortened the time it took to go from my initial idea to the outline of my final article.
Bottom line, I got a better article faster and with much less effort. I’d recommend your system to anyone looking to write professional articles quickly.”
— Emily Clark, “The Supple Rider” The Posture Professional
Tom as a Trusted Advisor
A year after starting my own consulting business I wanted to take what I’d learned as a new entrepreneur and revisit the business strategy and positioning. I realized I needed a trusted advisor to guide me through this process. I met Tom while attending a workshop that he was presenting and was immediately impressed by the thoughtfulness of his presentation. We met a couple of times to discuss my needs and as a result I decided to engage Tom to help me to think through my business model, brand and business name.
Tom worked with me closely in a series of sprints in which we made rapid progress on each of my top three priorities. Tom was able to speed up the work by introducing several extremely useful tools at appropriate points in the discussion. These tools helped me to think through and clarify the issues and are tools which will continue to provide value.
In three weeks I had identified and committed to my target market, I had worked out my market positioning statement, I selected and registered my new business name. I even registered the domain name.
Working with Tom was extremely energizing. I like the velocity at which he works and his ability to draw out his client’s strengths. This rapid work invigorated me, increased my wife’s confidence in my new business and helped me to structure my discussions with potential partners in a way where I can now clearly and confidently present my business.
If you’re stuck on a crucial point or could use a second set of eyes and a second brain, invite Tom over for coffee and a conversation.
— Simon Bosley
Tom as an Executive Coach
“This Monday morning I came into the office at 8:45 and walked around to check in with my staff. I saw something that made me smile.
Today was different — by 8:45 everyone was already here. And they were all working with intention and purpose. The whole energy of this place is different, and better.
I know a big part of the reason is the work we’ve done with Tom Cox. Thanks, Tom.”
— Doug Fish, owner, Fish Marketing
“Tom’s coaching was instrumental in tripling my revenues in three months. While distractions pop up literally every day, Tom has helped me keep focused on the daily tasks critical to my company’s success.”
— Erik J. Hopkins, owner, Empower Digital Solutions
I am new to the position of HR Manager for a wholesale distribution, multi-location, multi-state corporation. My management responsibilities are payroll, HR and accounts payable. Other areas include some IT, special reporting from inventory sales software, and ordering printed forms. All this is causing me to feel scattered and unable to focus on things enough to feel in control. I desire to do very well with my new position and grow it into a part of our Executive Team. I asked Tom for help to become more focused in order to get the big, proactive things moving forward and not just continue to put our the hottest fires. I had a great 30 minute coaching phone call and I came away with specific things I can implement right away.
Every serious business professional should take Tom up … you will not be disappointed!
— Karen G.
Thanks a lot for sharing your tips on how to ace an performance improvement plan.
This July, to my great surprise, I was put into a performance improvement plan by my manager. I had no idea about what went wrong because he never complained about my performance. I did not know how to proceed because I found so many faults in his poor management style. All the articles online seem to indicate a PIP is an end to a job, especially in tech companies like mine.
Then I was lucky enough to find your articles. Instead of focusing on the faults of my manager, I improved my locus of control. I tried to understand their interests, and actively involve my teammates in my projects. It was a bit awkward at the beginning; however, towards the end I was comfortable working with the team again. I missed a few deadlines, but I educated my teammates to understand the constraints of my projects. By improving my locus of control, I become a more proactive person and an active team player.
I am really grateful for your free tips. It saved my job and helped me become a better person. Thank you so much!
David C., software engineer, Los Angeles
Tom’s direct work with clients:
“I learned more about my business from Tom in two hours than I learned on my own in the last ten years.”
“The most valuable thing I got out of this entire day was understanding a new process for strategic thinking that ensures success.”
“Good buzz all around – people had fun, AND seem very committed to working on our assignments. Over the years, I’ve attended many workshops on communication, conflict, etc. Yours was, hands-down, the most productive and engaging.”
— J. Norton
“Useful, thought-provoking, and inspiring.”
— Laura Z.
“…engaging and intense…”
“Thank you very much for the work you did at Finishing Technologies on Saturday. It is apparent that you are truly invested in helping turn us around. Your energy was contagious and you made me think of ways to make myself a better person and employee and how to help the company. I look forward to seeing you guys around Fin Tech!”
— Katie Priester
Been listening to your podcasts (and taking notes) – good stuff. […] I’ve been sharing it with … friends/clients.
“The two things I found most helpful were: (1) discovering that there was general agreement among the team on what our problems are and what direction we are going to take to solve them, and (2) we had the opportunity to focus on what we could do right now to make our future better.”
— Matt E.
“The session helped us broach and define difficult subjects, in a manner that was surprisingly comfortable.”
“We were able to identify workable solutions to what appear to be chronic or systemic problems. And we got personal assessment tools for all members that were actually useful and that provided clear roads of improvement for all. I believe we are an even stronger team than before the session.”
“A smart, no bull**** guy. Very informed. Likes challenges.”
— Wm Leler
“Tom Cox has worked with my company repeatedly over the last eight years. We have found that he can identify problems that the rest of us are too close to see clearly, come up with solutions, and make them happen. He is knowledgeable and is an excellent writer and speaker. We have found him upbeat, professional, and a pleasure to work with.”
— Sonia Lyris
“Tom has been an enormous help to us understanding our business processes and finding improvements to enhance our operations at the eMarket Group. Tom brings a depth of experience, both managerial and technical which is rare to find.”
— Devin Ben-Hur
“Tom is able to handle issues efficiently and consistently. He is a great resource for any company looking for ‘balance’ in their organization.”
— John Cusimano
“Tom is a disciplined, well informed business professional. He knows his stuff. He understands the business world and understands how to get the most from it. His experience in politics gives him a perspective of how things should get done. He can contribute to any enterprise that he is involved in.”
— John Amundsen
“Tom is a man of his word–a man who means EXACTLY what he says.
Tom is exceptionally comfortable with the person he is. As a consequence, therefore, he is secure enough to recognize, welcome and cultivate genuine talent.
Tom is an amazingly driven man. Most particularly, driven to ensure that the world, as he perceives it to be, is better for his daughters and others.
Tom is professionally unconventional in the most appealing and interesting way–really looking forward to seeing more of this!
Tom is extremely FAIR.”
— Tiffiney Miner
Top qualities: Great Results, Personable, Expert
“Tom helped us out at a time when morale was scattered at best. He helped get my team balanced and on the same page and get some projects done. During his time with us we established measurements to gauge outcomes of our work (customer satisfaction, doctor satisfaction, benchmarks of productivity, etc.) Our procedures manual was also updated under his keen eye. I highly recommend Tom as a consultant!”
— Dr. Gregory Eckel
Top qualities: Great Results, On Time, High Integrity
“Business Communications – I’ve made use of Tom’s extraordinary skill as a writer and communicator for several high profile tasks. These included a cover letter for a resume, three PowerPoint presentations to crucial audiences, a major policy revision and a letter warning my CEO about a significant risk to the organization. In each case, Tom has made me look great. Each of these letters and presentations needed to be high-impact. Each had to strike just the right tone. And in each case people have gone out of their way to tell me what a great document each one was. The executive secretary of a powerful committee told me my warning letter was one of the most impressive letters she has ever seen. I know that my communication is helping my career. Part of my success comes from knowing when to bring in talented professionals like Tom. He’s worth every penny, and then some.”
— Nicole VanDerHeyden
“Working with Tom on multiple projects over the years has truly been a selfish existence. Tom’s unique ability to connect focusable and productive relationships is a quality that has more than paid dividends. Tom is someone I would recommend to provide productive and fresh insight directed primarily at solutions arrived through understanding often unseen internal strengths or paths toward such.”
— Greg Burnett, Owner, The AD Agency
Tom as a Speaker:
“This was the best audience participation presentation I have ever attended … Tom was able to keep the group focused”
— ODN Participant
Honestly, your speech yesterday was one of the best we have heard at our Rotary Club.
I am really looking forward to you presenting a comparable presentation to the MBA students I teach at Marylhurst University.
All the best and thanks for a wonderful presentation.
— Jim Boyle
Thank you for your time on Wednesday afternoon. Your program was beneficial for everyone there. Our board meeting last night, actually used some of your “tips”, since we had some constructive conflict. The feedback I had from the group was wonderful, and a few members thought it was our best program this year. Thank you again.
To: Senior Leadership
I am writing my colleagues on the Senior Leadership Team to urge you to attend next Monday’s meeting. Tom Cox will be speaking on conflict and communications, and I can’t recommend him highly enough. I had the privilege of hearing him speak at a recent Rotary meeting, and I must say that he was one of the best speakers that I have ever heard, particularly on issues related to dealing positively with conflict.
Tom as a Radio Interviewer:
I spoke with Tom about our new book Step Up: Lead in Six Moments that Matter, on May 15th, 2014. Tom was very well informed, had thoroughly read the book and had thoughtful and interesting insights and questions. The part I found most interesting and indeed enjoyable was Tom’s ability to draw on his extensive knowledge of the leadership topic to make connections and draw parallels with other relevant authors and ideas. I certainly learnt a thing or two by talking with him! We wrote the book in a pragmatic and applied way and Tom completely ‘got’ that and was able to bring that to life during our interview.
– Dr. Colm Foster, PhD, Senior Associate, Dynamic Results, LLC
I want to tell you how much I enjoyed being on your radio program today on the topic of how CEOs and CIOs can work together more effectively. You are an outstanding interviewer and it made my role as the guest much easier. You were able to keep me on track and keep the conversation moving very effectively. It was one of the best interviews I have been part of thus far.
If there is anything I can do for you in the future, or any additional information you may need, please do not hesitate to contact me.
William Speir, Author
Tom brings out the best in his guests, gently pulling the precious gems they contain for leaders of today’s workforce. He is knowledgeable, professional and engaging – his radio show is all about learning leadership the easy way. Interviewing with Tom was amazing, he truly is a leader of leaders.
-Pamela Cournoyer, CEO, Communicate with CLASS
“Tom is a wonderful radio interviewer. He is conversational, asks great yet simple questions, he awaits your answer without interrupting, and provides smooth transitions throughout. I wish every radio interview was as good and enjoyable as the ones I’ve done with Tom.”
Tom as a Coach
Like everyone, I know I have “blind spots” — things I have no idea are part of me, that limit me in my personal and business relationships.
I was struggling in my relationship with my business partner, and I felt it was because my partner wasn’t communicating clearly and completely.
When I told Tom Cox that, he challenged me — he asked if I had created an environment where it was safe for my partner to do that, or if I had created an environment that might make it uncomfortable or difficult to be transparent.
Out of Tom’s coaching I was able to see specific things I could do to dramatically improve communications and my overall relationship with my partner. We now talk more freely, say what’s on our minds without upset, and work together to easily resolve the issues that come up.
Tom Cox is my close up camera, focused on my blind spots, giving me the insight to deal with things I would otherwise be oblivious to. I have seen him in action many times and his coaching skills can transform business relationships. I highly recommend him.
Gabe Fasolino, Principal