Leadership Development Influences: Rob Meyers
All leaders begin somewhere. Along the way, they accumulate a few pivotal relationships and experiences to whom and to which they are able to trace their development as leaders. There is no denying the importance of these people and situations—leadership development influences—in the formation of leaders.
As you would expect, the same thing is true of our team members at Rozzi and Associates. We thought we’d capture some of the highlights of our most significant leadership development influences in a series of posts.
Here’s what Senior Coach Rob Meyers had to say about his leadership development influences.
Rozzi and Associates: Who has made the most profound impact on you as a leader?
Rob Meyers: This is a difficult question for me, not because others haven’t made an impact upon me, but because I don’t necessarily view myself as a leader. I don’t have a team of people reporting to me so I’m not a leader in the traditional sense. I’m a coach, through and through. So, if you define leadership in terms of influence, I can go with that.
A few people I have worked with over the years have made a big impact on me as a coach and influencer. One person comes to mind immediately. Early in my career, back during my time in sunny California, I had the privilege of working with Bev Woods. She was the Executive Director of the Mountain View Chamber of Commerce. One of the greatest things about Bev was that she demonstrated to me through the consistency of her own example that influence is all about relationships. She modeled the power of genuine relationships in everything she did. That’s been the pathway for me as a coach. She demonstrated to me what it was like to be someone who influenced others through the power of relationship.
There are lots of other people I could name. Carolyn Parrott and Michelle Morettini are two former coworkers who also left their mark on me. The fact of the matter is that who I am and what I do as a coach is an aggregate of what I’ve seen and experienced in so many of the people I’ve had the pleasure to work with over the years.
Rozzi and Associates: What experience has most profoundly shaped you as a leader?
Rob Meyers: I’m not an ivory-tower, academic kind of coach. Most of what has shaped me as a leader has simply come from the experience of the regular, boots-on-the-ground work of coaching clients. I’ve been shaped profoundly by simply learning about people—their circumstances, their motivations, their ambitions, and even their struggles—and helping them figure out in which direction they want and need to go. It sounds simplistic, but I’ve been shaped most profoundly by the thousands of hours I have spent listening closely to my clients in order to understand their dynamics, what makes them tick. For me, there’s been no substitute for careful, in-depth study and knowledge of people.
Rozzi and Associates: What one thing do you most hope to pass on to the leaders you’re developing?
Rob Meyers: The main thing I want to pass on to the leaders I coach is a greater degree of self-awareness. I want them to be ever more alert to how they are coming across in influencing others.
In Marshall Goldsmith’s What Got You Here Won’t Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful, Goldsmith writes about the bad habits that stifle people’s careers. I completely agree with him. I’ve seen this dynamic at work time and time again in the people I’ve coached. There are so many seemingly harmless things that people do and they simply don’t realize that they are holding them back. People generally don’t understand how they come across. Subtle things like eye rolls, tones of voice, frowns, shrugs, or sighs can really hold people back when they happen in the wrong time and place.
A good coach can help a client become more self-aware. When I’m working with clients, I don’t want to change who they are. However, I want them to be aware of what they are doing and how it is causing others to react. It’s about balancing being genuine while keeping the appropriate filters on.
Let’s continue the conversation. Think about the people and experiences that have been most effective in shaping you as a leader. Maybe you have emerging leaders around you. What are you doing to develop them? Maybe you would benefit from having someone who is dedicated to your development. At Rozzi and Associates, everything we do revolves around our desire to help good leaders become great. Get in touch. Let’s talk about how we can support you in your development.