David Achata is a coach, trainer, facilitator and speaker. He brings over a decade of experience in organizational leadership, team development and leadership training. He has facilitated and spoken for a wide variety of training events and retreats.
What you should know
Where you focus determines your reality.
Spiritual leaders have been saying this for thousands of years. Jesus said that if your eyes are full of light, then so will the rest of your life. But if your eyes are focusing on darkness, then the rest of your life will be that way too (Matthew 6:22). Similarly, an ancient Chinese proverb said it’s better to light a candle than to curse the darkness. Where’s your focus?
I worked with a brilliant leader recently who was tasked with an almost insurmountable task. “I don’t think it can be done,” he said. Then he proceeded to tell me all the data that pointed to how impossible it was to accomplish the job. After listening and asking questions for a while I challenged him with, “what would have to be in place in order to pull this assignment off?”
Good leadership is like good parenting. It’s that simple.
The wrong assumption many leaders operate under is that they’re dealing with adults who are self sufficient. The reality, however, is that people are imperfect, messy and in need of help to do their best work. It doesn’t matter how brilliant a person is, the word “team” implies working together, not in isolation. If you are leading a team right now, step back for a moment, read these words and ask yourself how you are doing.
I came across an article on the Tech Insider web page titled, “Science says parents of successful kids have these 13 things in common.” I’m a dad, so that got my attention.
Today I saw a great TED talk on the surprising habits of original thinkers. Watch this short video to learn the difference between idea doubt and self doubt. It’s not that great leaders are any more confident than the rest of us. Truth be told, they doubt their ideas, but not themselves. They pick at them and improve. They try and they fail. But what sets them apart — they keep trying.
Here’s a little encouragement this weekend — you can always try again. “In the long run, our biggest regrets aren’t our actions, but our inactions.” Enjoy.
I know a former CEO who had mastered the art of feedback. Even when he had to fire someone, they would leave his office thanking him. People looked on and marveled at his ability to do this. When asked how he could do this so well his response was simple, I just helped them see things objectively.
We work in a world where people often struggle to be direct. In this short blog, I want to share a tool that’s helped me and many of my clients deliver clear, honest and direct feedback.
Yesterday, I read the satirical article the Boston Globe put on their front page about what America would be like if Donald Trump were president. What was disturbing about it was that it was full of real quotes from Trump himself.
The age of telling, teaching and talking is over. We’ve stumbled into a new world where if you don’t know how to tap into the ideas and knowledge in the room, you’ll come up short.
For a long time, the corporate world has been driven by linear processes. Anyone who doesn’t follow the procedure gets axed. But what if there’s a better way? What if those on your team know how to do things better? How do you tap into that?
In my work with leaders and teams, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard sighs of appreciation that I came listening and asking questions as opposed to primarily telling and teaching.
I’ve been a big fan of Zappos because of their ability to recognize tribes and harness their power. Additionally, to be willing to experiment moving forward by doing away with managers and empowering the people shows how much they want their organization to thrive and be owned by everyone. Recent research shows, however, the no-manager organization did not work. Their experiment has shown that managers do have a vital place in organizations. With that said — how are you investing in the development of your managers? Research by google showed that workers with the best managers performed better and had lower turnover. Invest, invest, invest. I can’t say it enough.
What others are saying
I’ve used David as an executive coach both for myself and members of my team. David is innately inquisitive which is well suited for guiding professionals toward self awareness with the ultimate goal of improving their effectiveness. In addition, he’s been useful in group settings teaching the principles of execution. The time spent with David has been comfortable, genuine, informative, and engaging.
The organizational survey and assessment that David performed was invaluable for our firm. David not only helped us identify key areas of focus, he also worked with us to develop an effective action plan that resulted in continued improvement in the strength of our corporate culture. Given that we grew from approximately 450 to 780 employees in a just few years, we are very appreciative of the understanding that we realized through Achata Consulting. David is someone that we will continue to work with.
We hired Achata Coaching to help us get a bearing on the overall health of our expanding organization. He and his team did an excellent job helping us discern our places of organizational strength and areas where we needed growth. Their assessment helped us develop a plan to move forward while improving the effectiveness of our work. I’d recommend David to any organization seeking clarity on where it is at and how to move into a healthy future.