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Posts tagged ‘consulting’

Introverts And The Corner Office

It doesn’t seem fair, at least to many introverts, that extroverts enjoy a significant edge when it comes to hiring and promotions.

In my Friday blog, I shared findings from researchers who use the Five Factor Model (FFM, also called The Big 5) to study which dimensions of personality are linked to workplace success. Conscientiousness and extroversion are far and away the two dimensions most correlated to leadership.

The virtues of extroversion have been written about ad nauseam. So I will turn the tables and focus on introversion.

Introverts, Do Not PanicIntroverts are more effective leaders of

First, do not panic or believe you cannot snag a promotion or succeed in a leadership position – you can. Introverts comprise between 30 to 50 percent of the US population. Many are excellent leaders.

Second, extroversion and introversion are personality dimensions measured on a continuum, and most people land near the middle. Almost everyone is a mixture of the two.

Finally, introverts have secret weapons. When others talk, introverts listen (deeply), which often lead to thoughtful observations, and powerful questions. Because introverts are more likely to think before they speak, their feet rarely need to be dislodged from their mouths. These are all great leadership behaviors.

(To take a free Big Five assessment, click here)

Small Steps You Can Take Today

For those, including introverts, who want to boost their visibility at work, the following tips may help you.

  1. Write down, or better yet share with someone, what your short- and long-term goals are related to becoming more visible at work.
  2. Pick a small group of co-workers you do not regularly interact with, and join in a discussion. This can be done at lunchtime in the cafeteria, or by serving on a committee (Yes, I heard your exasperated sigh).
  3. Ask to make a presentation (or co-present) and highlight department project updates or accomplishments.
  4. Focus on those times when you successfully asked for a date, made light conversation with someone you just met, or spoke in public. Bask in the positive feelings (even if it was relief after it was over) of those accomplishments.
  5. Schedule down time after completing an activity that takes you out of your comfort zone, and assess what worked.

As more people get to know who you are, your sphere of influence grows. This will  help put you in the conversation for new roles and responsibilities.

That’s it. Step into some new situations you have some control over. In time you will be prepared to take larger steps, and move your leadership journey forward.

Gregory Alford, MS. Psy., is founder of Accelerated Coaching & Consulting, LLC., and specializes in business, leadership and life coaching. 

How Driving 140 MPH Can Improve Your Career

The car fought back as I wrestled with the wheel to push the screaming NASCAR down into lane one before taking the second turn at Chicagoland Motor Speedway in Joliet, IL., at 140 mph.

NASCARs do not come equipped with power steering (or brakes) and I was still getting used to the bubbly rumble of its engine, the sticky heat trapped in my helmet, and the energy it took to aim the car.

Civilians can pay for the privilege of driving solo in actual NASCAR vehicles at the speedways  throughout the country. And for a few minutes (five to eight) get to feel for what it is like to drive at speeds of up to 155 mph.

I Am Going To Die

“Why would anyone allow me, a middle age man with questionable reflexes who drives a Prius,  behind the wheel of a race20140711_163446 car and drive about 150 mph?” kept racing through my mind during  training and waiting for my turn to drive.

Those thoughts melted into a mix of terror, exhilaration and extreme focus as I shifted into fourth gear and transitioned from the pit to the apron of the track. After that, I don’t recall breathing – just my mind spewing a string of expletives broken up only by the voice of a spotter giving me instructions through my earpiece.

After making it off the track and out of the car alive, I was elated that one more item on my personal to-do list could now be crossed off.

The Power Of Experience

I have rock climbed, rappelled, played with dolphins, whitewater river rafted, sat with people as they died, kayaked to a bioluminescent bay, hunted poisonous snakes, eaten meals from street carts in developing countries, and stumbled upon a mamma bear and her two cubs while hiking alone in Wyoming.

These and other stretch experiences provide context for the more mundane days and activities of daily life. Benefits of pushing your boundaries include:

  • Confidence to handle adversity and unexpected situations (i.e., “If I can climb a 150-foot vertical cliff without soiling myself, I can make a presentation on short notice without soiling myself”)
  • Understanding there is much more to life than your daily work routine
  • Inspire and educate yourself
  • Positive reinforcement to learn and do new things
  • New experiences add to our creativity

Not that you have to risk life or limb to push your boundaries. Your list could include a camping trip, finally read Moby Dick or relearning how to ride a bicycle. Put your list together and start making it happen and see the difference it makes in you and your work life.

Gregory Alford, MS. Psy., is founder of Accelerated Coaching & Consulting, LLC. 


Gregory Alford, MS. Psy.

My Coach training comes from the International Coach Academy (, as well as a master’s degree of science in psychology, and more than 15 years of service as a marketing, communications and business development executive for several large healthcare organizations. In addition, I have owned two small businesses and worked as a newspaper reporter for newspapers in California and Illinois.

Gregory Alford MS. Psy.

Gregory Alford MS. Psy.

In 2013, I began taking on coaching and consulting clients. In 2014 I followed my dream of personal and professional excellence when I exited an executive position and formed my own coaching and consulting company, Accelerated Coaching & Consulting, LLC.

Based in Naperville, Illinois, about 25 miles southwest of Chicago, I specialize in providing phone and video coaching to my clients. In-person sessions may also be arranged for those who live in the Naperville area.

My Specialties 

I specialize in coaching:

  • Business owners
  • Those currently in leadership positions or transitioning into a leadership position for the first time
  • People seeking to develop more meaningful relationships with their loved ones

Key discovery and action areas of our partnership may include:

  •  Goals clarification
  • Discovering and building your strengths
  • Creating and organizing priorities
  • Work-life balance
  • Managing conflict
  • Values clarification
  • Gaps between goals, values and your style of life
  • Authentic living


I also provide consulting service to help you accelerate the growth of your business with marketing and communications services, which include:

  • Branding audits
  • Re-branding marketing and communications (internal and external) materials
  • Develop messaging for all of  your key stakeholder audiences
  • Starting and growing a social media presence
  • Media relations and media training
  • Culture change communication

Please call me at 815.985.4229,  email me at or use the contact form below for more information or to schedule your free introductory session.

The Accelerated Coaching Program

A Coach Can Help You Change Your Life

Leadership, business and life coaches combine many of the best concepts from management theory, psychology, philosophy, sports and spirituality to facilitate positive life changes. Although there is some similarity, coaching is not therapy, mentoring or consulting. It is a strengths-based approach that empowers you to use your energy and insights to propel your life to new heights.

The Accelerated Coaching program requires you be open to change, complete agreed up action items between sessions, and be prepared to gain greater self-awareness. Over the course of our sessions, we will partner on tapping into your inner strength so you can become a better and more focused business leader, have more energy for your home life, and one the road to a a happier, more fulfilling life.

My Promises To My Clients 

Coaching sessions are values-based, goal-oriented and focus on today and the future.  My belief is everyone has within themselves the answers to increase their happiness, and personal and professional effectiveness. To uncover those answers and find a path to success, I promise to:

  • Be a partner who truly listens, asks questions, and challenge your assumptions to help you lasting change
  • Help you build supportive structures and people into your life
  • Help you set goals and priorities
  • Guide you toward greater self-awareness and sense of purpose
  • Treat our sessions in confidence
  • Share methods and techniques that can increase business and life performance that can be used long after the coaching relationship ends

The goals and outcomes of working with me are up to you. Common goals include:

  • Enhance your leadership skills
  • Balance your work/life balance
  • Better apply your energy to enhance productivity
  • Learn what behaviors work/don’t work
  • Increase work/life satisfaction
  • Enhance self-confidence and personal power

Coaches such as myself who are trained in programs approved by the Internal Coach Federation have a variety of coaching tools to help you create a more fulfilling and rewarding personal and professional life.

The primary service is coaching for business owners, corporate leaders and the general public with a focus on short-term, Accelerated programs. The Accelerated Coaching approach focuses on aligning values and actions, communication, conflict management, team building, and creativity.

Coaching Packages

I accept clients locally and globally. Sessions are in English at a mutually agreed upon time. Most sessions are conducted via telephone or via Skype.  I also offer face-to-face coaching sessions for those in the Naperville, Illinois, area.

You can choose the amount and type of coaching that will best fit into your life.

  •  As part of the Accelerated Coaching Program (ACP), you will receive four (4) fifty (50) minute coaching sessions by telephone, and a written progress sheet following each session via email. These sessions are structured to enhance your self -awareness and put you on the path to improve your personal and professional excellence so you can achieve your dreams. It is easiest if our sessions are conducted at the same time each week.  If you’re in the US, I will call you at no extra charge. International clients will need a Skype account. Cost: $899.
  • Each month of the Standard Coaching Program (SCP), you will receive three (3) fifty (50) minute coaching sessions by telephone, and a written progress sheet following each session via email. This program provides time for a “deep dive” to find and clarify your goals, dreams and desires for your life. The fourth week in each month will be used for personal reflection and recharging. It is easiest if our sessions are conducted at the same time each week.  If you’re in the US or Canada, I will call you at no extra charge. International clients need a Skype account. Cost: $600 per month, or $1,500 for a 12 week program.
  • Also offered is my package that consists of one (1) fifty (50) minute coaching session by telephone, and a session progress sheet. Also included are two (2) email “check in and encouragement” sessions each month. These e-mails include feedback, questions, insight and encouragement. They also include updates concerning your progress.  This program is ideal for those “Road Warriors” who have unpredictable schedules, and those who prefer written communication. Cost: $400 per month.

We can also create a custom package the works for you. Contact me for information.

Successful People Have A Confidence Habit

“And no one will listen to us until weBy Gregory Alford, MS. Psy.

Just as there are no born leaders, no one is born with confidence. It comes with experience and practice. As adults, we have experienced life events that made us feel confident. We may have helped our child with a life or school lesson, reached an important work goal, or finished a DIY project on your home.

While none of us feels confident all the time, cultivating confidence and living more confidently can improve our lives in many ways. A confident person feels comfortable within themselves. They live their values and beliefs and have respect for others and gratitude.

What Confidence Looks Like

  • Openness to new experience
  • Positive energy
  • Calm
  • Influential
  • Action oriented
  • Future focused

The other side of confidence is doubt. While doubt can be healthy, too much of it creates indecision. When we are indecisive, our progress falters and our goals slide out of reach. Doubt can stem from external sources such as negative people, or our own negative thoughts.

Sometimes, simply making decisions, even if they turn out to be incorrect, boost our confidence. Learn from the outcome of the decision and continue to move forward. Simply developing the habit of making decisions builds confidence by moving you from a state of inaction to action.

Also, take a few moments to visualize some of your past accomplishments that gave you confidence.

Finally, practice self care so you feel your best. Self care includes exercise, mediation, hobbies, volunteering and spending time with family and friends. These activities will recharge you and give you more energy to live with confidence.


8 Ways To Banish Self-Doubt And Restore Confidence

By Gregory Alford, MS. PSY.

When we trust ourselves, we remove doubt and open the door to greater achievement.

When we trust ourselves, we remove doubt and open the door to greater achievement.

Each day, many of us play an internal game tug-of-war with self-trust and self-doubt pulling us in opposite directions. When self-trust gives way,  a cascade of negative feelings rush in.

What is Self-Trust?

Author Steven Covey describes self-trust as feeling confident and secure in our lives. Strong self-trust results in deeper a connection to ourselves, our loved ones, co-workers and community. It also is an indispensable part of self-reliance, resiliency and your ability to overcome inevitable setbacks.

Another benefit of enhancing self-trust, is it diminishes doubt. When we give into doubt, confidence and self-esteem are stripped, and energy and momentum are lost. When your thoughts tell you, “no,” “not now,” or “this is too hard,” when you want to take action – it is doubt talking.

Fortunately, you can improve your self-trust in many ways, including:

  • Make and keep promises by setting small goals and tracking achievements
  • Focus on what actions led you to achieve previous  goals
  • Develop support structures and habits that encourage achievement (i.e., self-care, calendars, checklists)
  • Visualize success
  • Choose to believe in yourself!

There are also things you can stop doing as well, such as:

  • Paying attention to negative people
  • Comparing yourself to others
  • Worry about what others think of you

Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it. We all need help getting unstuck every once in a while. Be kind to yourself and reach out people who love and support you, a coach or therapist to help your build self-trust and confidence so you can achieve greatness.

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