Leadership Coaching

Today, I’m Writing to You from The Future

Futuristic Coaching

Looking Back At 2017

Seriously, I’m in the future and I’m looking back at 2017. My top Strength is called Futuristic®.  Futuristic® translates to Visionary. I’ve always seen down the road further than most people. This skill serves my coaching clients well when I'm working with them on developing a career road map that will impact their career future.

Look at a few "C" level job descriptions. Leadership job descriptions routinely ask for Visionary, Strategic, Leadership. 

To make this delivery even more powerful, I slip in my number 2 Strength, Strategic®. When I add this strength to my Futuristic®, I’m able to not only see down the road, I’m also able to build strategic paths to get from here to there.

Futuristic® IN Dallas, Texas

Four years ago, I spoke at a technology event in Dallas, Texas.  Following my talk, a "C" suite executive came from the back of the room to speak with me. He recognized my Futuristic® message and said: "I need that". When I asked what it was that he needed, he replied, "I need all of that and whatever you might have in your back pocket."

I've been privileged to work with this "C" suite executive in a coaching capacity ever since. This is where he is today after working with me to understand his Strengths, to improve his Self-Awareness and to improve his Emotional Intelligence.

• I now pick up on other’s behaviors that I
didn’t notice before because I was too busy
focusing on myself.
• You learn to break through other’s acts. It’s
like you learn the code to decode other’s
sincerity or lack thereof.
• I’ve become much more efficient and
effective in my relationships.
• Knowing your Emotional Intelligence causes
you to make a lot of adjustments to yourself.
• Developing EQ has pushed me to learn how
to be a Strategic leader and I no longer feel
the need to convince others that I know
— "C" Suite Executive

Just to be fair, it turns out that the person who made his way from the back of the room is also Futuristic® and Strategic® as I am. We've worked hard to achieve what you just read above.  This is not how the "C" Suite leader was thinking when we first met.

Futuristic® in Denver, Colorado

Just over three years ago, I stood in front of a group of smart cyber security professionals as their invited speaker. I talked to this group about the importance of Emotional Intelligence (EI) or sometimes called, Emotional Quotient, (EQ) and how working with a skilled Emotional Intelligence Coach to develop higher EQ would become a career differentiating decision.

Futuristic® in Las Vegas, Nevada

Three years ago, this month, I stood in front of a group of “C” Suite executives in Las Vegas as a speaker. I talked to this group about moving past sole reliance on their high IQs to develop high EQ as well. Did anybody hear me?  Yes, a few people did.

Articles I’ve read recently predicting the future in 2020 and 2025 suggest that Emotional Intelligence is a hot skill to possess in the future.

Experience the Future Now!

The 2020 and 2025 articles aren’t wrong. I became trained and certified to coach Emotional Intelligence skills in 2014 because I saw EQ becoming a must-have set of skills not for 2020 or 2025 but for now.  Right now, in 2017.

Don’t Procrastinate

Yesterday, I received a message from someone I originally spoke with in August of 2015.  I distinctly remember the 2015 conversation. I recall that the person on the other end of my phone resonated with what I was sharing at the time but he didn’t take immediate action. Our conversation centered around Self-Awareness, Strengths, and Emotional Intelligence topics.

Yesterday’s message to me from this person read like this:

“Jeff, I’m ready for some professional coaching if you are still providing consultation. My number is xxx-xxx-xxxx. I’ve learned a lot the past 2-3 years, the hard way. I should have called you sooner.”

Do It Now!

The issues referenced in this email include this person’s Strengths, Self-Awareness and his need to develop more polished Emotional Intelligence.  I can help this person today. I could also have helped this person two years ago and he likely would have been able to skip some of the lessons he has learned the hard way”.

Looking Back From the Future

As I look back at 2017 from the future, I’m 100% certain that those high IQ professionals I’m privileged to serve today, where we’re working to develop stronger Self-Awareness and stronger Emotional Intelligence, will already be ready for action when 2020 and 2025 arrive.

The truth is that those who engage in this type of coaching today will be well-ahead of the curve when 2020 and 2025 arrive.

Don’t wait for tomorrow to do what you could do today. That’s my Activator® (Let’s Go) speaking!

Jeff Snyder’s, Jeff Snyder Coaching Blog, 719.686.8810

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Encouragement: Something A Person Can Never Receive Too Much Of

Thumbs Up.jpg


I try very hard to load my Monday morning schedule with calls that will get my week started off with a bang!  This past Monday was no exception.  Yes, this is a testimonial from one of my coaching clients but in reverse, what my coaching client delivered to me was encouragement on a silver platter. 

When was the last time you passed on encouragement to someone else on a silver platter?  Do you have any idea how much your actions or words of encouragement might mean to someone else? 

Just spent my first hour on the phone with Jeff Snyder Coaching - motivational, inspirational, eye opening, validating, humbling, and completely NOT what I was anticipating for a first call!  It was SO MUCH more!  I came away with insights and pragmatic, practical, tools I can put into action in my work/relationships starting as early as today! 

IF you are willing to go there, Jeff will provide you with the “code” and he’ll help you crack open the door to possibilities and the journey that lies ahead of you.  BUT, ultimately, it’s up to you, to take that first step and then follow through with a commitment to taking action on the insights, resources, materials, and strategy that Jeff will place at your fingertips.

Jeff, Thanks for the investments you are making in people lives.

PS: If like me, you’re 50 plus with some insights on life, Jeff’s coaching will give you a whole new edge on leading the upcoming generation. We can all learn a thing or two.
— Mark Scoular, Executive Director

This testimonial came to me by way of me digging as deep as I possibly could to deliver value to this coaching client. This is the same value I strive to deliver to each and every one of my coaching clients.

I can’t wait to tackle next Monday’s loaded schedule!

Jeff Snyder’s, Jeff Snyder Coaching Blog, 719.686.8810

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Courageous Leadership...is it in You?

Courageous Leadership


Dictionary.com defines Courage like this: the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear; bravery.

Many authors have suggested that leadership requires courage.  The Clifton StrengthsFinder™ specifically isolates and measures a person’s courage in a trait called Self-Assurance®.

The Clifton StrengthsFinder™ defines Self-Assurance® like this: People exceptionally talented in the Self-Assurance® theme feel confident in their ability to manage their own lives. They possess an inner compass that gives them confidence that their decisions are right.

More than 16.7 million people globally have now taken a Clifton StrengthsFinder™ assessment. When 15,000,000 had taken a Clifton StrengthsFinder™, I crunched some interesting numbers.

Out of 34 traits, Self-Assurance® comes in at number 33 in terms of how often it shows up in a person’s Top 5 traits or themes.  Out of 15,001,435 StrengthsFinder™ assessments, Self-Assurance came up 710,060 times in assessment taker’s Top 5 Traits.  This number equates to .047% of the time.

When I dug further, I found that for men, Self-Assurance® came up .061% of the time in their Top 5 themes. For women, Self-Assurance came up .025% of the time in their Top 5 themes.

Self-Assurance®, as measured by the Clifton StrengthsFinder, ™ is a powerful influencing theme.  What this means is that people who have this trait and people to turn this trait into a strength are specially equipped with a talent that fits well in leadership roles.

If you lead or you want to lead, find out where the Self-Assurance® falls among your 34 traits on the Clifton StrengthsFinder™.

Don’t stop once you find out. The power behind the Clifton StrengthsFinder™ occurs when a person:

  • learns their potential strengths
  • when they take ownership over their potential strengths
  • when they turn their traits into strengths and
  • when they properly aim their strengths towards work or activities where they can produce the best version of themselves

This is what an experienced Strengths Coach can do when you engage with them in their Strengths Coaching methodology.

Jeff Snyder’s, Jeff Snyder Coaching Blog, 719.686.8810


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The Limitations of an Executive Leadership Coach

Stop Sign

Coaches who are gifted and talented to deliver the services they deliver can help their clients to take quantum leaps forward.

However, even the world’s most gifted coaches have a limitation 100% of the time. Dr. Marshall Goldsmith who wrote the book “What Got You Here Won’t Get You There” is one of my mentors.  On more than one occasion, I have heard Dr. Goldsmith suggest that unless someone wants to change and is willing to do what is required to change, there is no coach in the world that can make that person change. 

Dr. Goldsmith’s advice when a coach meets someone who isn’t willing to get out of their own way to face change is to walk away and to walk away quickly. If someone doesn’t see their need to change or they see the need but they don’t want to devote energy and efforts towards making change occur in their life, they are not coachable.

I always ask prospective new clients if they are teachable and coachable and then listen very carefully to their response.  If they’re not teachable and coachable, it doesn’t matter how large my results pile is, this person will not achieve the same results as my previous clients.

A while back, I received a call from someone who found me on LinkedIn. His introductory statement was a question. 

“Am I correct to believe that you do both recruiting and coaching? Please understand that I am not interested in any of the coaching services you offer that come with a fee attached.”

As I sat at my desk looking at this individual’s average resume, I had to bite my tongue and I remembered the advice from Dr. Goldsmith.  I was deeply challenged to not say a word when I already knew what the caller’s new resume could look like and I knew how much more effective his new resume would be in opening interview doors if he would simply trust me to guide him.

If you ever consider the idea of working with a coach, first ask yourself if you are ready to do what it takes to achieve positive change.  If you are not, there is no reason to invest your hard earned money with a coach. 

If on the other hand, you're ready to move forward and you're just not sure what that means and you're ready to be teachable and coachable, the right coach can help you to take quantam leaps forward that you might not have been able to achieve on your own.

Jeff Snyder’s, Jeff Snyder Coaching Blog, 719.686.8810




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She's Rare, She's Valuable, and she has Unlimited Potential!

Coach for Women in Business

While reading an article in the New York Times, I ran across a sentence in the article that grabbed my attention.

“In a capitalist economy, the market rewards things that are rare and valuable.” CAL NEWPORT 

Last week I was privileged to have coached four women who all work in the cyber security profession.  They are all exceptional in their own ways.

One of the tools I use in my coaching practice is the Clifton StrengthsFinder Assessment.  In less than an hour, this tool shows me exactly and precisely how each of my clients are uniquely built.  Every time I review a new client’s StrengthsFinder results, I get to look at traits that are both rare and valuable.


One client in particular whom I worked with last week has more than one trait in her top 5 Traits / Strengths that are both rare and valuable.  When these traits are weaved together, she is a special person.  

By the way, the Clifton StrengthsFinder is made up of 34 traits.  Each term that describes a trait belongs to the Gallup Organization and is Trademarked.  Traits near the top of one's Clifton StrengthsFinder report have the potential of being turned into Strengths.  This is what Strengths Coaching is all about.


Command is my client's number 1 trait.  Out of 34 traits that make up the Clifton StrengthsFinder, Command is the trait that comes in at number 34 in terms of how often it is found in the top 5 on a StrengthsFinder report.  

The Clifton StrengthsFinder assessment has now been taken by more than 15,000,000 people around the globe.

  • For men, Command shows up in the top 5, 3% of the time. 
  • For women, the Command trait shows up in the top 5, 2% of the time.

To say that my client who has Command at the top of her Strengths profile is an anomaly is an understatement.  The reason I say that is that our traits / strengths do not work by themselves.  They work with the other traits / strengths that surround them.


Also showing up in my client's top 5 traits is Self-Assurance.

  • For men, Self-Assurance shows up in the top 5 traits / strengths 6% of the time.
  • For women, Self-Assurance shows up in the top 5 traits / strengths 2% of the time.

Is my client starting to look like a rare and valuable contributor to you?  She is!


One more trait that shows up in my client’s top 5 traits / strengths is the Competition trait. 

  • For men, Competition shows up in the top 5 traits / strengths 16% of the time.
  • For women, Competition in the top 5 traits / strengths is much more rare showing up only 2% of the time.

What does this picture tell me as a Strengths Coach?  My client’s top traits / strengths are both rare and valuable. The client described above has huge up-side potential that is virtually limitless. 

The company that hires this naturally gifted leader will see multiples on their return on investment.

Jeff Snyder Coaching, Strengths Coaching, 719.686.8810


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“I’m an Alpha Male” he told me

That’s what my caller told me during our conversation.  I’m not sure how you define “Alpha Male” so here's what came to my mind. 

I interpreted the comment in context of this conversation to mean that the person on the other end of my phone had a need to tell me he was a “Big Dog” and he was used to being in charge. 

The Alpha Males and Alpha Females I know who are impressive leaders may feel the need to tell others they are “Alpha” but they turn on their Impulse Control and they don't say what might be on their minds.

The "Alpha" leaders I know through my leadership coaching work more often than not possess the Command strength near the top of their StrengthsFinder report.  

Command as defined by the Clifton Strengthsfinder:  People exceptionally talented in the Command theme have presence.  They can take control of a situation and make decisions.  

Only 5% of the +-15 Million people who have taken a Clifton StrengthsFinder have the Command trait showing up in their top 5 traits.  Out of 34 traits that show up on the StrengthsFinder report, Command comes in 34th in terms of frequency. Command is rare.

Successful "Alpha" people tend to operate with these characteristics:

  • They inspire trust by being honest and by demonstrating high integrity
  • They are decisive
  • They have vision and they are able to clearly communiate their vision
  • They are people whose words you might not like but you always know where they stand
  • They are humble
  • They’re leaders

Leaders don’t need to tell others that they’re leaders.  They simply do what leaders do.

Jeff Snyder Coaching, Leadership Coach, 719.686.8810

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He Has a New CISO Role...What Will He Do First?

Jeff Snyder Coaching

The CISO stepped into a new role in a new company.  It was time for him to strategically plan what kinds of first impressions he was going to make.

In this new role, he needed to develop a strategy for managing up, across and down.  The first group that needed his attention was the team he inherited.  He had not hired anybody on his team. Each team member was in place when he arrived.

The last CISO’s performance left many people on the team sitting on the fence.  Would they stay or would they go?  They were all waiting to see how their new boss would be the same or how he might be different from their last boss.

Fortunately for the CISO, his strategic plan was far more of a plan than the plan most CISOs carry with them to a new employer.  His plan looked like this.

·        He worked with Jeff Snyder at Jeff Snyder Coaching to become super-clear about his own Strengths and just as clear about the areas where he might need help. Through Jeff’s Strengths Coaching, the CISO knew exactly and precisely what he had potential to be great at and where he needed to delegate.

·        Not knowing anything about the team he inherited, he had each person on his team take a StrengthsFinder assessment to gain an instant understanding of how each of his team members was uniquely wired.

·        The CISO worked with Jeff Snyder to gain an understanding of how his unique strengths would work well with his team member’s unique strengths.  Just as important, the CISO wasted no time in discovering how his unique strengths might clash with some of his team member’s unique strengths.

·        Now that the CISO understood how he was wired and how each of his team members was uniquely wired, he immediately scheduled one-on-one time with each member of his team.  This was the smartest move he could have possibly made because the last CISO rarely invested time to communicate.  Immediately, the CISO moved the fence sitters to a point where they decided to stick around to find out what the new CISO was all about. Instead of guessing as to which team member to delegate to, he delegated with a well-thought-out plan and immediately empowered people on his team.

·        Over time, the CISO worked with each team member to put each person in the right position…a position that aligned best with each team member’s natural strengths. 

·        The CISO retained every team member he wanted to retain.  For those who were not in the right positions and an appropriate role could not be created, the CISO helped each person who needed to find a new job to do so without them having to worry about repercussions. 

·        The CISO did everything he possibly could to engage with each and every member of the team he inherited.  He got the right people in the right seats so everyone could deliver their best performance.


Jeff Snyder Coaching

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IQ Gets You Started…EQ Takes You Further

Emotional Intelligence

Cognitive IntelligenceEIQ is Cognitive Intelligence. Cognitive Intelligence involves the ability to reason, plan, solve problems, think abstractly, comprehend complex ideas, learn quickly and learn from experience.

Emotional Intelligence

EQ or Emotional Quotient (Emotional Intelligence) is a set of emotional and social skills that collectively establish how we perceive and express ourselves, develop and maintain social relationships, cope with challenges and how we use emotional information in an effective and meaningful way.

The Professor

A conversation I shared a while back with one of the smartest people I know shed light on a topic I set out to master a few years ago.  I have a relationship with someone who has a PhD in Math.  He was once a college math professor.  He’s worked in government circles and he has worked in private industry as a management consultant.

We got into a conversation one day where I learned about the early part of my friend’s career.  As a young college math professor, he learned the hard way that his high IQ wasn’t enough to make him successful.  He told me that he wished I’d come along to teach him about the value of people and relationships long ago.  He learned the hard way.

Stick With My Mission He Said

This amazingly smart former professor encouraged me to stick with my mission of wanting to help gifted, high IQ technology professionals to help them get to the next level in their careers by addressing their people skills, relationship building skills and for some, their leadership skills.

Jeff Snyder, Certified Emotional Intelligence Coach, 719.686.8810


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Jeff, Are You a Career Coach, Life Coach, Executive Coach or Something Else?

Jeff Snyder

Recently a technology professional came to me asking me what kind of coach I am.  That’s a great question and one I’m happy to answer.   I'm a coach who has a track record of success of helping my clients get from where they are to where they want to go.  

For some people, I’ve been a technology career coach.  For others, I’ve been a security career coach.  For some people I’ve served them as a Resume Coach or a LinkedIn Coach.  For others, I’ve helped them as a Strengths Coach and an Emotional Intelligence Coach.

For the most part, I’m skilled, trained and certified in multiple ways to help my clients get from where they are to where they want to go.  When I built my coaching programs from the ground up, I started with the end in mind.

I went to business leaders and asked them what they needed in people coming up behind them.  I went to the subordinates of business leaders to find out exactly and precisely what they wanted, needed and expected in someone they would submit to and follow as a leader.’

With this information in hand, I either got busy creating methodologies attached to solutions to solve the problems I already knew how to solve or I surveyed the marketplace to find what I consider to be “best in class” tools and assessments to assist me in helping myclients. 

More than training and certification, many of my coaching clients would tell you that I am “gifted” to coach.  Here’s specifically what a few of them have shared on www.JeffSnyderCoaching.com.

Coaching Gift

There are two things I'll guarantee to any of my coaching clients.

  1. I will do everything in my power to lead my coaching clients to their desired results.
  2. I will never take on a coaching assignment where I do not have the expertise to provide value.

Jeff Snyder Coaching, 719.686.8810




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Effective Leadership Is Easy To Spot...

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  • Trust from the leader’s followers is clearly evident.
  • They consistently operate with integrity that others can count on.
  • They speak and followers know they can trust what they hear because of a past connection of words and actions by the leader.
  • They possess the ability to see down the road in order to guide decision making in line with what the future might present.
  • Humility takes place of arrogance and comes across to others as healthy confidence.
  • Their positive influence is felt by people below them, across from them and above them.
  • They can briefly step into someone else’s shoes to consider the other person’s point of view.
  • They let others contribute and they let others win even when they already have the answer.
  • They are invited to share their expertise and they don’t push their expertise on people who didn’t ask to hear about their expertise.
  • Others feel this person is looking out for their best interests.
  • Credit, appreciation and acknowledgement is given where credit, appreciation and acknowledgement is due.
  • They possess enough impulse control to know when to speak and when to remain silent.
  • They have the fortitude to stand up for what they believe in.
  • They leave the presence of a person or a group of people and those who are left behind are inspired to take action.
  • Others want to be a part of this person’s team, effort or mission.
  • Others want this person to be their mentor or coach.
  • They listen in order to understand and to consider what they’ve just heard.
  • They are unwilling to let themselves fail, but take others with them into success.

 The traits mentioned above are largely a result of having healthy Emotional Intelligence.

Jeff Snyder Coaching

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What It Takes To Be an Effective Leader

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In an article entitled: ”Do You Have the Fortitude to Be Strategic?”, it is suggested that 99% of executives are actually tactical executives.

“Yet according to Chet Holmes, arguably one of, if not the, best sales and marketing strategists, 99% of executives are actually tactical executives. He suggests that it’s the very rare person that both comes up with the big ideas and implements with piercing effectiveness. Yet the ability to do both is precisely the skill set required to be the best at what you do. To be clear, it takes fortitude to be strategic.”

By the way, I don’t personally know Chet Holmes and while I don’t know where the 99% comment comes from, I can tell you that it is entirely possible to find out just how strategic you are or are not.

In my surveys where I asked people what traits or qualities they expect to see in the people they are willing to follow, they told me they want the leaders they follow to be strategic and they also brought up the idea that leaders should be visionary as well.

It is entirely possible to find out if you are visionary while you’re also finding out just how strategic you are if you want to know if you have these particular traits required in leadership.

You’ll find the coaching that reveals the answer to how strategic or visionary you are at Jeff Snyder Coaching.



Jeff Snyder’s, Jeff Snyder Coaching Blog, 719.686.8810


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What to Do When Your IQ Alone Will No Longer Carry You


This mattered to one technology executive so maybe it will matter to you too. 


This technology leader (I’ll call him John) had taken a Gallup StrengthsFinder assessment years ago but like most people who don’t receive coaching around their StrengthsFinder results, he put the report in a drawer and it never again saw the light of day.


That was until someone asked John if he knew his unique personal Strengths.  He dug out the report and made time to read about his unique Traits and Strengths.  At this point in his life he wanted to know more.  He went to Google and searched for Strengths Coaches and found Jeff Snyder.

A Colleague Suggested

It was also suggested to John that he might want to look into emotional intelligence coaching along with gaining an understanding of what his StrengthsFinder report stated.  While he was in a searching mood, he searched Google for Certified Emotional Intelligence Coaches and again he found Jeff Snyder.

Jeff Snyder Coaching

When he arrived at JeffSnyderCoaching.com, he discovered that he’d found a one stop shop for everything that matters to his personal branding in addition to the other coaching he set out to find.  Specifically, he found Resume Coaching and LinkedIn Coaching services.  Then John explored the Leadership Coaching Services that were built for people precisely like him that include StrengthsFinder Coaching and Emotional Intelligence Coaching.

A Career Crossroads

What this means is that John had progressed to his current role pretty much based on his intelligence.  We’ll call this his IQ.  Now that he was working at the Director level, he discovered that the IQ that got him to where he was would not necessarily push him to the next level.  He really wanted to be a “C” level technology leader and he didn't know what to do to get there.

Career Progression

It was a discussion that John shared with one of his colleagues that caused John to seek out a career coach who could help him to understand his unique strengths and his emotional intelligence.  John invested in himself and he has never looked back. 

He is now a “C” level executive and he has measurable and quantifiable results connected to the coaching he invested in to go along with his easy-to-see career progression.  He achieved exactly what his colleague suggested he might achieve if he were to find the right coach.

Jeff Snyder Coaching found at www.jeffsnydercoaching.com




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How do People Feel When They're on the Other Side of You?


What's it like to be on the other side of you?

  • When you enter the room, are your peers, colleagues and subordinates excited and relieved that you have arrived?  The last time you were with this group of people, did you inspire them to stretch, to grow and to innovate?
  • Is your phone ringing with colleagues on the other end who want your company at the lunch table?
  • Are you letting other people be the smartest people in the room even though you might actually be the smartest person in the room?
  • Have you developed a habit of saying “Thank You” to everyone who crosses your path and adds value to your day?  
  • Do you show gratitude where gratitude is deserved?
  • Do you know your natural strengths?  Have you aligned your natural strengths with your chosen work in order to deliver your best self?
  • Do you know how important it is to take responsibility when things go wrong and to not just take credit when things go right?
  • Do you share credit in times of victory and acknowledge mistakes in times of defeat?
  • Do you listen more than you speak in order to learn from the intelligent people around you?
  • Are you fair and consistent?  People around you may not always agree with you but if you’re known to be consistent and fair, you’ll be respected more often than not.

Do you inspire those around you to reach greater heights?


Jeff Snyder is a globally sought after talent expert, public speaker, business coach and career coach.  Jeff is well-known for his Futuristic, Strategic, Activator, Maximizer and Command strengths that enable him to guide his clients in moving from “Good to Great”; leaving mediocrity in the rear view mirror.

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Two of the Most Powerful Words When Combined Together are "Thank" and "You"

I’ve been through life-changing and life-disrupting events in recent years.  What was always important to me has become even more important to me.  Prior to entering the hospital just over a year ago for open heart surgery, I made a conscious decision to do everything in my power to be an unusual heart surgery patient for those who had to care for me.

While this was a brand new experience for me, I assumed that doctors, nurses and other care givers in the cardiac unit were probably not used to caring for people who said “Thank You” for everything that was done for them.

I did not always feel thankful as I laid there in pain after my chest had been cut open.  However, I decided long before I was lying in a hospital bed in pain to thank everyone who was caring for me. 

My thankful attitude had an amazing impact on my care givers.  With only a couple of exceptions, I’m pretty sure that every care giver who entered my room appreciated being thanked no matter how small their effort towards me might have been.

Every time I have to go back to the hospital or back to a doctor’s office, I purposely decide before I arrive to be thankful to every person who provides care for me.  Recently, I visited the hospital for another procedure.  Everything that could have gone wrong went wrong.

I had one opportunity after another to blow my top and let my emotions get out of control.  My care givers were not ready for me when I arrived at the scheduled time.  The insurance company had not given my care givers proper authority to give me the care I went to the hospital to receive.  My visit was a nightmare. 

The one thing that made all the difference was my response to the situation.  I chose to respond rather than reacting.  As a result of smiling in the face of adversity and as a result of saying “Thank You” to everyone who crossed my path, I’m pretty sure that I set myself apart from most patients my care givers had run into that day before my arrival.

I turned the admittance person into my ally.  She turned another admittance team member into my second ally for me.  They turned the scheduling person not only into my ally but into my advocate.  It took an extra 45 minutes to get to my scheduled procedure but I did get to the procedure as a result of smiling and being thankful rather than having to turn around to make a 45 minute drive home.  Because of my response choices, everyone in the office that day went to work to solve my problem for me.

When the words “Thank” and “You” are used together, they can create powerful outcomes.  I don’t think “Thank You” can be expressed too often for too many reasons. 

If you’re not in the habit of thanking those who serve you or those who work for you, give it a try. You might be amazed by the results that come your way.


Jeff Snyder’s, Jeff Snyder Coaching Blog, 719.686.8810

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“Smartest Person in the Room Syndrome”


Perhaps you’ve encountered this person?

The smartest person in the room tends to dominate meetings. They don’t let others add a word to their one-sided conversations. They have a consistent need to let others know how intelligent they are. More often than not, they truly are the person in the room who was gifted with the highest IQ.

When it comes to IQ (cognitive skills), the smartest person in the room frequently possesses more intellectual, analytical, logical and rational abilities than everyone else. They are drawn to highly analytical careers such as engineering, information technology or cyber security. These are careers where exceptionally high IQ serves one well.

It is this exceptionally high IQ that enables the smartest person in the room to excel to a certain level. At some point though, the IQ that got the smartest person in the room to where they are will no longer propel them forward to the next level of career success.

Research suggests that IQ can be responsible for as much as +-20% of one’s career success but more often than not, IQ is responsible for as little as 6% of career success.

Is the smartest person in the room doomed to hit a glass ceiling in their career? Often times the answer is yes and the reason is behavior. The smartest person in the room frequently leaves a trail of relationship carnage behind them. They may not wake up every morning thinking about whom they can step on that day, but throughout the day, if they behave in ways that are natural to them, they will step on other people.

What are some of the characteristics of the smartest person in the room?

  • Talk more than they listen.
  • Fail to consider other’s points of view.
  • Have a constant need to be right and to win.
  • Share opinions even when the topic they have an opinion on is not their expertise.
  • Frequently not teachable because their regard for themselves is inflated.
  • Fails to understand how they come across to others.
  • Low in empathy.

Is there a cure for “The Smartest Person in the Room Syndrome”?

There absolutely is a cure if the smartest person in the room can humble themselves to not just accept coaching, but they need to humble themselves to actively participate in and work on their coaching. It’s not a matter of turning weaknesses into strengths. Addressing behavioral change is more about creating strategies to manage behaviors that could impact others in an adverse way.

IQ is generally thought of as being stagnant. In other words, you're as smart today as you're ever going to be. Emotional Intelligence is generally thought to be flexible in that the skills that make up Emotional Intelligence can be adjusted through coaching.

The "Smartest Person In the Room"...with a Behavioral Strategy

A retired military 2 Star General told me a story while we shared a meal. He asked me to take a look at a person I could see over his shoulder at the next table. He asked me if I wanted to know how that person became a 4 Star General when my meal companion had only reached 2 Stars. Not that becoming a 2 Star General is an easy task but my companion really wanted me to understand how his friend and colleague reached the 4 Star level of success.

Of course I wanted to know. The 2 Star General explained to me that he and the 4 Star General graduated from the same class in the military academy they both attended. They both started out with the same credentials to begin their military careers. The game-changer for the 4 Star General was his ability to be the smartest person in the room more often than not throughout his career but he learned to suppress his need to let everyone know that he was so smart.

The 2 Star General told me that the 4 Star General, whom he admired as both a friend and career colleague, excelled in everything he did because he was intellectually gifted but he learned quickly that his career would take off if he learned how to treat people with respect.

Some of the characteristics that enabled the 4 Star General to excel include:

  • Listened more than he talked.
  • Let other people win whenever possible.
  • Considered other people’s points of view.
  • Shared opinions when he was asked for his opinions and not just because he possessed an answer.
  • Was teachable, trainable and receptive to being coached.
  • Exhibited humility.
  • Developed empathy for others.

The 4 Star General developed and mastered Emotional Intelligence. Think about it. The 4 Star General had to have a high IQ in order to get into a military academy. He had to have an exceptionally high IQ in order to graduate at or near the top of his academy class.

The 2 Star General was confident that it was the 4 Star General’s ability to develop trust with those around him, his ability to humble himself and his ability to step into others’ shoes to consider their needs and their points of view that caused his career to excel.

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There Are Many Ways To Lead But Not Without These Behaviors


As a result of recently surveying hundreds of people to find out what traits they want, need and expect a leader to possess in order to be followed, these are the traits that came up most often.

There are many additional traits, skills and characteristics that leaders need to possess in order to lead but what was suggested to me is that regardless of the additional skills, characteristics and traits a leader possesses, they will not be accepted as a leader unless they possess these traits above all others.

Honesty: If a leader is not honest, it is assumed that the leader lacks overall integrity.

Integrity: If a leader is perceived to lack integrity, it is very difficult if not impossible for followers to trust the leader.

Trust: If followers cannot trust a leader, they will be very unlikely to follow this leader for any other reason.

A leader who attempts to lead by way of their title will only be allowed to lead for so long if their followers find reasons to not trust them.

A leader who speaks out of both sides of their mouth and a leader who consistently fails to connect their words to their actions will not be followed for long.

To lead, you’ll need competency in many different areas. You’ll need to be wired with strengths that will cause others to naturally follow you. Without consistent honesty and integrity, you’ll very likely be unable to establish trust. A leader who cannot be trusted cannot lead.

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What It Takes to be a Leader


This factual information comes from my proprietary research.

While creating my career coaching and leadership coaching programs, it seemed to me that in order to create the best programs possible, I should go to the customers of security leaders to find out what the customers want, need and expect from security leadership.

There's more than what will fit on this graphic but this is what the business (your customers) told me they want from you.


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