Leading the Leader| June 4, 2018
“I partner with clients to maximize their professional and personal potential. We discuss their goals, for themselves and for their organizations. While my clients ‘drive,’ I provide questions, support, observations, and insights”
Most executives in firms like Unilever, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and Bloomingdale’s are ambitious high achievers — that’s how they made it to top positions in the country’s leading firms.
They’re also typically smart and honest. Honest enough to know where their strengths lie, and strong enough to be vulnerable and learn how to improve in the areas where they’re not as strong.
So they reach out to Lilian Abrams.
An executive coach, Lilian works with the leaders of large national and international firms, helping them figure out how they want to guide their company’s growth and development.
“Many of the people I work with have strong expertise in areas like finance, IT, law, marketing, or medicine,” Lilian explains. “Because they’re so smart and capable in their area of expertise, they’ve been promoted to a leadership position. Then, they have to start leading — their job isn’t all about their technical knowledge anymore.
“I partner with clients to maximize their professional and personal potential. We discuss their goals, for themselves and for their organizations. While my clients ‘drive,’ I provide questions, support, observations, and insights, as well as models and examples from my practical and academic experiences, to help them gain greater perspective, and identify how best to move forward.”
Climbing to the Top
Today, Lilian is coaching the executives of the nation’s leading firms. Getting to sit in the control tower was no easy climb — but from a young age, Lilian was determined to make it. For as long as she could remember, she’d been sure psychology was her calling. But when she was in college, she attended a guest lecture given by a female president of a technology business. Seeing a woman hold a company’s highest role in a male-dominated industry was eye-opening, Lilian says.
“There was something about her business acumen and the strategic aspects of running a business that I was strongly drawn to,” she recalls. “And in her position, she could really effect the strategic and organizational changes she wanted to see, and that would affect the daily work lives of hundreds, maybe thousands of people.”
Now, Lilian says, in a clear sign to her that she’s come full circle, she’s coaching executives exactly like the one who inspired her career direction.
Even before she began working, Lilian already had significant exposure to the corporate world from her parents, both of whom owned their own businesses. She loved the thought of seeing many different businesses from the inside, and comparing and contrasting their different business cultures and ways of being effective. What drew her even more deeply was the possibility of bettering the work lives of thousands of people. She loved the idea of working with businesses to improve employees’ experiences and interpersonal relations, and through that, helping them achieve their strategy and business goals.
“Many people spend 40 or more hours at work every week,” Lilian explains. “When I was thinking about these things in the ’80s, it seemed to me that most leaders weren’t yet really thinking much about how to improve the work experience for people while achieving their business goals. I already saw these two things as complementary.”
(Excerpted from Family First, Issue 599)
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