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edbatista
San Francisco, CA
Executive coach, Lecturer @StanfordBiz, contributor @HarvardBiz
Interests: Executive coaching, ,self-coaching, leadership, management, communication, group dynamics, organizational culture, neuroscience, positive psychology
Recent Activity
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I'm an executive coach, not a meditation teacher, but I regularly discuss mindfulness with my clients, all of whom are busy professionals in demanding leadership positions. This aspect of my practice has evolved over the past decade as a combination... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Ed Batista
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Last month I embarked on a 30-day challenge to myself that involved four daily goals: Meditate for 30 minutes Publish one post Read, read, read, read, read Lift weights again The overarching purpose, as I wrote at the time, was... Continue reading
Posted Jan 10, 2017 at Ed Batista
When I hear the term "great leader," I’m reminded of two passages from management literature that have influenced my thinking about leadership and my approach to coaching leaders. First, from Jeff Pfeffer and Bob Sutton’s Hard Facts, Dangerous Half-Truths, and... Continue reading
Posted Jan 9, 2017 at Ed Batista
In two days I'll begin teaching another section of Interpersonal Dynamics (aka Touchy Feely) at Stanford. I first encountered the class as a student at the Graduate School of Business in 1999, I started serving as a group facilitator in... Continue reading
Posted Jan 8, 2017 at Ed Batista
I began coaching in 2005 and within a year I had I left my last leadership position to commit myself to a full-time coaching practice. I feel privileged to do this work—for me it’s a calling, not a job--and one... Continue reading
Posted Jan 7, 2017 at Ed Batista
Some time ago John Lee asked me a great question, one that I think every leader should be able to answer: I'm realizing how crucial psychological safety is in the process of change. What are some helpful tactics on creating... Continue reading
Posted Jan 5, 2017 at Ed Batista
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Most of my coaching clients are CEOs of rapidly growing companies, and while their work is always demanding and dynamic, sometimes they face a full-blown crisis, a threat to the organization’s existence that will require their maximum effort. These are... Continue reading
Posted Jan 4, 2017 at Ed Batista
There's a concept in improvisational theater called act as if: Don't be constrained by the literal reality surrounding us; instead, challenge our immediate interpretation of what's happening and act as if what's being represented onstage is real. This ability to... Continue reading
Posted Jan 3, 2017 at Ed Batista
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While it's dangerous to play it safe, and the essential task of getting out of our comfort zone often requires us to relinquish control and be more spontaneous, in many circumstances it's important to slow down, and doing this consistently... Continue reading
Posted Jan 3, 2017 at Ed Batista
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My coaching clients are typically senior leaders with rapidly growing or very large organizations who are responsible for hiring a management team, identifying a winning strategy, and building a culture that supports their goals. A theme that emerges consistently in... Continue reading
Posted Jan 2, 2017 at Ed Batista
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Amy and I spent the past week on the Mendocino coast, just north of the little town of Gualala. One evening a planet appeared low in the sky as the last light of sunset was fading--you can just make it... Continue reading
Posted Jan 1, 2017 at Ed Batista
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John Darnielle, who performs as The Mountain Goats, has a song that's become an anthem for me and Amy, titled This Year. It's a story of survival, of overcoming youthful foolishness and bad choices and unlucky breaks. We've moved on... Continue reading
Posted Dec 31, 2016 at Ed Batista
Perspective matters. Take the field full of manure above, for example. We could view it as an overwhelming amount of shit, or as a rich source of fertilizer. A friend was bemoaning the state of her workspace, which was full... Continue reading
Posted Dec 30, 2016 at Ed Batista
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A recent conversation with a coaching client reminded me of the power of language to shape our experience--and of the importance of taking responsibility for our experience. My client was describing a difficult conversation with an employee, one in which... Continue reading
Posted Dec 29, 2016 at Ed Batista
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The idea of contrasting Importance and Urgency is nothing new. Dwight Eisenhower supposedly came up with the concept, presumably in the mid-20th century, although I haven’t yet found any compelling evidence, and Stephen Covey popularized it in his 1989 book... Continue reading
Posted Dec 28, 2016 at Ed Batista
In The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work, psychologist John Gottman describes a set of behaviors he calls "the Four Horsemen," named after a symbol of the apocalypse in the Book of Revelation. These four interpersonal dynamics have a predictable... Continue reading
Posted Dec 27, 2016 at Ed Batista
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I've always had a general interest in technology, and a few key events stand out in my memory: In 1984 my parents bought a Macintosh 128K for the family's use, and I saw the power of desktop publishing as a... Continue reading
Posted Dec 26, 2016 at Ed Batista
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Photo by Debbie Galant Merry Christmas!, if that's your thing. I'm a little ambivalent about it--up until a few years ago the warmth and charity that the holidays inspired in me were often overshadowed by the stress and disappointment that... Continue reading
Posted Dec 25, 2016 at Ed Batista
You can see all three above, in a shot Amy took in 2014 while we were driving home from a particularly special trip to the Mendocino coast. At the time I noted, "This year has been hard on us, as... Continue reading
Posted Dec 24, 2016 at Ed Batista
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I've been designing learning experiences... Continue reading
Posted Dec 23, 2016 at Ed Batista
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I don't speak French, but an idiomatic expression often comes to mind in my work as a coach: l'esprit d'escalier. Literally, that's "the spirit of the stairway," which is nonsensical in English, but the French meaning refers to the moment... Continue reading
Posted Dec 22, 2016 at Ed Batista
Much of my work as a coach involves helping leaders deescalate conflicts, find win-win solutions, and turn adversaries into allies. This is almost always a more fruitful path than turning up the heat on a confrontation and provoking a fight.... Continue reading
Posted Dec 21, 2016 at Ed Batista
In 2008 my former colleague Michael Gilbert published a thoughtful piece titled Playing it Safe is a Trap that included a list of ways we habitually try to avoid risk and seek safety: 1. Seeking safety in "best practices." The... Continue reading
Posted Dec 20, 2016 at Ed Batista
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What is winning? Rostislav Shorgin, a former student of mine who's in the process of launching a startup, asked himself this question at the end of a recent conversation.* We'd been talking about Rosti's tendency to get caught up in... Continue reading
Posted Dec 19, 2016 at Ed Batista
Before 2016 concludes I want to acknowledge the 10th anniversary of Why Should Anyone Be Led By You? by Rob Goffee and Gareth Jones, which grew out of their classic HBR article of the same title. Subtitled What it Takes... Continue reading
Posted Dec 18, 2016 at Ed Batista