When Coaching Leaders in a Global Marketplace, How Clueless Are You?

by Suzi Pomerantz, Community Instigator/Connectress on January 27, 2012

Join the Leading Coaches’ Center for the next Community Mastermind call featuring Leading coach, Tom Finn, author of Are You Clueless? 7 Clues to Profit, Productivity, and Partnership For Leaders in a Multicultural World.

DATE: Thursday, February 16th at 12 noon Easter/ 9am Pacific

TOPIC: Cluing In to Culture; How a Global Workplace Influences Coaches and Their Clients


Screen Shot 2012-01-27 at 1.34.41 PMTom Finn has coached leaders from all over the world for 28 years. He has distilled those experiences into a book whose precise stories and lessons give his clients guidance on how to be an inclusive leader everyday. Are You Clueless? is frequently shocking in how it shows businesses losing customers, ideas, and great employees – mostly without the organization even knowing! In this session, Tom will engage us with some of those stories, and then have us uncover a cultural lens on coaching.

If businesses need to “clue in” to a multicultural world, Tom is convinced that we coaches can be just as “clueless” to dynamics that may unlock the key to our diverse coaching clients.

Cultural difference may influence:

  • Us as Coaches. Could we be misdiagnosing, or suggesting a path, oblivious to a huge part of our coaching partner’s life?
  • Our coaching partner. Could she be grappling with a culturally-induced barrier, or creating a culturally-induced barrier?
  • Our coaching partner’s leadership. Could he be clueless to conditions his employees face, or evaluating them erroneously with no cultural radar on his screen?

Tom will provide 5 patterns to look for in any cross-cultural situation. If you would like to order the book or ebook in preparation for the session, go here http://www.areyouclueless.com/order_the_book2.php, or to http://www.barnesandnoble.com/.

Tom will focus our discussion on how to be an inclusive coach in a world where difference from gender to generation can have a major influence on your coaching partner or his/her employees…or you! Join this mastermind call for:

1) An overview of “the clueless factor” of Tom’s book – that we can all be clueless to those different from us – and its impact on coaching. When you overlay the clueless factor on the workplace, you can get a host of dynamics that affect both the coach and the coaching partner. The book’s stories show the amazing ways culture shows up for Tom’s customers.

2) Common cross-cultural patterns to look for when you are coaching. Tom maintains these patterns are applicable to any difference – whether you are coaching someone different from you on sexual orientation, generation, race, disability, national origin, gender, and so on. You can use them to see your coaching partner’s world through a whole new lens.

3) Discussion and Q&A on how and when cultural, personal, and organizational differences may influence you in your approach or your coaching partner in their progress.

This session is an optimizer for good coaches. We will try to up your game by adding to your repertoire in a global marketplace. Don’t be clueless – clue in to culture in your coaching.

Have fun learning about the striking influence of cultural difference in the workplace through Tom’s customer stories, such as:

“A Bank For White People”
“Oh, My God, You’re a Completely Different Person”
“Gaining 1000 Customers”
“Iowa and the Cultural Unknown”

You can also get a gist of Are You Clueless? by seeing Tom’s appearance on “Latina Voices,” a Houston TV show, in a seven-minute clip at http://www.areyouclueless.com/clips_latinaVoices.php.

When Cultural Cluelessness Hurts the Bottom Line

Companies that use the power of inclusion gain customers, increase their talent pool, and boost their referral base

A Spanish-speaking couple came into a bank, looking for a recently hired manager who spoke Spanish.

She asked them what had brought them in that day. They responded, “We heard you had someone who could speak Spanish. We never came in before because we thought you were a bank for white people.”

A bank for white people? Indeed … and clueless scenarios like these are replicated untold times each and every business day.

In his ground-breaking book, Are You Clueless? 7 Clues to Profit, Productivity, & Partnership for Leaders in a Multicultural World, Tom Finn shows business leaders how diversity gets business results…if you’re not clueless.

Using workplace anecdotes to drive his points home, Finn clues in managers, giving them cross-cultural radar essential for a diverse, global marketplace.

Clued in, you attract more diverse customers and employees.

Clueless, and you’re like the Bank for White People.

Clued in, you grow and retain employees you have.

Clueless, and you bury talent that shines outside your workplace.

Clued in, you reap ideas from employees and help from customers.

Clueless, and engineers are circulating resumes.

A cultural gap influences business success, and poor cross-cultural skills can mean everything from large lawsuits to customer avoidance and a shallow talent pool. Acknowledge the gap and clue in. Your company’s future depends on it.

Praise for Are You Clueless?

“Want to understand the power and potential of leveraging diversity? Here’s a clue … read this book.”
Tiane Mitchell Gordon, Senior Vice President, Diversity and Inclusion, America Online

“From ‘A Bank for White People’ to ‘A Restaurant for Men,’ Tom’s stories sparkle. Leaders in business and government: You’ve got to read this.” State Senator Janet Howell, Commonwealth of Virginia

“I’m learning things I never knew about myself.”  Reader of Are You Clueless?


About the Author:

Tom 153

Tom Finn has consulted to leaders and teams of all levels in the United States, South America, Central America, and Asia for more than 20 years. His clients have included Booz | Allen | Hamilton, ETrade Financial, General Dynamics Land Systems, Inova Health Systems, Texaco, Verizon, The World Bank, and the Argentine Education Ministry.

Tom is an executive coach and consultant who improves performance of leaders and organizations by developing skills and plans to succeed in a global marketplace.

Tom has twenty seven years of experience as a consultant, trainer, and coach. He is an author and former organization development consultant of Westinghouse Electric Corporation. Tom has consulted to clients on organization system change efforts, coached leaders, led team building efforts, and trained thousands in leadership, positive influence and communication, and cultural diversity He is the author of Are You Clueless? 7 Clues to Profit, Productivity, and Partnership for Leaders in a Multicultural World (Kells Castle Press, Mar 2008). Clueless is a guide leaders can use every day for managing diverse and global workplaces. He coaches leaders on handling overload and pressure through a unique coaching approach called LifeLine.  www.lifelineconsulting.com

Tom has coached and trained leaders and employees at all levels of organizations. Some of his clients include The Weather Channel, Verizon, Inova Health System, International Paper, Prudential, Booz| Allen| Hamilton, NASCAR, Harvard University, ETrade, Barnett Banks, and US government agencies. Tom has an interest and skill in international relations and business, and has coached and trained leaders in Spanish. His international clients include the World Bank, the Education Ministry of Argentina, Civilian Personnel Union, Argentina, and private/public sector leaders in six other Latin American countries and Pakistan.

Tom has a B.A. in international relations from Brown University and an M.S. from Georgetown University. He is fluent in Spanish and does much of his work in that language. He is a member of NTL Institute, one of the leading professional groups in the field of organization development. He is certified on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator instrument, FIRO-B, and MFS, a software program for providing feedback to leaders.

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