President/COO of 100 Person Financial Services Company

I’ve worked with Peter in two very different capacities. In my previous company, a multi-billion dollar hedge fund, Peter facilitated a strategy offsite for the senior team. The one-day session included team building, business planning, and communication exercises, and was very effective. He then continued to work with us on an ongoing basis.

We liked Peter’s style of moderation. He is very empathetic, and draws on both his own primary research and lots of other research and anecdotal support to make his points. He is effective at tailoring the message to different types of people, able to alter his style of delivery depending on the content and the people involved.

At my current company, a hedge fund we launched a few years ago, we had been using a different coach in a limited capacity to work with our management team. We decided to bring in Peter on a more comprehensive basis, to work with the CEO and myself on an ongoing basis. We’ve had Peter on retainer for two years now to advise us on a variety of topics, including strategic development. During this time he’s guided us to define goals and techniques to help achieve our desired corporate culture and solve problems as they arise.

Peter has become a very reliable and trusted expert.

For example, last year we made some fairly significant responsibility changes at the senior levels. We sat down with him and talked through all the considerations. He brought forward some organization theory and his experience with best practices in other firms, and was able to balance that with what was right for our organization and our people.

His familiarity with our reporting lines and personalities combined with his academic and real-life knowledge produced the right approach for us.

Peter added real value to our thought process.

His ability to relate well to people is one of the cornerstones of his effectiveness. He pays close attention to both verbal and non-verbal kinds of communication, thinks deeply, then offers his thoughts and analysis. He’s easy to talk to, and knows how to deliver feedback perfectly tailored to the individual.

The longer he knows the person and the more he understands them, the more this factors into his analysis and feedback. While our engagement was originally project-based, what we really value is Peter’s insight over time.

Peter has consistently helped the CEO and me to understand the cultural and human causes of business problems so that we can address them in a way that moves us forward as an organization. He’s helped the CEO shape messages and anticipate the implications of each potential course of action. Now we’re more likely to design reactions rather than deal with repercussions.

Thanks to Peter, we’ve become a more thoughtful company.

Time and again, Peter has helped us find a path out of a difficult situation. It’s gotten to the point where we now hear his voice in our heads when we consider a situation. We’ve incorporated his approach into our own thinking. We’re always asking ourselves, “What’s the root cause of this situation? What’s the best way to take it forward given the people involved and what makes them tick?”

Every situation is different: Sometimes you need to sit back and let someone learn a hard lesson. Other times you need to intervene. Sometimes a managerial approach is appropriate, and other times a collaborative approach works better. I believe we’re more likely to get it right by involving Peter in the thought process.

More Stories

CEO, Hedge Fund
Every CEO knows the feeling of not being sure how to get to their goals, how to navigate the obstacles to success. This CEO hired me when he needed direct, outside, impartial help in guiding his firm to change.
CEO, $800 Million High Tech Company
This CEO needed to build and manage a team, and communicate effectively across a global company. Working with scientists, he had to create a culture where they accepted change as progress rather than resisting it, and steer a group of high-powered, opinionated, arrogant executives to deal with the important stuff.
CEO, Software Company Purchased by Oracle
After a crunch period, they found themselves in an aggressive growth period, facing all kinds of internal challenges. They had a young, inexperienced, and motivated management team trying to address big new opportunities, scrambling to organize themselves and execute effectively. They wanted and needed guidance that they couldn’t get internally. That’s when they brought me in, to act as a sounding board, coach, and guide.
CEO, Financial Services Company with $90 Billion in Assets
This CEO’s team was made up of incredibly talented people, but most of them had issues that were getting in the way of their effectiveness. One was rubbing people the wrong way by clumsy communications. Another wasn’t being clear with direct reports and wasn’t managing people effectively. A third needed to be more proactive; he wasn’t having hard conversations that needed to happen. This CEO hired me to turn this group into an effective and inspiring leadership team.
Global Head of HR, $2 Billion Financial Services Company
This senior leader was charged with quickly building and maturing the HR function of a growing company. The key challenges included building an effective leadership team out of some “interesting” characters, and designing an optimal organization structure. He brought me in to run offsites and training, and to guide the executive team to take responsibility for finding solutions rather than griping about problems.