An Interview with Talent and Leadership Expert Bob Gandossy on his new coaching service to help leaders get better at managing talent, building strong teams, and fostering engagement

An Interview with Talent and Leadership Expert Bob Gandossy on his new coaching service to help leaders get better at managing talent, building strong teams, and fostering engagement

Tell us about the new coaching service.

Over the years, I have worked with a number of leaders and taught at a number of leadership development programs and I have found many executives struggle with managing talent, developing others, building teams, and inspiring engagement. A lot of my coaching work focused on these areas as well. And I found the leadership development programs and HR initiatives, while well intentioned, only scratched the surface of what many people need.

In my executive coaching work, I have developed a number of learning modules or primers on topics ranging from ‘what’s a high potential and how do I manage them?’ To ‘How do I develop a vision and strategy?’ to “Managing poor performance” or “What is engagement, why does it matter, and how do I get more? “ I have used these modules to first educate the executive and build understanding before they actually do something.

It has been a very effective process and it supplements what the HR function is trying to do so I decided to put it all together into a new coaching service.

How does it actually work?

It works much like other coaching we do. In the beginning, there is an executive 360, sometimes supplemented by a leadership assessment like the Hogan, and a review of engagement data (if it exists). We write a summary report and with the ‘coachee’ we plan where to focus and set goals for improvement. We then work with the HR team and the coachee’s leader to agree on the plan.

From that point, four learning modules are tailored (depending on specific needs) for the executive:

  • Determining vision, strategy, and goals for the organizational unit
  • Driving performance and accountability
  • Identifying and developing talent
  • Building strong teams and high engagement

The client is provided ‘primers’ on these topics and sometimes other readings or videos. We then discuss the topics in the context of their situation and then agree on action that leads to improvement.

The coaching assignments are for 6 to 9 months.

Tell us more about why you think this coaching service is needed.

So much coaching these days is vague and intangible often amounting to individual therapy sessions for the executive. About 15 years ago, while leading a large consulting practice, I formed a partnership with the renowned Marshall Goldsmith, one of the foremost executive coaches in the world. Marshall taught me a lot about coaching—the importance of having a motivated client, about focusing on a specific area for improvement, involving others in the solution, and the need for follow up and evaluation—did the executive actually get better?

I still use much of what Marshall taught me but I have evolved as well. I use observation of the executive more and I use ‘primers’ or learning modules—that I mentioned earlier– to teach and promote understanding before the executive actually does something.

I think learning is a critical part of coaching. And I think learning from someone who has actually led a business, built teams, and developed talent brings a practicality that executives’ value. Anyone can say they are a coach. But not everyone can say they have excelled at the things they are asking the executive to try.

So, in addition to putting more structure into the coaching process, the focus of the coaching service is sorely needed in many organizations today. Many leaders say talent and leadership matters in their organizations. And they say employee engagement matters and yet we have barely moved the needle on the things we say are so important. This moves the needle one executive at a time.

What are the specific experiences you bring to the coaching process?

I have been a consultant and advisor for 30 years. I have written 6 books and over 60 articles many on the topic of leadership and talent. I have led regional and global business teams. I have led start up businesses, growth businesses and turnarounds. But my proudest moment as a leader was obtaining the highest engagement score in our firm and the highest ever recorded among our clients.

All employee engagement scores are slightly different. The firm I was with did ‘Best Employer’ studies all over the world. And we found “Best Employers’ or world class companies had engagement scores around 70. The group I led had an engagement score of 95. We did that and had double- digit profitability and growth. Many of the people in that group are now leaders on the firm or have become leaders in other firms or executives in large companies. My experiences as a leader and my research and writing on talent and leadership are what my clients value.

Contact Bob for more on the coaching service at or call him at 914-337-2754 or visit his website at to learn about coaching and other services.


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