She Provides Leadership Development & Executive Coaching to Individuals & Teams. Meet Founder & Leadership Coach Kore Koubourlis

37bc4a689f6869c3c52bd8af97c3a797.jpgKore offers first-hand experience with being a real, live human being, committed to deep conversations, great relationships, and living on purpose. Her work as a professional coach and consultant provides the ideal platform for me to act on that commitment every day.

Q: How did you determine your career would be as an Executive Coach?
During my own 20-year career in the technology and legal industries, I saw what appeared to be an addressable problem. I wanted to be part of fixing that. Time and again, I saw brilliant, motivated people hit a career speedbump or plateau, and they would get stuck there because they weren’t able to find the insight, tools, and support they needed to navigate through the experience. Many times, these people would lose motivation and ultimately leave the organization. That’s a loss for the individual and a loss for the organization. I was inspired to become an Executive Coach so that I could use my in-the-trenches experience to help talented people understand what was happening, see their role in it, and learn how to move through the situation.

Q: What is your coaching philosophy for success?
When I work with a leader, what we are doing is working together to build a more conscious, expanded way for that person to lead and to move through the world. You can think of this way of leading as having a high degree of curiosity, openness, emotional intelligence, and, frankly, humility in it. More and more, technical competence is just table stakes, the thing that gets you in the door at a company. In addition to that type of competence, we are looking for more from our leaders today. We are looking for a combination of personal integrity, a commitment to learning and growth, and really solid interpersonal communication. These are the characteristics that conscious leaders demonstrate. 

Companies and teams that have a culture that attracts and rewards leaders who have both a high level of technical knowledge and a high level of consciousness are the ones that out-perform the rest over time; we are going to see more and more emphasis on this type of leadership as we move forward. Its what people are asking for from their employers. It’s what is required to meet the high levels of complexity and uncertainty that are ever-present today. And it’s also how companies earn intrinsic motivation from their people and loyalty from their customers. 

Q: Were there moments in your career that were pivotal to getting where you are today?
One that stands out in particular involves my own transition from attorney to senior business leader at a large tech company. I made the leap without really appreciating the magnitude of the transition and what I would be called upon to deliver. I certainly didn’t grasp the personal capacity this would require. Going through that transition, learning to be resilient, and moving up the ranks to the executive level was tough. It was also incredibly rewarding. I had to stretch and grow in many ways. I had to give up old ideas and adopt new ones. I am grateful I stayed in the game and saw the rewards. And by rewards I’m not really talking about financial so much as I am talking about the personal transformation that you go through to lead and to lead well. 

Q: Can you share with our audience some of the services your company The Essential Group provides?
Sure. The Essential Group is a full spectrum leadership development consultancy. We offer remote leadership development training for large groups that are working virtually on a temporary or permanent basis; executive coaching for individuals; and team offsites and workshops for medium sized groups. 

Something that differentiates us is that, where an organization wants to rapidly shift culture or evolve performance, we can work across that organization so that we are able to effect change fast. We can do this by offering individual coaching to the executive team and rolling out our scalable virtual leadership training program to the rest of the organization. This program is a game changer in that it delivers leadership training at scale, and it does it in a way that has been proven to create lasting change. The gift in this approach is that you rapidly get behavior shift and culture shift because everyone in the organization is part of the work. Everyone is getting access to the same cultural vocabulary and foundational behaviors that enable transformation and higher performance. And it can be happening in a relatively short time.

Q: What’s one lesson you’ve learned in your career that you can share with our audience?
Be brave about your ideas while also taking care to avoid holding onto a rigid sense of self. Be willing to run experiments that have you trying new behaviors. Figure out early on how to take in feedback, even the feedback you really don’t want to hear, and then make asking for that feedback a part of how you work. Be curious about what you can learn from other people and how they experience you, even in the tough and unfair situations that invariably happen, and step into that learning for yourself with your full commitment. 

Q: Which woman inspires you and why? 
Madonna. Her continual reinvention is inspiring, and even more so as she gets older while remaining relevant. Her range – looking across Madonna’s body of work, the scope and versatility is remarkable. She is fully expressed. And, she is the consummate boss lady, completely in charge of every aspect of her persona and her career.

Q: What advice would you give to young women who want to succeed in the workplace?
I work with women around the globe at a variety of career stages. One challenge area I see across the board relates to figuring out how to get visibility with senior audiences. Clients often come to me knowing their contributions are not being recognized or valued. And they are confused about why and what to do about it. My advice is, decide to find out. The best shortcut is to find someone you trust – and by trust, I mean they have a sincere desire to help you and they also have relevant competency in the area you want help with. Ask them for honest feedback about how you show up, how you affect others, and what impression you are making. What I’ve observed is that, even with the best of intentions, there can be a distorting effect between what we think we are doing and how it is actually landing with and impacting the people around us. It’s important to understand that.

Five Things About Kore Koubourlis

1. If you could talk to one famous person past or present, who would it be and why? 
Krista Tippett of the On Being podcast. Over the years, she has interviewed a vast number of contemporary thought leaders covering a wide array of topics I am interested in. I would love to hear her describe her career path and her approach to choosing content. I’m also curious about her method for consistently taking in voluminous amounts of data, preparing for her interviews, and working with her interviewees to produce the rich, thoughtful content she is known for. 

2. What was your favorite candy as a kid? 
Atomic Fireballs. So spicy, so delicious, so addictive!

3. How would your best friend describe you? 
She would say I am 100% engaged, curious to a fault, and that she can count on me for insights and out-of-the-box solutions. If I am being completely honest, she would also say I have an annoyingly uncanny ability to predict plot twists in movies and shows. It comes from studying human behavior all my life – I can’t help it!

4. What app can’t you live without? 
It’s a tie between Instacart and Spotify.

5. Where is your ideal vacation? 
I recently hiked the Tour du Mont-blanc and that was spectacular. When air travel opens up again post-pandemic, I’ll be looking at another similar multi-day, multi-country trek in the Alps


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