Donna Karlin is a global leadership coach. She works with senior-level clients on six continents: N. America, S. America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia. She is a coach and mentor to TED Fellows, a Founding Fellow at Harvard Institute of Coaching, McLean Medical School, creator of the Shadow Coaching® Methodology, an international speaker and award-winning author.

Donna wears several hats professionally, including those of Founder of the School of Shadow Coaching®, and Founder of the leadership coaching and consulting firm A Better Perspective®.

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Donna was previously a guest on Let’s Talk Leadership back in late 2015. This time around we talked about Donna’s new venture, the No Ceiling, Just Sky® Institute, launching officially at the end of this month.

I have never ceased to be amazed at the depth and range of Donna’s work and the extent of her client group. In this conversation she shared a bit about how she keeps track of it all. I’m still amazed.

The No Ceiling, Just Sky® Institute

The Institute is about providing a “360° approach to human evolvement. Working with the intersection of human and organizational systems and their influencers“.

The Institute had its origins in:

  • an intention made by Donna in early 2016, about learning and sharing, and
  • a conversation with a friend

The Institute enables Donna to bring together under one umbrella her various resources – the School of Shadow Coaching, A Better Perspective, and her R&D team – and draw on all those resources to meet the needs of her various and disparate clients.

I asked whether, in an age when so many people in business are urged to develop expertise in one niche, someone might ask if the scope of the Institute was too broad.

The response would be that it might be too broad for someone asking, but not for Donna.

Which led to these observations as food for thought for coaches:

Are we giving clients what they need, or what they think they could get?

And maybe it’s time that more coaches… worked with their clients to co-create an intervention that was not only powerful, but was true to them.

Which. said Donna, is “what this Institute is all about“.

Observations on a hypothetical about decision-making at a senior level

Too many issues are seen as “either/or”, or “this or that”, when a better approach might be “why not both?”,

Or issues are approached from a perspective of scarcity rather than abundance.

We also talked about

Ideal clients and the pleasure of working with people who are eager to try things out, “dancing in realtime with potential change”.

The manifesto for the Institute, including “Dance with change”, “Embrace chaos”, and “Move”.

Marrying flexibility of decision-making and action with highly organised systems and protocols, as in – especially – the military, security services and such. Donna shared a fascinating example from her work with the military, with applicability in a broader range, beyond the military. NB for anyone interested in helping avoid leadership burnout. .

How she does it all. Yes, she has a team of people to call on, including the Strategic Red Team Consulting, of which Donna is an associate. A very flexible and adaptable team from the sound of it.

And two more quotes

We need to bring more of the curiosity kind of conversation into boardroom meetings.

I really believe there is no ceiling, just sky.

Note: there are a couple of references in the interview to Thomas Leonard (or just “Thomas”), a legendary figure in our coaching world, who died suddenly in early 2003.

Contact Details for Donna and Info about the Institute

For more information about Donna and her various activities, and about the Institute, just go to her Donna Karlin website at http://donnakarlin.com. And her LinkedIn profile is at http://linkedin.com/in/donnakarlin.

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Des Walsh is a business coach and social media strategist. He helps owners of small and medium business meet confidently the special challenges of this age of rapid transformation, deliver great results and stay balanced and happy in the process. Des has been actively engaged for over 20 years in promoting the business opportunities of the digital economy, is a certified specialist in social media strategy, a blogger, podcaster and co-author of the best-selling book LinkedIn for Recruiting.

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