About

The Engine that Powers Success

There is an engine that powers your success. It’s not what leadership development professionals usually write about. David Brooks, a keen social observer, comes closest to it in a 2011 New Yorker piece. He writes about a “composure class,” whose members do not succeed by striving for achievement. Instead, in their more natural ascent, “wealth settles down on them gradually, like gentle snow.” He describes their traits as follows:

“Intelligence, academic performance, and prestigious schools don’t correlate well with fulfillment, or even with outstanding accomplishment. The traits that do make a difference are poorly understood, and can’t be taught in a classroom, no matter what the tuition: the ability to understand and inspire people; to read situations and discern the underlying patterns; to build trusting relationships; to recognize and correct one’s shortcomings; to imagine alternate futures.”

These traits are fundamental ways of operating that reside beneath conscious thought. They make all the best practices yield higher results. How do you cultivate and refine this stratum of inner strength, so that “wealth settles upon you, like gentle snow?”

I am dedicated to helping you cultivate and apply this personal power that will bring you fulfillment and success.

Checking Under the Hood

My current research investigates what personal resources executives draw upon in response to great challenges. From extensive interviews and coaching sessions, a set of seven clusters of inner strengths and skills emerged as keys for success where lesser equipped leaders fail. These data gave rise to an assessment: The 7 Powers Profile which is available to coaching clients.

Using the profile, you can assess where you are strong. In areas where you are less developed, slight changes will yield significant benefits in:

  1. How vital and alive you feel on the job, and
  2. How you can accomplish more of what you want through improving your capacity to focus, learn, and connect with others.

My Background

Stephen Josephs and wife, AliceThroughout my career I have been interested in 3 broad topics: 1) What accounts for superior performance?  2) What principles are at work when we easily learn and change? 3) How do we become wise?

I’ve coached executives for over 30 years. I’ve studied various mind-body disciplines (yoga, aikido, tai chi, qigong, meditation) for 47 years. After 50 years, I still play the classical guitar (mostly Bach these days).

I’ve studied psychology and transformational methods and applied them to leadership development. I’m passionate about helping leaders find new ways to expand their effectiveness. I am a coauthor of an award winning leadership book, Leadership Agility.

My wife (Alice) and I have been married for 40 years. We have a son, daughter-in-law and two grandchildren in New York.

My Work as a Coach

I began coaching in 1979 when I founded the Massachusetts Institute of Neuro-Linguistic Programming. NLP is a practical and outcome oriented system that can be used to model and change behavior. Many change agents and business professionals were drawn to learn these skills, and some executives became coaching clients. Working with them stirred my interest in what accounted for superior performance in business. I began to model the skills of the best sales people, negotiators, managers and leaders.

I developed a kind of consulting I called “Optimal Performance.” I’d ask executives if they had employees who outperformed others by significant margins, but no one could exactly say what made them great. Using the modeling skills of NLP, I would find the difference that made the difference, and based on what I uncovered I would make recommendations for training and/or selection.

After 30 years, I’ve acquired a host of other transformational methods. I am still interested in optimal performance, but it now includes how to make work fulfilling as well as financially rewarding.

Learn how we can work together