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Coaching founders on leadership, holistic communication, team building, purpose, values, vision, and mission :: with Shandel Sutherland

In this episode of Ventures I had the honor of interviewing executive coach Shandel Sutherland (https://www.shandelgroup.com/) about topics including organizational effectiveness, personal/team wiring and communication, the “why” behind a company, and setup work that is necessary for teams to be maximally efficient. Establishing clarity is one of the hardest jobs as an entrepreneur and business leader, and in this episode we get a front-row seat into how a 20-yr coaching veteran helps founders and their teams be amazing.

You can watch this episode below or listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts (search for “Ventures”).

In this episode we cover the following:

2:16 - Shandel intro, background into how and why she got into coaching

4:00 - How she started her coaching business (founding story).

5:22 - Landing her first handful of customers, how did she position herself to customers? What was the value proposition?

8:07 - Fighting against the hustle/fake-it-until-you-make it culture that founders often think they need to espouse at the expense of their personal life and mental health.

11:23 - At what point did Shandel’s business scale from serving individuals to serving teams?

14:45 - Will’s experience of - and Shandel’s commentary on - how interpersonal relationship conflict and miscommunication can lead to operational inefficiency in a company. (And how trust between people is either growing or shrinking but never staying the same; it takes work).

16:34 - About Shandel Group and the origin story of the name.  

18:55 - What are the assessments that her group does at the beginning of an engagement? Can founders/executives do those on their own?

23:44 - When you are in a situation where you aren’t self aware, what do you do? How do you become aware?

27:44 - Coaching frameworks, a bit of Will’s story being coached, and what does the coaching framework typically look like for an executive?

30:24 - Personal retreats (when/how) and truth-telling from coach to client.

37:14 - Talking through the five dysfunctions of a team (Lencinoi).

44:32 - Mental health for founders, and what founders listening in need to hear as they are feeling convicted from this conversation.

48:38 - Why does miscommunication happen amongst teams?

53:33 - Talking through purpose, values, vision, mission, and why all the pre-work before you get to the particulars is necessary (and can create low-drama, high-functioning teams). For details, see: https://www.shandelgroup.com/thrive 

1:07:44 - What should founders look for when choosing a coach to hire? What are the things to watch out for?

1:09:54 - Will’s high-level takeaways from this episode (given that Shandel always ends her coaching calls with takeaways). :)