Episode #1016: Have you tried the "put yourself out of business" exercise? Are you fluent in the language of business? Are you having trouble introducing new members to existing groups? Tune into a conversation with Bud Carter, an executive coach, senior chairman of Vistage Chairs in Atlanta, board member of Vistage Florida as well as several other private companies in the southeast area, and author of Great Quotes for Great Businesses and Pithy Quotes for a thought provoking discussion on preparing for market changes, coaching through quotes, and getting to know people beyond interviews.
About Bud Carter
Bud Carter is an executive coach, senior chairman of Vistage Chairs in Atlanta, and a board member of Vistage Florida as well as several other private companies in the southeast area. During his career of 34 years in the executive coaching industry, Bud Carter authored two successful books: Great Quotes for Great Businesses and Pithy Quotes. Bud uses his passion for growth and effective business plans to fuel his coaching of CEOs and leaders from small, large, national, and international businesses.
Carter started his career with an introduction to Vistage (formerly TEC) through his career with an outplacement company. Much of Carter’s learnings were generated from his training with Leigh Barrett out of Washington D.C., experiences in the corporate and media world, and learnings from other coaches and Vistage Chairs. Carter’s introduction to Vistage spurred a thriving career in executive coaching.
Using his experience in the news and media world, Bud has honored the value of questions. For his clients, Bud is always searching for new information, quotes, and high-quality questions that dive into the deeper issues behind the decisions his clients face.
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From a career in media to executive coaching
Bud Carter started his career journey in the media industry. He was involved with broadcast radio and television, and became a partner at a newspaper. From there, he moved to an outplacement company in Atlanta, Georgia. It was from one of his outplacement clients that he was introduced to TEC (now Vistage). This introduction spurred Bud’s career in executive coaching. Since then, he has used his experience in the media as fuel for his current coaching practice. While in the media industry, Bud learned the value of asking questions and has used his learning as a method of encouraging clients to make thoughtful and effective business decisions.
Changes in the coaching industry
When asked how the coaching industry has changed, Bud shares his perspective on virtual meetings during the Covid-19 pandemic. Bud states that he desires “protected time” free from distractions. Severin comments on productivity from increased screen time and the need for balance. In response, Bud shares how this increased productivity has changed the real estate business dramatically. Businesses are altering their workspace conditions and considering going partially or fully remote, leaving many offices vacant. Bud and Severin reflect on these changes and note the global economy and corporate markets are always changing. Bud shares an example of a market change that negatively affected a group member’s business because they failed to adapt accordingly.
Severin and Bud discuss some of their favorite quotes from the likes of Maurice Mascarenhas, Michael Canic, Jim Cecil, Winston Churchill, and Jack Altschuler. Both Severin and Bud share in their belief the importance of quotes and their impact on clients. Bud shares a powerful quote on listening to customers and asking them questions. Severin responds stating that he is reminded of Ziggler and his stance on “voice inflection.” Bud and Severin share the importance of how the delivery of a question matters just as much as the content.
The "put yourself out of business" exercise
Bud states the importance of reviewing the overall business plan with his clients. He places specific importance on reviewing how the business could face potential failures. Bud encourages his clients to make a “plan B” in the case of a critical component failing. Severin relates this concept to the "put yourself out of business" exercise when CEOs are instructed to make a plan for losses of critical team players or resources. When discussing this topic Bud states that many of his clients will forget these essential steps due to being too focused on current issues and strategies. By encouraging “long-range” thinking, Bud further encourages executives to create better business plans.
Asking questions versus offering suggestions
With Bud’s extensive experience, he states that this can be a challenge for him and his coaching, but he holds a discipline of not suggesting solutions to client problems. Bud does this because he believes that he is a better help to his clients when he offers them questions. Allowing them to solve their own problems and formulate their own solutions enables them to grow into more effective executive leaders. To help with the increased need to ask questions instead of offer suggestions, Bud recommends that coaches coach individuals in unfamiliar industries. This lack of knowledge can spur creative questions and help bring in a new perspective to the coaching and client discussion.
Introducing new members to the group
Bud shares an experience in which he introduced a new executive leader to a peer advisory group of his that did not adjust to the group’s norms and customs. It was here that Bud learned to adjust his vision of the groups he led. Now, instead of screening, interviewing, and deciding who can join the group on his own, he invites the group into the final decision-making process. This ensures a smooth transition into the group for both the current and new members. In this experience, Bud also shares his learning of how having an out-of-the-office interaction with a prospective group member, employee, or client can inform you of many things that go beyond a traditional interview.
Sharing information effectively
In his coaching practice, Bud thoughtfully sets aside business and economic articles for individual clients of his to read. Each one of his clients has their own file in which Bud will place a copy of an insightful article that pertains to their current situation or concerns. By doing this, Bud hopes that they will revisit the information since they are given a paper copy of the article.
Learning the language of business
When asked about advice he would give to those wanting to enter the coaching industry, Bud states that they should start having conversations with those that are in the business already and assume the role of a coach in those conversations to get a feel for their own comfort level with coaching.
Bud reminds the audience that coaching is a fiercely competitive field for which no certification is required. Severin states that it is also important for coaches to have experienced the business field themselves. Bud calls this experience the language of businesses. When facing the competitive market, Bud believes that aspiring coaches need to develop their own “knapsack” of tools and experiences that make them stand out from the rest of the crowd. Learning the in-and-outs of the language of business is metaphoric to the story of Severin and his trip to Italy. He shares how he knew 400 words and 40 sentences, but because he didn’t fully have experiences with, and an understanding of the language, he couldn’t communicate effectively.
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