Forbes Coaches Council is an invitation-only organization for successful leading business and career coaches. In this spotlight series, we profile our incredible members and share their advice with you. This week: Susanne Biro.
Susanne Biro is an experienced executive leadership coach, who helps successful, values-driven entrepreneurs, business owners, and organizational leaders maintain focus and energy, prioritize and stay true to their highest values, and effectively communicate and collaborate with others.
She co-authored a book called, Unleashed! and the corresponding two-day workshop called, Leader as Coach™
Susanne is also an active proponent of veganism, believing it is a key lever to address our most serious global challenges. Learn more at susannebiro.com.
What inspired you to become a coach?
I first came across the profession of coaching by hiring my own coach. At the time, I was an account executive for an international advertising agency. Although I was on a fast track to be promoted, personally, I was struggling. I simply felt I could be more effective, authentic and a stronger leader, but I wasn’t sure exactly how. I found the coaching process incredibly beneficial, and I am grateful for the many ways in which it advanced me both personally and professionally. As a result of my own experience, I embarked upon the years of education, training, certifications and, of course, my own personal development work. It has now been over 15 years and I love the work I am privileged to do with senior level leaders in some of the world’s best organizations.
What one piece of advice do you find yourself relying on most? Why?
The one piece of advice that I rely upon the most is this: It is imperative that each of us practice listening more to that quiet, inner voice within us. Call it our higher “Self” or our instincts, it is that part of us that knows what is right, what is best, what to do next, and how to lead ourselves and others well. Often, this voice is hard to hear amongst the noise of the world. There is great value in developing the ability to hear and routinely act upon this inner level of truth.
What is the biggest hurdle your clients face? What advice would you give others struggling with this issue?
The biggest hurdle my clients face is that they hold significant titles and, thus, have few unbiased people with whom they can speak with freely. How I help is by providing a confidential, safe place to affirm the realities of their inner world: their personal struggles, very real frustrations, complex business challenges, people issues, as well as the daunting opportunities of our global marketplace. Together, we discuss how they can more effectively lead themselves and others well — given their vast responsibilities (both at work and at home) and, the complexity, visibility, and political landscapes they must navigate in order to achieve significant business results.
My talent is to see the human being behind a powerful title and provide useful feedback, perspective, and insight — coaching that results in seasoned leaders reaching their next level of personal, professional and spiritual mastery. As a result of the work we do together, my clients become more self-aware and intentional, and thus, are significantly more effective leaders for their organization. They also become happier people and, therefore, better spouses, parents and human beings in and for the world.
My advice to senior leaders is this: Create a community of trusted peers with whom you can fully be yourself, share all that concerns you, and where you will be both challenged and affirmed. There is nothing enlightened about trying to go it alone.