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133: The CEO’s Perspective with Eric Kaufmann, Executive Coach and President of Sagatica

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A common pain point of wellness professionals is how to gain leadership buy in. But in a recent WELCOA poll, only 13% of respondents agreed that their “leaders are strong champions for wellness”. That means 77% of respondents haven’t found a way to effectively engage their leadership in their wellness efforts!

So, what can we do to better engage leadership in our wellness efforts? Today’s guest, Eric Kaufmann, has some advice.

Eric brings 20 years of experience working with CEOs, helping leaders think more creatively, decide more effectively, and relate more wholeheartedly. He describes his work as an unrelenting commitment to results with an unyielding regard for the human spirit. Eric is the author of Four Virtues of a Leader and President of Sagatica, an executive development consultancy.

In this interview, we learn Eric’s definition of leadership, the four virtues of a leader and the difference between a leader and a manager. Eric offers his perspective on CEOs, their mindset and the interesting aspects of their role that many of us don’t consider.

When we get to the part about how we, as wellness pros, can get a seat at the table, I encourage you to listen up. Eric offers valuable advice, but it requires getting out of your comfort zone. Are you ready?

Interview Highlights:
  • [5:17] Eric’s definition of leadership and his four virtues of a leader.
  • [7:30] The difference between leadership and management.
  • [12:50] The personal, professional and spiritual experiences that shaped Eric’s leadership virtues.
  • [16:50] Eric demystifies the CEO and gives us insight into their perspective.
  • [25:40] The vulnerable position of CEOs.
  • [29:20] Getting executive buy-in – what you should know.
  • [37:10] How organizational culture and personal health come up in conversations with CEOs.
  • [42:05] Eric’s tangible tip for the practitioner.

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Eric’s book: The Four Virtues of a Leader

Full Bio:

Eric Kaufmann’s earliest professional insight into coaching and leadership wasn’t at his sales role at 3M, nor his Marketing leadership role at Corning. His first job exposure to coaching and leading was when he was a Scuba Diving Instructor at Ocean Enterprises in San Diego, when he was a college student. It’s there that he learned the techniques and values of organizing and influencing people to learn new skills, work together, and venture into the unknown and have a grand time.

For the past 19 years, after leaving Corporate, Eric has been the President of Sagatica, an executive development consultancy. Eric and his crew partner with leaders and teams at companies such as Verizon, SunPower, Dr. Bronner’s, Alcon, and Cymer. He describes his work as an unrelenting commitment to results with an unyielding regard for the human spirit.

Eric’s book, The Four Virtues of a Leader: Navigating the Hero’s Journey through Risk to Results, turns early scuba lessons into teaching the essential virtues shared by successful, passionate, and creative leaders and how they navigate through uncertainty and anxiety.

As an Executive Coach, Consultant, Speaker and Author, he partners with leaders to go below the surface and beyond the obvious so they can think more clearly, make better decisions, and relate wholeheartedly. 

Eric is a Fellow and Thought Leader at Harvard’s Institute of Coaching, and a speaker for TEDx. In addition to nearly two decades of coaching leaders, he drawn on management roles at Fortune 100 firms, degrees in business and psychology, thirty years of Zen practice, living in Israel and South Africa, teaching as a Master Scuba Diving instructor, working as a certified hypnotherapist, and meditating in a year-long retreat in an isolated cabin he built in the mountains of New Mexico. 

Eric lives with his wife, two daughters and dog and cat in San Diego, CA.

Sagatica Facebook page  Eric’s LinkedIn page

Wellness Professionals

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