The Greatest Factor That Derails Leaders Today and Other Questions for 5.12’s Executive Coach John Wittry

John Wittry


First up is 5.12’s John Wittry.


John Wittry, an Executive Coach and Master Facilitator, has a passion for unraveling challenges so that things work.  He has taken on this challenge with senior level executives and their teams in some of the most recognizable global corporations, and with individuals and small businesses.  For John, it is not just about the outcome or goal.  He’s also focused on the learning that happens along the way and how it can be leveraged in every area of life. In fact, John’s mantra is “learning is everything.”  


Here’s a few things John has learned related to corporate leadership.


Q:  What is the greatest factor that derails leaders today?

John:  Change is the biggest fear factor out there.  When faced with an ever-changing landscape, leaders, teams and organizations must continually reinvent themselves to remain relevant, engaged and experience ever greater results. Reinvention requires a willingness to be introspective and embrace change.  It’s hard work but the leaders who are willing to take the first step are my inspiration and I thank them for the opportunity to work with them on their journey.


Q:  What is one piece of advice that you consistently give leaders?

John:  When people progress from individual contributor to senior leaders, the amount of time they spend “doing the work” must decrease and be supplanted by more long-term, strategic and time consuming activities.  Specifically, senior leaders must shift their focus to two primary roles that leaders serve.  The first is to identify, develop and maintain relationships within their organization.  The second is to serve as coaches to their team members.  When executive leaders understand this shift, good results follow.


Q:  What’s one thing organizations can start doing today to groom their leaders of tomorrow?

John:  It’s important to create a clear competency plan for every level of leadership within a company.  Organizations need to groom the leaders of tomorrow for the next level of leadership well in advance of any promotion. So that when they do advance as managers, the emerging leaders are already well along the growth and education curve and more likely positioned for success.


What are your thoughts?  John welcomes any questions or comments.