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Executive Coaching: Practice & Philosophy

Coaching is one of the best ways to improve one's leadership skills while developing others through affirming relationships. Our most requested coaching approach is for the executive who has been promoted and faces new challenges, or one who has "hit the wall" and needs a new perspective or approach. Executive Coaching begins with the realization that change needs to occur, recognizing your baseline of strengths and areas to develop, and the motivation to move toward that change/development. Below is our team of leaders who coach and conduct training for Leadership Systems, Inc. They are all highly skilled and experienced to help you accomplish your business and personal goals.

Jim Smith, a Certified Executive Coach, is unrivaled in his passion for leadership development and coaching. With nearly three decades of experience he has the unique ability to effectively coach at all levels from executive to student. Whether one-on-one or in a group setting, Jim will show you how to reframe your challenges into opportunities. As President and founder of LSI, Jim has assisted leaders in gaining a deeper understanding of their individual leadership style. His extensive experience includes 25 years as an adjunct trainer for The Center For Creative Leadership in Greensboro, NC where his coaching is a required viewing for all new CCL coaches. With over ten thousand one-on-one coaching sessions under his belt, Jim has the experience and understanding to help map your career path and resolve any professional barrier you might be facing. He created and developed the Leadership Coaching Seminar which has been offered in the USA, Canada and Kenya. Jim graduated from The Citadel, class of 1977, and holds a B.S. in Education. Jim completed his Master's degree in 1982 from Dallas Seminary and his doctorate in 1999. He and Karyn have four children and reside in High Point, NC.

GENE KLANN (USA & International)
Dr. Gene Klann is a recognized expert in the areas of executive coaching, leadership development, and crisis management.  For the past years he has been a top trainer at the Center for Creative Leadership in Greensboro, North Carolina, as a senior faculty member and the manager of number of the  Center’s key programs to include their signature offering: The Leadership Development Program. Gene retired from the U.S. Army in 1994. His distinguished 25 year career included service in Vietnam, Germany, Panama, Italy, and the first Gulf War. It culminated with service at the U. S. Military Delegation to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. He successfully completed five command tours, an airborne battalion commander role during Desert Shield and Desert Storm.  All 600 soldiers under his command returned safely to the U.S. resulting in seventeen personal military decorations, (3 for valor and 14 for specific acts of achievement or meritorious service). Gene earned his Ph.D., from the Free University of Brussels, M.A. in International Relations, B.A. in European History as well as an executive diploma as a U. S. Army War College fellow from the NATO Defense College in Rome, Italy. His books entitled Crisis Leadership 2003, Building Your Team’s Morale, Pride, and Spirit 2004. Building  Character in Leaders, October 2006.

SARA KING (East Coast & International)
Sara has been a senior leader at the Center for Creative Leadership since 1986. Her work has included research. writing, training, designing and client relationship management of both people and products. Her roles were Director of Global Markets and running CCL's largest business unit, the Global Open Enrollment Program offered at all five locations worldwide. As a thought leader in the field of leadership development, Sara has published several books and articles. A noted expert in women and leadership from her experience and her role on the research team for Breaking The Glass Ceiling, with fortune 100 firms, published in 1987. Her latest book, Discovering The Leader In You (2001), Leadership Education '87 and Leadership Education 1992-1993: highlighting leadership resources in higher education. Sara received a B.A. in English from Wake Forest University and a M.S. in Higher Education Administration from Cornell University.

BERT ROSS (USA & International)
Bert is located in Atlanta and has over 20 years experience as a national trainer in the areas of Leadership Development, Building Powerful Teams, Conflict Management, Conducting Powerful Meetings, and Powerful Decision Making. He is a Certified Executive Coach and holds his Professional Certification in Human Resource Management (PHR) with the Society of Human Resource Management. Bert graduated from Columbia International University with a B.S. in Education and has a Master's degree in Leadership Development and Organizational Leadership from Trinity Graduate School. 

Michael Bryant has over 35 years of leadership experience, including 28 years with a Fortune 50 retail company, and entrepreneurial experience of starting a small business, L.E.D. Consulting. He is a Certified Leadership Coach with strengths in personal development, team building and strategic planning. Michael is known for his engaging personality, ability to listen and asking key questions to discover issues of concern. He enjoys equipping business and non-profit leaders with tools to achieve excellence in both work and life. He has been a mentor, friend and confidant to executives, leaders on multiple levels, and front line employees due of his integrity, trust and servant's heart.

KEN HORTON (Central US & International)
From Space Surveillance officer to former Pastor of McKinney Memorial Church, Ken has been “leading leaders” in this senior role since 1984. He is also Chaplain for the TCU Football Team and is a LEAD–coach for the Hendricks Leadership Center in Dallas. Dr. Horton is an Adjunct Professor at Dallas Seminary and the South Asian Institute, Bangalore, India. His published works include “Building Your All-Volunteer Army” from Leadership Magazine in 1993. Ken leads from a wealth of experience, coaching ministry leaders and those from corporate America in life challenges, decisions and goal setting.

As a professional photographer and certified leadership coach, Patrick understands the value of viewing challenges from varying angles, through different "lenses." Patrick trains non-profit boards, facilitates strategic planning, and coaches leaders. He also delivers motivational speeches using humor, life stories, and organizational leadership experience to convey messages of personal empowerment, possibility, and leadership inspiration. A graduate of the University of Richmond, Patrick has earned numerous certificates in strategic and organizational leadership at Harvard Business School, MIT, University of Virginia, Duke University, and Washington State University. He has modeled his organizational leadership skills at the local and national levels within the United Way system. He is currently CEO of a leading United Way, and serves on United Way's National Professional Council. He is also adjunct faculty at the Center for Community Leadership in Alexandria, VA, as well as the Nonprofit Resource Network at Millersville University in Lancaster, PA.

Melanie Wolf has spent the majority of her career in higher education, working at  Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois and at Azusa Pacific University in Azusa, California.  With experience in student life, teaching, and leadership development at the collegiate level, Melanie has a strong passion for seeing others reach their full potential as learners, team members, professionals, and leaders.  With a BA in Christian Education (Wheaton College) and an MA in Educational Ministries/ Church Leadership (Wheaton Graduate School), Melanie has also served on the staff of a number of churches and ministry-based organizations. As a certified leadership coach, she enjoys team building and personal/ career coaching with an emphasis on understanding and building upon the unique strengths of every individual.  Melanie resides in the San Diego, CA area with her husband Philip and their four children.

LAURA WIECK (Central US Areas)
Laura is the developer of Body-Mind Connections in Columbus, OH. As an adjunct coach with LSI, Laura focuses on using the Mind-Body connection to help people understand how stress affects them mentally and physically. Her extensive work in stress management/reduction as a licensed LMT, has sharpened her realization of internal hindrances and barriers. Laura helps her clients decrease stress levels and coaches toward a goal of understanding business dynamics and external influences. Laura has a B.A. in Biology from the College of Wooster in Ohio.

Jayne Lessard has been a licensed, practicing therapist for over 32 years. She has counseled in-country staff for non-profits in Indonesia, Mongolia, Liberia, Uganda, and Thailand, while also working with the leadership of the Charlotte Eagles women's professional soccer team. She earned her Bachelor of Science and later her Master's Degree in Clinical Psychology from Wheaton College where she was also a two-sport athlete. She was the youngest ever Executive Director of a national family service agency & grew the staff from four to over 50 full-time employees. She ( & her husband Paul have two adult children. Jayne aims to help others maximize their potential. 

BRAD BRIDGES (USA and International)
Brad Bridges is a Certified Executive Coach and the Director of Leadership Systems Inc.'s Leadership Coaching Training Program. He is the Vice President of The Malphurs Group and Founder of The Ombu Group where he coaches business executives throughout the Americas and Europe towards alignment, growth as a leader, and sound strategic planning. He utilizes his cross-cultural experience (including English/Spanish fluency), IT consulting background, research in leadership development, and extensive leadership coaching experience to address the challenges his clients face and give them an added edge. Brad's education includes an undergraduate degree from Davidson College as well as a masters degree and PhD research in leadership development. He and his wife Lindsey have two children and reside near Charlotte, NC.

DR. DREW VAN HORN (East Coast)
Dr. Van Horn has 30 years of experience in organizational behavior, leadership development, public relations and cultural transformations in organizations -- within both the profit and non-profit sectors. Having served as a Chief Executive Officer for a complex business organization, Executive Director and Senior Vice President, Dr. Van Horn has a keen perspective on organizational management and organizational change, which has allowed him to work with numerous CEO’s and boards in dealing with the complexities of business. With advanced degrees in counseling and leadership, Dr. Van Horn has conducted research and generated articles related to decision-making, cultural shifts in organizations and organizational leadership.

Don Groves served for over 30 years as an Officer/Naval Aviator (Jet & Helo) with the US Marine Corps. His command, training and leadership experiences include postings on the East and West Coast of the US, Afghanistan, Bahrain, Japan, and numerous temporary assignments worldwide. In his civilian career (17 years), Don is a Commercial Airline pilot with a major US air carrier and has instructed, led, developed, mentored and coached, teams and individuals in Team Management, Communications, Situational Awareness and Decision Making. Don is a graduate of Auburn University, has an MBA from Chadwick University, and is a graduate of the Marine Corps Command & Staff College and US Naval War College Reserve Program. Don and his bride of over 30 years reside in Germantown, TN and have four married sons who currently all serve as Officers in the US military (2 Soldiers, 1 Marine and a Sailor).

Rob Gilliam

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