Leadership Training

What Sets Us Apart?

All too often, leadership training programs are based on superficial platitudes and clichés, which insult the participants’ intelligence and leave them rolling their eyes and mentally checking out.  

At the other end of the spectrum, some courses overwhelm participants with too much theoretical content, leaving them unable to retain most what they’ve learned — much less apply it once they return to their normal routines.

At Executive Sound Board, we take a very different approach. Our philosophy is best captured by an old proverb, which says:

“Tell me, and I’ll forget. Show me, and I might remember. Involve me, and I’ll learn.”

Accordingly, our programs are experiential, engaging, and participatory by design. Attendees leave with valuable new mindsets and skills that they have already begun to internalize and are eager to apply in the real world.


To provide meaningful value regardless of time and budgetary constraints, we offer training in a variety of formats and durations, including:

  • 60-to-90-minute lunch & learn sessions, either in person or online
  • In-person targeted skills training
  • Group training sessions ranging from ½ day to multiple days
  • Offsite leadership retreats
  • Ongoing webinar series' spanning 4-to-12 weeks


Our curriculum covers an extensive range of leadership development topics, including:

Influence without authority

Communication & influence styles

⇒ Head: left brain, facts & logic, reasoning

⇒ Heart: right brain, emotional appeal, vision, mission, values

⇒ Gut: accountability, consequences, deliverables, results

⇒ Legs: when and how to walk away to prevent unproductive escalation

How to prepare for high-stakes conversations

⇒ CPR exercise (Context – Purpose – Results)

⇒ Role play

⇒ Preparing for and handling objections

Overcoming overwhelm via time & priority management

⇒ Time studies

⇒ Rating activities for strategic value

⇒ Eliminating/consolidating/delegating lower value activities

⇒ Discerning what needs to be done at an A+ level vs. where a B is perfectly sufficient – and therefore better.

⇒ Designing the ideal day/week


⇒ Limiting beliefs and fears around setting boundaries

⇒ Keeping the big picture in mind vs. the perceived need to please others and say yes to everything

⇒ Communicating clearly

⇒ Negotiating and enforcing boundaries

⇒ Effective requests, offers, and counter-offers

The key components of trust, and why the distinctions matter

⇒ Sincerity

⇒ Reliability

⇒ Competence

Communicating simply and powerfully

Ensuring deep alignment

⇒ Explicit vs. implicit expectations

⇒ Shared “backgrounds of obviousness”

Active listening and awareness

⇒ The five levels of listening

⇒ Harnessing the power of curiosity

⇒ Mirroring & paraphrasing exercise

– Seeking not just to understand, but to have the other person feel understood

⇒ Executive Presence

Creating and maintaining a high-performance team culture

Clarifying team purpose and vision

⇒ Creating alignment around roles & responsibilities

⇒ Establishing team values, norms, and standards

– Communication standards

– Consensus around how to hold each other accountable

– Aspirational vs. behavioral values (i.e. your stated values vs. the values your behavior reflects)

– Going beyond fuzzy adjectives to define specific behavioral habits

– Leading by example

Handling conflict – key mindsets

⇒ Distinguishing between productive (healthy) vs. unproductive (unhealthy) conflict

⇒ Recognizing that healthy conflict is essential to team performance

⇒ Recognizing when interpersonal conflicts are actually signs of structural ambiguity (e.g. lack of clarity & alignment around role definition)

⇒ Recognizing and leveraging different conflict and communication styles

Naming elephants

⇒ What uncomfortable conversations are you avoiding that could come back to bite you in the future?

⇒ How to navigate uncomfortable yet critical conversations

– Setting context

– Creating psychological safety – the “go first” principle

– Communicating clearly and productively

– Future & solution focused vs. past-based and/or accusatory

– NVC (Non-Violent Communication)

The power of recognition and strength-spotting

Communicating with internal and external stakeholders

Team feedback cue card exercise

Engaging, motivating, and retaining employees

Essential ingredients for satisfaction & fulfillment at work

⇒ MAP (Mastery – Autonomy – Purpose)

⇒ Setting clear expectations

Giving effective feedback

⇒ Timely

⇒ Specific & behavioral vs. abstract and character-based (i.e. avoiding fundamental attribution error)

The untapped power of acknowledgement and recognition

Best / worst manager exercise

Best / worst organization exercise

Earning the right to lead

Effective delegation

⇒ Limiting beliefs & concerns around delegation

– “If I want it done right, I have to do it myself”

– “It’ll be faster just to do it myself” vs. taking the time to build capacity in others

⇒ Setting clear expectations

⇒ Going beyond task assignment to build organizational capacity

– The importance of creating context, i.e. building the connection between individual assignments and broader organizational mission

Cognitive biases and decision-making

⇒ How to recognize and transcend common thinking errors to vastly improve decision-making

If you are interested in a specific topic we haven’t listed, please contact us. We would be delighted to discuss your unique requirements and custom-tailor a program for you.

Life Changing

When I entered into coaching, I was nervous. In all honesty, I have an easier time communicating with women vs. men, especially in a development or therapeutic session. However, Chris was the perfect choice for me.

He is a great listener and communicator who has really let me take charge and explore my development opportunities, strengths, and my life.

I know "life changing" is a huge rating but the conclusions I came to in my last session with Chris after we reviewed my 360 feedback inspired conversations with my wife that I feel will change the trajectory of our lives, so if the rating shoe fits...

My life is richer for the time I have spent with Chris, not to mention my career, family, and colleagues.

Thank you, Chris.

Jeff S., Head of Talent

Exceptional Coaching

I met Chris in a group / peer support environment. Over time it became clear that through our work and independant training Chris has developed exceptional coaching capacities. Time and again I've witnessed Chris's leadership in bringing some of our members from unconscious and recurring destructive patterns to awareness and choice. When Chris started coaching individually I signed up fully expecting, and receiving considerable value.

Just last week, Chris helped me re-frame a past disappointment as a fact, not a constraint. It's obvious in writing; it became obvious in session.

— Shayne R., Investor and Business Owner


Chris has done tremendous work with me. In our work together, there have been several qualities that have stood out to me, including three that have been paramount in my opinion. These were evident almost immediately.

1. He has Zen like patience to listen and work through difficulties in life.

2. He has the uncanny ability to help peel back the layers to ultimately get to what is holding one back.

3. Once the roadblock to progress has been identified, he intuitively works with you to identify solutions, and never pushes his opinion on you.

— Ramu T., Market Research Professional

Empowering and Supportive

I had a hypothesis (about myself) that certain behaviors or approaches of mine weren’t getting me the resources, attention and support I needed from my executive team to advance my business forward.

I was frustrated and questioning if the role I was in was the right one for me. 

Through my work with Chris, I was able to see that my tendency to always be seen as “nice” and “accommodating” was holding me back from moving my business and career forward.

Chris worked with me and gave me the tools and support I needed to negotiate boldly and within just a few months, my CEO aligned with my vision and agreed to everything I asked for.

Jennifer F., Senior Vice President

Deep Cross-Functional Knowledge

I had the great fortune of finding Chris as my personal executive coach.

Chris perceives layers,connectedness and possibilities for his clients within their unique organizational space. He offers framework and words that enable his clients to surface the best in themselves and their organizations. Because Chris has deep cross-functional knowledge and is genuinely interested and widely read, he will guide you through the insights, exercises and authors that fit your journey.

Chris has so much to offer and I'm thankful for the healthy growth he will continue to bring out in organizations and their leaders.

Fiona H., Director of IT and Technology

Best Coach Ever

Chris is AMAZING. I have had a few different executive coaches over my career including one provided by MIT and he is THE BEST.

What is great about Chris is that he is exceptional at listening to me talk for a while then rephrasing what I said into a clear goal for the session. Then he follows that with a conversation where he questions my assumptions about what to do next and provides feedback that is thought provoking and helpful. In this way he helps me see possibilities that I wouldn't have seen without him.

The end effect is RESULTS - each and every time we tackle a specific goal (preparing me for a CEO briefing for example), I am able to achieve beyond expectations.

He is literally the BEST COACH EVER.

 — Jennifer S., Managing Director at a Top Five Consultancy

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