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Are you ready to improve the performance of you and your team? Here’s a proven approach that creates lasting transformation.

Leadership Coaching

Group participating in stakeholder-centered leadership coaching

Coaching is an investment in people that are on a growth track, it’s not a rescue. If you are serious about expanding your role as a leader, we have a proven system that helps you achieve measurable change in your performance, and builds your brand by ensuring that the people around you see and benefit from your progress.

This highly-effective and time-efficient method identifies the highest pay-off areas for you to improve, then laser-focuses on those areas until they become second nature. Everyone around you will know that you are someone who is ready for the next level.

“In any group activity – whether it be business, sports, or family – there has to be leadership or it won’t be successful.” – Coach John Wooden

Team Coaching

Celebrating greater success after team coaching

Building and maintaining a great team requires more than a pump up. Teams need an on-going process that keeps them focused on getting the work done in a better way while supporting the team environment. This is essential for teams at every level: just forming, adding new people, tackling a new project, or raising the bar.

In this thorough yet time-efficient process, your team will measure their current effectiveness, decide what level they need to be at, and then consistently implement an action plan that will improve both team and personal performance.

“The main ingredient of stardom is the rest of the team.”
– Coach John Wooden

Free 30-Minute Strategy Session

In this free 30-minute call, we will clarify where you are at, where you need to be, and what you want things to ideally be like. We will also explore the skills you will need and what steps you must take to move things to the next level, and achieve consistently greater results.

Schedule your call here

“Failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be.” – Coach John Wooden

Shawn Clark is President of Atlanta Challenge, LLC, an Atlanta based training and coaching organization where he develops and facilitates cutting-edge workshops and effective coaching for teams and leaders. Shawn has been involved in team training and executive coaching for 25 years, and established Atlanta Challenge 16 years ago. He is a certified Robbins-Madanes Coach, and a certified Marshall Goldsmith Stakeholder Centered Coach.

Shawn developed the Teamwork Compass,® a powerful tool which helps teams and leaders develop an effective culture of success. During his extensive career, Shawn has brought his unique combination of insight and inter-action to thousands of companies such as Accenture, Coca-Cola, Home Depot, and Cox Media. He has also worked with many organizations including the US Army, the CDC, the American Cancer Society, and hundreds of other groups. He has worked with leaders and teams at all levels, and from all industries including business, government, schools and colleges, not-for-profits and more.

“Shawn, I appreciate all you do! Your coaching and mentorship is getting us closer and closer to being the most powerful team, EVER!” – David, VP Cox

How Stakeholder-Centered Coaching Works

Stakeholder-Centered Coaching Theory

Stakeholder Centered Coaching

Stakeholder Centered Coaching is a comprehensive process that focuses on improving specific behaviors that directly impact the effectiveness and image of leaders and teams. It is important for their to be real change; AND for those people around them to see the change and believe the it will stick in the long run. This process was designed by Marshall Goldsmith who is an internationally recognized executive coach and best selling author. Over 40,000 teams and leaders around the world have been through Stakeholder Centered Coaching, and the system has a 95% success rate.

The primary focus of Stakeholder-Centered Coaching is on the Stakeholders who are affected by the behavior of the team and/or the leader. We focus on getting specific actionable intelligence from various stakeholders; not just in a single 360 assessment, but on an on-going basis to ensure that the changes become second-nature. This regular interaction with the stakeholders also ensures that the changes are recognized by others, helping to ensure that a more powerful reputation is established.

The request we make of Stakeholders is simple: be positive, be helpful. We emphasize “Feed-Forward,” not just Feed-Back, which gives provides positive input to take action on, and keeps the process upbeat for everyone involved.

Stakeholder-Centered Coaching Process

Stakeholder-Centered Coaching Process

PHASE 1: The Goal

We start by defining a specific behavioral goal important to the leader, the team, and the organization. The goal can be determined in a number of ways including surveys, 360 assessments, stakeholder feedback, or another type of needs analysis. Once established, the coach helps to break the goal down into a set of specific behaviors that the can be implemented, observed and measured.

PHASE 2: Buy-in from everyone involved

Our methodology recognizes that for people to fully buy into the process they need to play a role in choosing what to improve. This includes the people making the change, and the people who will be affected by the change; the stakeholders. The coach helps to identify who will be the relevant stakeholders impacted by the goal and works with the stakeholders to get them ready to actively participate in the improvement process. The coach also helps create daily, weekly and monthly action plans for the participant(s) that will help them make the most impactful changes consistently.

PHASE 3: Monthly stakeholder input and course corrections

Participants check in with each stakeholder monthly using a simple, efficient and safe process. During this brief 3 to 5 minute check-in the stakeholder provides feedback on the prior 30 days and any suggestions moving forward for the next 30 days. The results are reviewed with the coach and decisions are made on what to add, change, or modify for the coming month. Any new action items created fare communicated to all the stakeholders so that they know they are being heard, and so they know what changes to keep an eye out for in the coming month.

PHASE 4: Measure change as perceived by stakeholders

Half way through the assignment, and the end of the assignment, a formal mini-survey is conducted with the stakeholders to assess the progress made on the development goal. This is an anonymous survey in order to validate the improvement made and to measure the changes in stakeholder perception. The coach helps assemble an After Action Review to pinpoint what happened, why, and what actions to take forward into the future.

Stakeholder-Centered Coaching Principles

Stakeholder-Centered Coaching Principles

1. Coaching Is a Cost-Effective Investment with a High Rate of Return

Executive coaching is relatively inexpensive when measured from the perspective of return on investment. Reported ROI’s from coaching tend to exceed 500%! This is why our coaching model focuses on specific goals and behaviors that can be observed and measured, and make a real difference to the individual client, the team, the stakeholders and the organization.

2. Coaching Must Align to Business Outcomes

Any investment in executive coaching must be data-driven, measured against desired business results: improved processes, streamlined decision-making, and a healthier bottom line. The more clarity there is about what you are trying to accomplish in the organization the more powerful the effect of coaching will be.

3. Coaching Must Involve Key Stakeholders

The whole coaching process must include the participation of key stakeholders. Colleagues, bosses, direct reports, other departments, board members or even customers are identified early in the process – and their feedback about the process is actively sought. Change is only beneficial when it can be observed, measured, and has a positive impact on those effected by the change.

4. Executive Coaching vs. Life Coaching

Executive coaching will not help you decide what you want to be when you grow up, help you find your ideal mate, or help you with issues of distress or personal loss. Life coaching best resolves such personal challenges. An executive coach, however, works with an individual or with a group to help develop leadership behaviors and team skills that directly impact your organization’s strategy and contribute to its key financial indicators. During the process individual sticking points may be addressed if appropriate, with the focus being how to accomplish the organization’s goals in a healthy, efficient and sustainable way.

5. Coaching is Winners

Executive coaching is for winners, not rescue cases. We work with teams and leaders who are highly valued key contributors — whose roles are expanding, who are motivated toward organizational growth and increased profitability, and whose commitment to the process is unshakable. Coaching is designed to make the best people even more effective. It’s about working with professionals who are already very good at their jobs – and making them even better. Coaching is not for someone with questionable ethics, lagging skills, or waning commitment.

Stakeholder-Centered Coaching Results

Stakeholder-Centered Coaching Results From Around The World

“As the CEO of the Girl Scouts, I was working to help a great organization become ‘the best that we could be’. I was exuberant about the experience, I improved and we moved this process across the organization.” Frances Hesselbein – winner of the Presidential Medal of Freedom

“Marshall is a great coach and teacher. He has done a lot to help both me and our high-potential leaders. His approach is practical, useful, helpful and fun!”
JP Garnier – CEO GSK – one of the world’s 20 most valuable companies

“Stakeholder-Centered Coaching has helped me become a more effective leader – as judged by the people who are most important – our employees. has helped me and my executive team members to be much better positive role models for living our Leadership Principles.”
Jonathan Klein – CEO Getty images – the world’s leading imagery company. In 2005, American Photo magazine ranked Jonathan and Mark Getty as #1 in their list of The 100 Most Important People in Photography.

“Stakeholder-Centered Coaching has helped me personally to improve as a leader and has provided the tools and dynamics to turn a well-functioning management team into a high-performance team, where all the members have improved individually, and considerably added to team performance.”
David Pyott – CEO Allergan

“Stakeholder-Centered Coaching helps highly successful people get better and better and better. It helps me enormously at work, but it makes an even bigger impact at home – helping me become a better husband and dad. What could be better than that?”
Mark Tercek – Managing Director, Goldman Sachs & Co – a leading investment banking, securities and investment management firm.

“While Cessna focused continuous improvement on business results, Stakeholder-Centered Coaching helped me focus on our leadership team’s continuous improvement. The impact is amazing. This practical no nonsense approach is making a positive impact both professionally and personally on all of us. I have never had so much fun working on such a tough topic. Thank you!!!!!!!!!”
Jack Pelton – CEO Cessna

“Seasoned executives often have a difficult time accepting that they can get better and understanding what they need to do to get there. The difference Stakeholder-Centered Coaching has made with me is truly exceptional – and the only thing better is what I have able to do with my senior executive team.”
Bob Cullen – CEO Thomson Healthcare and Scientific

“A Stakeholder-Centered coach is like a best friend who tells you honestly what you need to know in the spirit of helping his best friend to do even better. Genuine feedback from your colleagues, properly interpreted, and in actionable helps you to create a feedback loop which helps to make you a better leader and to measure how much you have improved. As a CFO, I believe in measurement!”
Jim Lawrence – Vice Chairman and CFO General Mills

“Stakeholder-Centered Coaching was tremendously successful in helping our leaders to better appreciate the value, art and impact of effective leadership. We focused on practical coaching tips that will help our leaders raise the bar on performance. You don’t have to be fancy, but you must have the courage to lead.”
Darnell Smith – Group Vice President, Service – Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Florida.

“Stakeholder-Centered Coaching has greatly assisted me and my management team in focusing on the best possible leadership and management techniques. I the unique approach to coaching and mentoring to be extremely effective. It deals with sensitive issues in a way that is practical and fair. It refreshes existing skills and presents the latest techniques to accommodate the ever changing corporate structure.”
Rick Berry – President, Independence Capital Partners

“Consistently working my plan has helped me be more conscious of my behavior and the behavior of other people. The daily worksheet that Chris and I created keeps me focused. I need to make more opportunities to follow up with people and ask if they have noticed a difference. In the past, this felt awkward to me and a little too “staged”. Now, I have informed stakeholders who expect that I will do this, so I feel a little more at ease asking. Stakeholders do notice hard work and appreciate it. I felt good that people acknowledged it and also understand they are looking for more. Chris’s ability to keep me focused. In addition, he help me think issues through, be able to see the big picture and articulate it effectively. Thanks.”
Joe – CFO

“Changing my own behavior is not easy, especially when my day fills up with meetings and I’m playing catch up, but the coaching plan has become part of my thought process and I know I’ll carry it with me. The coaching has been invaluable. Thanks to everyone who pushed me to do this.”
Jeff – SVP Sales

“Although when I first started this program I had a negative attitude, at the present time, I realize that thanks to the coaching I was saved from a possible career setback and overall found the experience to be rewarding in many ways: a happier life, stronger relationships (both internally and externally), better negotiating skills and more. I am committed to continue with this program’s concepts and values because I believe in it and I’ve seen the positive results for me and the firm.”
Jerry – General Manager

“I appreciated the insights and reminders. Often when I was frustrated and overwhelmed with the noise and attacks by some, my coach simplified the process of next steps and how we can achieve the most positive result. He reminded me often to get clarity and to really be clear myself. His validation of the process and the resulting changes I felt in me and my management was most beneficial and rewarding.”
Joan – Regional VP

“My coach was available when needed and on short notice, to help review specific situations and analyze how I performed or ways to improve throughout the last six months. He offered strong guidance on tough situations and provided honest feedback.” –
Kerry Peters mini survey and AAR
Kerry Peters – VP

About the John Wooden Quotes

John Wooden was the head coach at UCLA and won 10 NCAA National Championships in a 12 year period, including an unprecedented 7 in a row. The closest any other coach has gotten is 2 championships in a row. He was named the national coach of the year 6 times, and was the first person ever inducted as a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame as both a player and as a coach. Coach Wooden was regarded as one of the wisest and best college coaches in the history of college basketball because he focused on the character of his team, and developed them as players and as people. He didn’t focus on winning, but instead focused on game excellence – emphasizing being as good as you can be.