As the new Executive director of the community and Economic Development Agency (CEDA) for the City of Oakland, I inherited a great many civil service dis-empowered systems, and a culture of “entitlement”. The agency embraced diverse functions with a large staff of nearly 400 people operating in 15 “silos”. My direct reports were not used to having cross functional responsibilities or collaborative problem-solving as a team We developed a team-building process supported by Diane and her Associates who coached key leaders in the five major CEDA Departments. Her skilled and sensitive work directly supported improved performance management, increased cross-organization collaboration, and substantially improved business processes. Diane supports leaders in difficult times and enhances their ability to work in high performing teams.
I went to an executive workshop at Haas titled “Leader as Coach”. It was taught by a PhD along with his team. Honestly, your Skill Kit for Leaders is much more useful than what I learned from the workshop. The tool kit provides hands-on tools that can be used in so many areas. I don’t think it is being recognized for the great value it provides. I remember when I was stuck, couldn’t think of where to even start, I started poking around the Skill Kit and I found thinks that got me rolling to where I needed to go! Thank you!
The Skill Kit for Leaders, by Diane Foster is one of the best collections of tools and activities I have seen for developing leadership. The 8 leadership roles and 34 skills to develop them, creates a treasure chest of gems sure to improve leadership at all levels.
Can I share the resources you gave me on Listening and Communication from the Skill Kit with another Director who doesn’t have you as a coach? He really needs them too.
The Skill Kit for Leaders is packed with information and resources that leaders can use to understand and develop the skills and behaviors they need to succeed in our fast-paced and upwardly mobile world. I particularly like that it is all there – detailed, accurate, and laid out for me to use rather than invent. I spend my time working with my leaders – not doing the research and creating all of the materials. Saves me lots of time and energy. Most of all, the SKL helps me help leaders faster and with really good content.
I love the practicality of the “Skill Kit for Leaders” that you have developed for “real time” integration. You suggest tangible activities that a Manager/Leader can use immediately with their staff and you provide a wealth of resource materials — available through books and workshops and on the Internet, as well as videos on particular business topics. I especially like the format because it is clear and makes the resources easy to access.
As an external consultant, Diane works with her H.R. colleagues in a true spirit of collaboration. With close attention to communication, she builds leverage for the internal staff and program.
Diane enables those she works with to engage in ways that have not been the norm. She helped to stimulate the whole environment to learn, grow, and change.
I have watched Diane work effectively in two organizations and have been impressed with her ability to intervene and help resolve complex organizational problems. She values and works harmoniously with a diverse group of professionals and is skilled at guiding them to more productive individual and group behaviors. Diane is always on the cutting edge in her field and ably transfers her knowledge to those around her. She is an innovative and knowledgeable leader and contributor and I commend her work.
Diane Foster has been “organizational coach” to the Kitchell Corporation for over 3 years. Her work has supported the Leadership program that made the front page of the Wall Street Journal. We are grateful for her insight and ability to translate it corporate wide.