Tony Mayo’s Blog: Tools, Techniques, & Thoughts



Top Executive Coach Tony MayoI use this blog to collect and make available some of my articles, insights, and guidance for the top executives I coach. My clients can easily find my best advice on goal setting, running meetings, stress reduction, and other topics important to anyone running a business. You can even learn how–and why–to meditate. I have videos, instructions, posters, and research results on this blog and a podcast on iTunes.

You are welcome to use all this in your work and to pass any of my posts along to your colleagues. I only ask that you preserve the attribution to me and not alter the content.

To contact me by telephone or email, click here for the “About Tony Mayo” page. A video that answers the most common questions asked by prospective clients is also on that page.



You can read what some of my clients have said
about my coaching by clicking here for “
Client Comments.”



Click here to receive my free newsletter for business leaders.



Click here to send me a message.


Please support this blog.
Do all your Amazon shopping
with this link

or use the search box at the bottom of each page.




Click to add your comments. »
© Tony Mayo except as otherwise noted
For Executives.

Executive Coaching Makes an Impact



Coaching is widely regarded as a potent development force.

  • 96% of organizations saw individual performances improve after they introduced coaching.
  • 92% reported improvements in leadership and management effectiveness
  • 77% of the respondents indicated that coaching had a significant or very significant impact on at least one of nine business measures.
    • 60% improved productivity
    • 53% increased employee satisfaction

— Coaching for the 21st century
Korn Ferry International
Jan Rybeck & Allen Moore



Click to add your comments. »
© Tony Mayo except as otherwise noted
For Executive Coaches, For Executives.

Free Sample: Audible Audio Book



Click here for Tony Mayo's podcast


Podcast #16: Tony reads a short sample from his first book: The Courage to Be in Community. The complete audiobook is for sale on iTunes and Audible

Just click here and either listen on your computer or subscribe through iTunes to have this and all new podcast episodes placed on your device as they become available. You may also set up an automatic “feed” to non-Apple devices by using this link: click here for other devices.



How to Apologise. And, Why.



A measure of a child’s maturity is progress from selfish self-justification toward compassionate empathy; from “I didn’t do it,” through “It’s not my fault!” and the teenager’s favorite, “I’m sorry you think it is my fault,” up to “I’m sorry you are hurt. What can I do to help?” Even experienced business people often revert to the most childish responses when stressed, threatened, or distracted (meaning, much of the time!). Each rung up this ladder makes our relationships stronger and our results better. Let’s explore each step and learn some even higher ones.

First, consider for a moment the results you want most. Review the outcomes you dearly wish to create, the aspects of life that deeply matter to you. Whether it is wealth, health, love, respect, ease, impact, or whatever else you yearn for, whichever measures of success you prefer, chances are that most if not all of your heart’s desires require the actions of other people.


You cannot achieve your most important results by yourself.



The quality of your interactions largely determines the quality of your life. This is particularly true in business, a game of producing specific, measurable results with and through the actions of other people.

The good news is, although our goals require help from others, most of us also try to contribute to the success of other people. We want to matter, to mentor, to nurture, to contribute, to belong, to be safe and appreciated. Much of human energy and attention is directed toward helping and getting help. To cooperate is human. It may be fundamental to all life on earth; it certainly is for mammals.

The bad news is, the more Read the rest of this entry »

1 Comment »
© Tony Mayo except as otherwise noted
For Executives.

Top Executive Coaching Newsletter Directory



CEO Executive Coach Tony Mayo has shared a great deal of practical information with business people since re-launching his free e-mail newsletter in 2008. Here is a list of topics covered. Just click on any title to read more.

Click here to have future newsletters  sent directly to your e-mail.




Click to add your comments. »
© Tony Mayo except as otherwise noted
For Executives.

Pixar Fosters Creative Community



I believe that community matters. … Pixar is a community in the true sense of the word. We think that lasting relationships matter, and we share some basic beliefs:

  • Talent is rare.
  • Management’s job is not to prevent risk but to build the capability to recover when failures occur….we don’t second-guess or micromanage.
  • It must be safe to tell the truth. …get honest feedback from everyone.
  • We must constantly challenge all of our assumptions and search for the flaws that could destroy our culture. …Nobody pulls any punches to be polite. 

Pixar’s Operating Principles

1. Everyone must have the freedom to communicate with anyone.

2. It must be safe for everyone to offer ideas.

3. We must stay close to innovations happening in the academic community.

if we aren’t always at least a little scared, we’re not doing our job.



–How Pixar Fosters Collective Creativity
by Ed Catmull, President
Harvard Business Review




Major Consultancy Simplifies Performance Reviews



Everyone loves to hate performance evaluations, and with good reason: Research has shown them to be ineffective, unreliable and unsatisfactory for seemingly everyone involved. They consume way too much time, leave most workers deflated and feel increasingly out of step with reality.

…more than half the executives questioned (58%) believe that their current performance management approach drives neither employee engagement nor high performance. [Click here to see the survey.]



…conversations about year-end ratings are generally less valuable than conversations conducted in the moment about actual performance.



Three items correlated best with high performance for a team:

  1. I have the chance to use my strengths every day
  2. My coworkers are committed to doing quality work
  3. The mission of our company inspires me



It’s not the particular number we assign to a person that’s the problem; rather, it’s the fact that there is a single number. … we want our organizations to know us, and we want to know ourselves at work, and that can’t be compressed into a single number.

Reinventing Performance Management
Harvard Business Review

The new approach focuses, alternatively, on how to develop employees in the future given their current performance.


–What if you could replace performance evaluations
with four simple questions?

Deloitte has come up with them
(and two only need a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer).

By Jena McGregor in the Washington Post



More on this blog about improving employee evaluations



Marriott: Happy Employees = Happy Customers

It’s always been the major belief of our company, take good care of your people, they’ll take good care of the customer and the customer will come back.

And we celebrate them. We train them. We teach them. We provide opportunity for them. You’ve got to make your employees happy.

If the employees are happy, they are going to make the customers happy.

–J. W. Marriott, Jr.
 speaking of his father,
the founder of Marriott Hotels

How Bill Marriott’s Putting Employees First Transformed A Family Root Beer Stand Into $14B Hotel Giant by Steve Forbes in Forbes Magazine January 8, 2014 

Humanized Work with an Emphasis on Mastery of Craft



I was very pleased to see an international expert on software development express the following clear insights into the types of workplaces my executive coaching seeks to foster.

Visionaries are designing organizations for collaboration. These firms remove the bottlenecks imposed by the strict hierarchies of the past. [In hierarchical firms] no one was being rewarded for taking the kind of risks that lead to innovation or other breakthroughs in performance which thrive in a climate of collaboration.

Knowledge workers spend a large proportion of their time seeking information, much of the rest making sense of what they’ve found, and relatively little time in applying what they now know.

Transitioning from a hierarchical way of working … requires letting go of habitual behaviors that may have worked well in the hierarchy, but no longer serve anyone when collaboration becomes a critical part of the work process.

[The result is] … humanized work with an emphasis on mastery of our craft, a focus on rapid learning and feedback, delivery of business value (sooner not faster), and close connection to customer needs (even ones the customers’ haven’t noticed yet).


— Diana Larsen on Agile Fluency,
Barriers to Agility &
the value of Open Space Technology
in InfoQ



A great meditation teacher in an unexpected format



Wise and wise cracking, funny and flexible, an amazing teacher of yoga, meditation, and living has created an entertaining and enlightening new television program. Here’s the preview of my friend Jonathan Foust‘s new program, One with Everything.




George Bernard Shaw on Excuses


People are always blaming circumstances for what they are. I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and, if they can’t find them, make them.

–Vivie, Act II of
Mrs. Warren’s Profession (1893)
via George Bernard Shaw – Wikiquote.

Popular Quotes from Tony Mayo’s Book on Community



Amazon #1 best sellerI just noticed an interesting feature of the Amazon Kindle software. It can display passages most often highlighted by other Kindle users. Here are some quotes favored by readers of my first book.

Our desire to belong is a life and death concern. It’s not a weakness or personal failure.

I realized that everything I wanted in life required the actions of other people.

Shame is being pushed out, excluded, and rejected by others. Avoiding shame is a universal human priority. It always has been.

Shame is so frightening, belonging so vital, it seems that we are continually confronted with this dichotomy of choice. We must either risk being emotionally vulnerable and open to attack and rejection, or we cover up, we fake, we pretend, we stifle ourselves.

We go along to get along.

Vulnerability is choosing my actions with the knowledge that other people participate in my life.

You can’t hide when you need other people. Pulling away from pain or risk, or responsibility, just leaves us alone and incomplete; fitting in but missing out.

“Because true belonging only happens when we present our authentic, imperfect selves to the world, our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance.” (quoting Brené Brown)

Courage is being true to your heart, your core. Bravery is a cover-up, hiding your true self so that people might respond to the way you’d like to have them think you are.



Tony Mayo Courage Sermon front coverScientific evidence and personal experience tell us that sincere, engaging personal relationships are essential for health and happiness. Yet, little is said about how we might actively nurture such relationships for ourselves and for people near us at home and work.

This short book offers specific advice and motivation to open up, reach out, and connect with all of our community members.



Creative Work is Food

To fulfill a dream, to be allowed to sweat over lonely labor, to be given a chance to create, is the meat and potatoes of life.

The money is the gravy.

–Bette Davis

Anti-Manifesto: What Executive Coach Tony Mayo is not



I am not a consultant. I do not create documents or deliverables.

I do not parachute in to do the job of my client or of their employees.

I do not press my advice on clients or try to make their decisions. (Click to read how a client describes being coached by Tony Mayo,)

I do not fix or cure people. I’m not a psychiatrist, psychologist, or therapist. (Read more on the distinction between executive coaching and therapy by clicking here.)

I am not an entertainer. My goal is not to have my audience enjoy my presentations, feel more comfortable or pleased with themselves, laugh at my jokes, or like me. I am only interested in coaching people toward causing lives they love.

Results matter. If what I do makes no difference I have failed.

I’m out to make people’s lives satisfying and fulfilling, to help them matter and have positive impact. I foster workplaces of humanity and prosperity by coaching the leaders of organizations.

I am an executive coach.



Develop Your Character



Helen Keller



Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet.


Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired, and success achieved.


Helen Keller





The Power of Concentration – New York Times



The core of mindfulness is the ability to pay attention. …less about spirituality and more about concentration: the ability to quiet your mind, focus your attention on the present, and dismiss any distractions that come your way.

…[Of] those who had received the mindfulness training. Not only did they report fewer negative emotions at the end of the assignment, but their ability to concentrate improved significantly. They could stay on task longer and they switched between tasks less frequently. …They also remembered what they did better than the other participants in the study.


The Power of Concentration
By Maria Konnikova
in The New York Times
on December 15, 2012



See free, easy Meditation Instructions on this blog.



Please support this blog. Do all your Amazon shopping from this link.

Tony Mayo, Top Executive Coach, is located in Reston, Virginia 20190