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.



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about my coaching by clicking here for “
Client Comments.”



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© Tony Mayo except as otherwise noted
For Executives.

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.



YouTube’s Chief, Hitting a New ‘Play’ Button –

Productivity and success in this industry are based a lot of the time on insights and prioritization and actually on doing the right thing, not necessarily on 15-hour work days. Google is very results-oriented.

–Susan Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube

She is home for dinner with her family almost every night — her husband, Dennis Troper, is a director at Google — and she generally doesn’t answer weekend emails until 9 p.m. on Sundays.

via YouTube’s Chief, Hitting a New ‘Play’ Button –

Do big things by letting go of small stuff



Reagan had been doing it for years. He understood an important distinction that [President] Johnson never grasped:


being in control and
being successful
aren’t always the same thing.


–Landslide: LBJ and Ronald Reagan
at the Dawn of a New America
Jonathan Darman via Delancy Place
lyndon johnson and ronald reagan — 11/26/14.



Leadership Matters in Business

The business ability of the man at the head of any business concern, big or little, is usually the factor which fixes the gulf between striking success and hopeless failure.

–Theodore Roosevelt
Annual Message to Congress
December 31, 1901

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.



From 1840:

In the United States a man builds a house to spend his latter years in it, and he sells it before the roof is on: he plants a garden, and lets it just as the trees are coming into bearing: he brings a field into tillage, and leaves other men to gather the crops; he embraces a profession, and gives it up; he settles in a place, which he soon afterwards leaves, to carry his changeable longings elsewhere.
     If his private affairs leave him any leisure, he instantly plunges into the vortex of politics; and if at the end of a year of unremitting labor he finds he has a few days’ vacation, his eager curiosity whirls him over the vast extent of the United States, and he will travel fifteen hundred miles in a few days, to shake off his happiness.
     Death at length overtakes him, but it is before he is weary of his bootless chase of that complete felicity which is forever on the wing.

Democracy in America, Volume 2 by
Alexis de Tocqueville
Chapter XIII: Causes Of
The Restless Spirit Of Americans
In The Midst Of Their Prosperity



Radio interview on The Courage to Be in Community



Eric Tonningsen interviewed Tony for his radio program, “Awakening to Awareness: Realigning with What Really Matters”


Click here to listen to Tony Mayo talk with Eric  about “The Courage to Be in Community”


Eric wrote: Tony’s recently published book, “The Courage to Be in Community” served as the underlying focus for our conversation. He shared his distinctions between courage and bravery, and authenticity versus genuineness.

We talked about the significance in communities of five “C’s”:

  • courage,
  • connection,
  • choice,
  • compassion and
  • conversation.

We also explored relationship, acting from the heart, mothering touch, vulnerability and ‘costumes,’ again in the context of community.


Click here to listen to Tony Mayo talk with Eric about “The Courage to Be in Community”



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

Tony Mayo interviewed by client REI 360

Chris Haddon sits down for a high-level conversation with Executive Coach, Tony Mayo, who has been coaching him and his business partners for years.

During this time they have made tremendous progress in their professional and personal lives. Check it out here.

On this podcast they cover:

  • How can you tell if a coach is qualified
  • What makes for the right coach/client relationship
  • The importance of “community” for your success
  • Hit your life’s goals using SMRs: Specific Measurable Results
  • Fixing the past vs. planning your future
  • The common denominators of successful people
  • Find out if coaching is right for you


Podcast with Tony Mayo | REI 360.

Making the Best of the Worst Part of Your Day



‘Mindful’ commuters say deep breaths, clear mind keep them calm under stress

Nancy Kaplan, chief operating officer at a management consulting firm in downtown D.C., said she pays attention to her breathing and relaxes when her jaw tightens or her fingers clench the steering wheel during her hour-plus commute. She said practicing mindfulness has expanded her driving field of vision beyond traffic to include trees, architecture and cloud formations.

– The Washington Post.



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