My Clients Say...

  • Lifelong Lessons

    What I have learned with Sherri is not a short-term fix for a current set of issues. My learning has been deep and will last a lifetime. I really looked forward to meeting with Sherri – it was fun, interesting, and expansive.
    - Andrew Hamel, Vice President, Amazon

  • Transformational

    Sherri gave me feedback that was right on target as I was transitioning from individual contributor to leading a team.  Sherri is genuinely interested in doing what is best for her clients.  Her coaching was extremely valuable and in some cases transformational!
    - Peter Rizk, Senior Director, Technical Marketing & Solutions Architecture, Infoblox

  • Consistently Rated 'Outstanding'

    As good as she is at design, she is even better at presenting. Employees consistently rate her courses as outstanding.  I would not put together a training portfolio without one or two offerings from Sherri.
    - Terry Dyckman, Former Vice President Human Resources, Blue Coat Systems

  • Expert in Her Field

    Sherri is an expert in the field. Her deep content knowledge, direct communication, and strong ability to synthesize contribute to her success as a trainer and a coach.
    - Chantal Laurie-Below, Executive Coach, Teach For America

  • Unique Talent

    Sherri’s team building sessions and decision-making workshops at my previous company helped me form a strong team under the most challenging conditions. Sherri has a unique talent for capturing the essence of a group's dynamics and coming up with solutions to resolve issues.
    - Erik Möllerstedt, Technical Program Manager, Waymo

  • Relevant, Credible and Highly Engaging

    Sherri is an exceptional curriculum designer because she takes the time to understand the specific requirements of the project and then applies her real world experiences to ensure that the course is relevant, credible and highly engaging.
    - Terry Dyckman, Former Vice President Human Resources, Blue Coat Systems

  • Extremely Valuable Coach

    In addition to being a bright spot in my day, Sherri has been extremely valuable to me as a management coach.  She is exceptionally good at finding simple, straightforward actions I can take to make quick improvements in several areas.
    - Russ Reynolds, Senior Director, Firmware, Micron Technology

  • A Trusted Partner

    I am fortunate to have had the benefit of Sherri as a coach. She is a trusted partner who will not shy away from delivering a difficult message that will result in positive change. And she frames issues in a manner that is both personal and useful. Work with her, if you can.
    - Bennett Yang, Senior Staffing Manager,

Sherri's Blog

Manager or Leader? That is the Question…

Written by Sherri Rose
04 Feb 2013

… that never seems to go away!

To describe the difference between the two, the late Stephen Covey used the metaphor of a tree in the jungle. Leaders are at the top surveying the landscape – looking ahead, making sure things are moving in the right direction. Managers are at the bottom of the tree clearing the path – valiantly chopping away – accomplishing the tasks at hand.  

The lesson we’re supposed to learn from this is that they are different jobs, and the implication is that you are one or the other.  While there are clearly differences between the two roles, this metaphor assumes that managers are short sighted and that leaders don’t want to get their hands dirty.  

In my experience a great manager looks ahead, looks behind, and makes decisions in context.  And a great leader never loses sight of what it takes to execute – from business operations, to employee development, to customer satisfaction.

To quote a friend, this management vs leadership conversation is “a difference without a distinction.”  In other words, in each are the seeds of the other.  

And recently I read an article that made the point that “to prosper, everyone has to become both more creative and more down to earth.”

So I challenge you to stop thinking about the distinction and, wherever you are in the organization, just practice “managerial-leadership” – because a great manager leads and great leader manages!

Wisdom of Flight Attendants Revisited

Written by Sherri Rose
08 Jan 2013
Last May I wrote about the wisdom of the ever-present, often-ignored airline safety announcement and the power of welcoming people onboard.  Waiting to take off recently, I listened once again.  This time I was struck by this part of the message:

Please make sure to secure your own mask before assisting others.

This is not a selfish act.  While it is different for each of you, you know how it feels and how you behave when you ignore your own needs for the sake of others.  As a manager, if you don’t take care of yourself, you can't effectively help your team.

So what are some things you can do on the job to make sure you’re in best shape you can be?

•    Attend to your own growth.
Identify development goals and some assignments, projects, and training that will help you meet them. Share where you want to go and enlist people who can support you.  Set some targets and work toward them.

•    Get feedback.
Let people know what you are working to improve and ask them to tell you how you’re doing.  Also ask people what you do well and focus on increasing those strengths.

•    Identify what you find most satisfying about your job.
Ask yourself if you’re doing enough of those things.  What’s missing that would make the day better?  For some people it’s planning time.  For others it’s an uninterrupted conversation with a direct report. Whatever it is make it happen.

The reason to do these things is simple and powerful.  If you’re “out of breath,” you cannot give your best to your team and your business.  And isn't that what we all want this New Year!

When Enough is Enough

Written by Sherri Rose
13 Nov 2012

I was having lunch with a director I’ve worked with for years, and she looked almost serene.  Not exactly the look I see on the face of most managers in Silicon Valley.  Intrigued, I asked her what was up.  She smiled and said, “I finally have my organization fully staffed.”  She described what’s happening in her organization and what it’s like to work there now.  She summed it up as “Relatively unstressed folks who get along with each other are doing good work.”

After lunch, I had a meeting with another manager.  As we were finishing, he asked “So, how do I know when I’ve got enough people on my team?” I thought about what produced the happy glow on the director’s face and suggested he’ll know when he sees these signs:

•    His group’s success metrics are being met consistently
•    His employees are not working excessive hours.
•    Things that used to be broken are fixed.  This includes products, processes, and relationships.  
•    His employees’ attitude about work is generally positive, and when people do complain it’s focused on solving real problems not vague grumbling.

While there are other indications, I’ve found that these are a good place to start when evaluating the question of full staffing.  And, of course, once you’ve reached your magic number you can count on things changing!  But that’s ok, because if you did it once, you can do it again – watching all the while for these signs you’re there.


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