As An Executive Coach…

Steven Lurie PhDI have had the good fortune to coach hundreds of individuals representing a wide cross section of industries — some whose careers were extremely successful and some who, despite their abundant talent, found themselves sidelined and frustrated. Among the most important factors determining long-term success and satisfaction was the quality of the relationships each of these individuals formed with the people around them and their ability to contribute their talents with sensitivity to the needs of the culture and individuals around them.

With the absence of a rulebook for success, I have tried to translate the collective wisdom of my clients, and fellow social scientists and  into principles and guidelines for achieving success and satisfaction in the real world of personalities, politics and pressure.

My approach to coaching and consulting is consistent with evidence-based leadership best practices.   It assumes that talent and innate ability to learn, adapt and develop are so great that no one will ever come close to achieving their full potential.  In fact, for most people, the frustration is having much to offer, but being “kept on the bench” and denied the opportunity to contribute.  The challenge is being able to work with people and organizations in a way that creates openness, interest and the desire to invite your contribution.  This requires understanding who you are as others see you and the impact of your behavior on the people with whom we interact.

I subscribe to the notion that the deepest learning comes from self-discovery facilitated through dialogue with a trusted adviser who

  1. listens without judging and really understands what its like to be in their shoes
  2. provides feedback that is direct but not insulting or critical
  3. can be counted on to see and value the best in them even when they feel low, and sober them up when they get too cocky
  4. can help them think out of the box and brainstorm solutions using the resources already at their disposal
  5. asks good questions and challenge assumptions
  6. shares best practices of clients from different organizations when appropriate
  7. allows the client to take off  “their mask” and be themselves

I have incorporated this approach into my two recent books, Connect For Success: The Ultimate Guide To Workplace Relationships (2009) and Handbook for Early Career Success (2010), and companion workshop series Connect for Success. One or more of these have already been integrated into training programs at KPMG, Prudential Financial, NYU Stern, University of Vermont, L’Oreal, JPMorgan Chase, UBS, BET Networks, and NYSE-Euronext to help employees optimize their contribution in the workplace.

I also developed the Connecting Styles Survey and toolkit, an important element of my overall development approach. You can take the survey at and read about it in either of the two books, as well as in numerous articles on personal and career development.

In 1986, I started the leadership development firm, Lurie Executive Development, through which my team and I provide executive coaching, team building, on-boarding programming, organization assessment and development, performance management program development, culture change consulting, and collaborative change management.

Education: I earned a B.A. in Psychology from Brandeis University in 1975, and Ph.D. in Psychology from Adelphi University, Garden City, NY, where I completed an additional four-year postdoctoral program in psychoanalysis and psychotherapy and currently hold a faculty appointment of Associate Clinical Professor.