Testimonials

What my clients have to Say

“Sheldon has been an executive coach, mentor and guide to me; and a teacher and coach to our leadership team, as well as the next tier of developing leaders in our organization. He is as fiercely devoted to the success of the team as to my own growth and development.”

I’m the President and CEO of a family enterprise in Texas which includes one business, two charitable foundations and the three ranches. I’ve worked with Sheldon for over four years now as our enterprise has grown in size and complexity. 

Sheldon has been an executive coach, mentor and guide to me; and a teacher and coach to our leadership team, as well as the next tier of developing leaders in our organization. He is as fiercely devoted to the success of the team as to my own growth and development.

Through our work together, we have developed a friendship I cherish.

  • Sheldon has worked effectively with our team in a retreat setting on several occasions.
  • Nearly all of our coaching sessions are conducted over the phone or through Zoom. I have never found this to be an impediment to his effectiveness or our productivity.
  • I appreciate that Sheldon’s direct, no-nonsense style, and his willingness to interrupt me with piercing, to-the-heart-of-the-matter questions, is balanced with an equal measure of empathy, affirmation and encouragement. Scrappy New York-tough entrepreneur meets Boulder-chill Zen master!
  • An insatiable reader, a sophisticated devotee of the cinema, a deep thinker, attuned always to the social and political context of the present moment.
  • An attentive listener. Always.

“Sheldon has a way of quickly getting straight to the heart of a matter and saying exactly what you need to hear to make meaningful change and move forward on the path to improvement.

He is truly gifted and he is a gift. I’m very grateful for his guidance.”

I recommend a notebook when working with him so you can write down his sage advice as it will continue to reveal truths as you reflect over time. Time with Sheldon pays dividends personally and professionally. 

“If you are reading this, and are looking for an executive coach or mentor who will work with you, who will commit to you and your team’s success, then I strongly recommend you meet with Sheldon Romer.

Keep in mind throughout that at the end of the day YOU have to do the hard work the coach is suggesting- committed coaches require committed players.”

Almost two years ago I was leaving my company: I was going to quit. I was demotivated, I felt outgunned. It was very chaotic. I walked into my boss’s office and resigned. He looked at me and said: “That’s the stupidest thing you’ve ever done,” which I appreciated. He certainly could have said, “OK, good luck,” but I received a reality check that proved to be a career turning point.

Shortly after that conversation my company Vice President asked if I would consider working with an Executive Coach, and I was subsequently paired with Mr. Sheldon Romer. During the following 7-8 months Sheldon and I did a lot of work: meeting with my team, reorganizing, working on my own personal leadership techniques and style. 

Together, we turned around the team. 

 

Relationships within the team, and our performance in the business, started to improve. As the team progressed, I suggested we expand the coaching to my four main leads, and we spent another six months applying our learning.

Working with a coach, even as gifted a coach as Sheldon, can be challenging. In my experience there was a lot of cynicism: Would this be effective? Was I being punished? This was something I beard from a colleague – that somehow if you have an executive coach you’re being punished. He couldn’t have been further from the truth. I listened to him, thinking: “This guy could use a coach!” Some of the leaders around me said: “He’s made up his mind to leave, and is just buying time until he gets a new job in place.” These are people I have great respect for and they’ve been honest with me about that; but now they say: “You completely proved me wrong.”

Early on, Sheldon facilitated a team meeting, and I had to leave early for a leadership meeting. When I left I said: “You guys keep talking.” Sheldon worked with the team, and they talked for another hour and a half. It was an early benchmark- the team’s ability to communicate on a more meaningful level. Each team meeting grew more relaxed. We had a meeting towards the end that could not have happened the year before: 20+ people laughing and having a good time. The tension wasn’t there.

In the business we grew as well. We had always been a respected team within the firm, but it was a frustrating period of growth and setbacks beset by difficult relationships. As Sheldon and I worked through the coaching, we worked on those difficult relationships, and how best to reach out. The result was capture of several million dollars of new business, and rapid expansion of the team’s impact and reputation across the Firm. In my last year with Booz Allen – the first full year of business after the core coaching experience – we won two large contracts from entrenched incumbents, and I received the best reviews and market bonuses of my career. Results matter.

If you are reading this, and are looking for an executive coach or mentor who will work with you, who will commit to you and your team’s success, then I strongly recommend you meet with Sheldon Romer. Keep in mind throughout that at the end of the day YOU have to do the hard work the coach is suggesting- committed coaches require committed players.

“Sheldon’s skill and leadership during our strategic planning process was crucial to the successful completion of the plan in an incredibly short amount of time. The knowledge and experience Sheldon brought helped the entire organization learn and grow as we developed our strategic vision and ultimately the final Business Performance Plan.”

The coaching services Sheldon provided were exceptional, too. By using coaching sessions during the planning process, we in leadership positions were able to keep pace with the challenges and change the organization and staff were encountering.

Without Sheldon’s time, talent, and dedication we know we would never have completed this process with such speed, efficiency and excellence.

“Sheldon has been invaluable to this department, by making substantial contributions to the development of individuals, to the leadership of our programs, to the functioning of our teams, and to our planning and operational efforts.”

Professional Development
We have used Sheldon for six of our faculty as they have advanced their professional skills as program planners and developers, evaluators, recruiters, skill developers, team members.

Leadership training
Extensive contributions to our rising leaders: developed faculty skills at leading, from small programs to entire departments; from creation of teams to maintenance of mature teams; during rapid growth as well as retrenchment.

Excellent work at detailed and nuanced evaluation of leaders’ stremgths and weaknesses, and prescriptions for further development.

Team building
Worked with teams and leaders to solve specific problems, overcome barriers, and develop smooth operation.

Retreat facilitation
Outstanding facilitator. Has facilitated large and small retreats; thorough preparation, well organized and structured but flexible. Anticipated problems. Can calmly deal with high levels of conflict and differences of opinion and approach. Clear outcomes with followup assignments.

“Sheldon is the poster child for listening and has many ways of practicing that art. He will be interviewing you and after a while will repeat back to what you wish you had said or conjecture some underlying theme, consideration, or contradiction that makes you say….wow or ugh, you just hit the nail on the head. It has been hard work and I have reached down deep to find the things I need to work on but it has never been a negative endeavor – always positive and re-affirming of my leadership and leadership amongst our staff.”

REFRAMING…..
If there was one big thing I would say about working with Sheldon would be the idea of listening to “what you don’t want to hear”.  Not to mean that in a negative way, but the re-framing of weaknesses and working on them so as to add those weakness corrections next to your strengths to underpin your personal or company endeavors.  I am thinking about when I first engaged him, it was not that we were unsuccessful or “bad” but we were strained and hitting the wall – me individually and definite cracks in the structure of how we ran our business. 

Sheldon is the poster child for listening and has many ways of practicing that art.  He will be interviewing you and after a while will repeat back to what you wish you had said or conjecture some underlying theme, consideration, or contradiction that makes you say….wow or ugh, you just hit the nail on the head.  It has been hard work and I have reached down deep to find the things I need to work on but it has never been a negative endeavor – always positive and re-affirming of my leadership and leadership amongst our staff.  

We really did not throw anything out (yes, we did) but we re-worked, re-crafted, re-invented, and renovated what we already had.  Sheldon has been very careful to help us recognize our own authenticity.

ALIGNMENT…..
This is the next big one I thought of because it comprises a push and pull between me and those that I lead, those that are learning to lead, and those that are not leaders or yet to emerge as such and how we learn from them.  Sheldon has worked with our company from top to bottom and side to side.  We are not going to be this homogenous group of people that all think alike, our skills are varied, and the experiences are diverse.  Sheldon has helped us draw the lines up and down and across as well as what is not a direct line.  He has helped us determine where structure is important and how information needs to cascade.  But, he also looks at what glues us together.  Sheldon has provided training for various groups (partners, emerging leaders, practice groups), coaching for individuals and facilitated strategic planning sessions for our company.  He has helped us gain insight on how we should be with each other, put definition to our culture, purpose and goals and demonstrate our best to our community and clients.  It is not all of the flip charts, lists, mind maps and powerpoints – it is how we feel about ourselves, our company and what we do.  The act of planning is never done.

MENTORING….
I was thinking about this and…..After 5 of work with Sheldon, I find myself already having a pretty good idea of what needs work, where we are failing, but, even better, after working hard the last 5 years – recognizing the success we have had with individuals and groups in the company that seems to happen on a weekly basis.  The work has paid off.  We have more depth as a company and as individuals.  I feel like sometimes during a coaching session – I already have “the idea” but I know that because of Sheldon’s mentoring, I am taking ideas from him or others and making them my own.  Basically, same thing here as above – the work is never done and that is joyful.

“Sheldon is the consummate professional. His guidance, demeanor, kindness, firmness and flexibility were the perfect mix for our group. He managed our unruly group of leaders and often heated conversations with a compassionate steadiness. He helped us extract the best from our time and taught us the true value is the journey, not the destination.

My respect and gratitude towards Sheldon is massive and support his excellence!”

Strategic Planning – Connect First
Our executive team and founders wanted to understand our true value as a company and product. We had been around for a few years, profitable and growing, but lacking in clarity of vision and messaging. We knew we needed an expert to guide us though the process, push and pull us, and to call BS from time to time. We had spoken with a few business consultants, and vetted a couple planning softwares to assist and automate. Sheldon was the clear choice to enable our team to be thorough, swift and dynamic in the planning.

Sheldon has helped us with business coaching for three years with different execs on our team, including COO, CEO, VP Customer Service and others. He also planned and facilitated the strategic planning. This consisted of multiple half and full day sessions, plus many individual engagements.

Planning Scope
This was our first strategic plan, even though we had ben in business for six years; the cleanup and distillation of those years of success/failure was significant. We set some pretty lofty goals and broke it down by department and expertise. Creating the core values and the rules of engagement for the process were critical to our success. We had (have) a few significant egos on our team and it helped to level the playing field and create strong rules of engagement.

Result of Planning
We were confident that the most important outcome would be our finished strategic planning book and the company roadmap, and we were wrong. Most vital was the process we as a team went through, and the aggressive and permanent refinement that occurred during that time. If you ask someone who has climbed Mt. Everest about how great the summit was, the conversation would be short; but if you asked about the journey up and down the hill they would have plenty to talk about.  Our journey was  more important than the destination, and our team and company took a big step forward together.

It has impacted us in three main areas, although I’m sure it has waterfalled in other ways too. 
1) Internal cultural unification and visioning
2) Marketing & messaging
3) Affirming and communicating value to external stakeholders. It has been an ongoing adventure since we formally wrapped up the strategic plan, as we review the doc and make adjustments as needed. It has been a great piece to hand off to our partners, new employees and relevant stakeholders.

Comments re: process/pre/post during
Sheldon is the consummate professional. His guidance, demeanor, kindness, firmness and flexibility were the perfect mix for our group. He managed our unruly group of leaders and often heated conversations with a compassionate steadiness. He helped us extract the best from our time and taught us the true value is the journey, not the destination.

My respect and gratitude towards Sheldon is massive and support his excellence!

“As part of a performance improvement plan, I was able to engage Sheldon Romer as an executive coach for six months of intensive work. We met regularly, he assigned me challenging homework, and he helped me work through a number of tough issues about myself and my leadership approach. He was challenging, sometimes irritating, and always supportive and honest. “

My career was in big trouble.  A nurse executive at a local hospital, my effectiveness had eroded over the previous year due to a combination of personal complacency and poor performance through an unproductive leadership team.  

As part of a performance improvement plan, I was able to engage Sheldon Romer as an executive coach for six months of intensive work.  We met regularly, he assigned me challenging homework, and he helped me work through a number of tough issues about myself and my leadership approach.  He was challenging, sometimes irritating, and always supportive and honest. 

Most importantly, he got results.  My leadership team is now far more productive, both due to team development that Sheldon facilitated, and through targeted turnover.

I have been able to reposition myself as an effective change agent, and a partner in the strategic direction of the enterprise.  Those results are visible externally: on an annual department staff survey recently conducted, department staff morale demonstrated significant improvement, with the greatest increases seen in staff experience of leadership.  Second, through my leadership, the hospital recently passed a major regulatory inspection with no significant clinical findings.  Sheldon provided me with the tools, confidence, and resources to rehabilitate my career.

“Sheldon is a trusted advisor that has helped me navigate the complexities of the corporate world by integrating my true values into the mix with authentic leadership skills.”

  • Embodies and exemplifies integrity in every way.
  • Demonstrates the beauty of professionalism balanced with authenticity and a nice dose of humor, which enables the ability to create the right amount of levity in serious situations.
  • Creates a safe container to be vulnerable and transparent.
  • Promotes and environment of trust and non-judgement balanced with thoughtful accountability and insightful feedback
  • Sheldon is a trusted advisor that has helped me navigate the complexities of the corporate world by integrating my true values into the mix with authentic leadership skills.
  • Encourages authenticity, vulnerability, transparency, honesty and courage from a strong foundation of integrity.
  • Teaches the value of the personal human element in professional situations, there is never a job, situation or place that including the human component isn’t appropriate.  People first.

“Today our lifelong goal is to be an association of learning. Sheldon Romer coaches with his whole heart and being. He listens and guides and designs his coaching around you, for you. He is intelligent, clever, humorous and serious. He is easy to talk to but he is hard on you and doesn’t let up or give up. He has made a major accomplishment within our association and it is openly wonderfully obvious.”

My path with coaching started in 2008.  I hired a coach for about six months.  In the beginning it was great and then I found myself feeling pegged into typical program that was not about me and all about a “by the book” program.  This was actually a great revelation because I decided that I wanted to learn more about coaching and started to research coaching classes.   I found a venue close to my hometown and began the process. 

I loved the class, but most importantly I met Sheldon Romer.  He was one of the professional coaches who assisted with the class.  The students were practicing coaching with each other.  I was working with another student and Sheldon was observing.  I was so frustrated with the other student because he was asking questions that gave me little room to try to express my thoughts.   We were stuck.  Sheldon asked if he could step in for a moment.  He said this to me.  “Mary, it seems to me that you are very passionate about this.”  I was stunned.  How could this man who I just met know that my frustration was actually passion?  At that moment I was hooked on coaching and being coached.

My passion in that situation was about my staff.  I was promoted in my company and was given five additional departments to manage.  The greatest opportunity for me was to melt these into one team. 

We worked together for a time and had some success.  I felt that I needed a facilitator to take my place.  I needed to be on the team with my staff.  I hired Sheldon to start working with the team.  We went through a lot of sessions dealing with the old culture and below the line behavior.  He led us and we began to build a healthy constructive team. 

At our last group coaching session with Sheldon we wholeheartedly worked as a team.  We wanted to work on positive and constructive ways to improve our procedures and better ways to train our season staff.  We now have 5 common goals for 2012.  We have committees for each goal and all fulltime staff are on one of these committees.  I do know that we would not have gotten here without Sheldon’s coaching.  He is now coaching one on one with some of my managers.  The growth and confidence in these staff is overwhelming.  The trust we have with him is amazing. 

Today our lifelong goal is to be an association of learning.  Sheldon Romer coaches with his whole heart and being.  He listens and guides and designs his coaching around you, for you.  He is intelligent, clever, humorous and serious.  He is easy to talk to but he is hard on you and doesn’t let up or give up.  He has made a major accomplishment within our association and it is openly wonderfully obvious.

I am thankful that I met him and hired him for my departments.  However, the pinnacle of this story is that now, other departments are also hiring him.  THAT is the change and the momentum he has started.

I met Sheldon over 10 years ago as part of the Authentic Leadership program at Naropa. I knew right away that he was a person I wanted to learn from and work with. 

Sheldon has worked with myself and our core coffee team as a personal coach and facilitator of leadership and culture workshops.  We wake up & kick ass with purpose every day, thanks in part to Sheldon’s wisdom, insight, knowledge and experience. 

Thank you Sheldon!

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