Chain of Learning: 20 | How to Coach Executives and Influence Change [with Brad Toussaint]

Have you ever received blank stares from leaders when you’ve advocated that they adopt an improvement method or tool you know will help them? 

Perhaps the problem is not your idea but rather that you aren’t communicating in a way that connects these concepts with the business outcomes they need or in language that they understand.

One hurdle that can hinder your effectiveness in influencing executives is the very thing that makes you valuable in your position and as a passionate continuous improvement leader  –  your technical expertise and problem-solving ability.

That’s why, in this episode, Brad Toussaint and I explore the importance of communicating in ways that resonate with senior leaders about the outcomes and business results they need. We then discussed how to coach leaders to develop the behaviors, practices, and systems that will lead to those results.   

We also discuss the critical shift you need to make from being the doer of improvements to becoming a coach to executives to enable them to be serious about what it takes to lead change and their essential role in setting direction and creating the conditions for people to be successful.   

Being an effective change leader and coach isn’t just about having technical know-how—it’s about explaining all the methods, tools, and behaviors in a way that business leaders and executives can understand and then apply.


  • How transitioning from a ‘doer’ of improvements to a coach and enabler of managers and executives can drive sustainable change
  • Different strategies for simplifying complex principles, making them accessible and actionable for leaders
  • Three important things to include when communicating to leaders: the reason for change, expected results, and methods 
  • The importance of observation and reflection in driving learning forward and the challenge of integrating them into practice
  • How to help leaders demonstrate they are serious about leading change 

Tune in now to learn more about leadership, change management, and the importance of speaking in a language that resonates to align, influence, and coach leaders – so that you can propel sustainable change and get needed results. 



  • [00:00] How to improve as a change leader
  • [03:38] How Brad coaches executives and leads change 
  • [09:42] How to speak in a way that connects you to your leaders
  • [10:34] Using language as a force for leadership
  • [13:52] Simplifying terms and topics 
  • [23:27] Management should focus on process and people
  • [28:20] Reflection time is valuable for busy leaders
  • [33:35] Why leaders should deeply understand their role and their people
  • [39:00] Why leaders must pull, not just push change
  • [40:35] Three important characteristics you need to lead change