In today’s workplace, well-built and well-managed teams are a must, and organizational success depends on the capacity to develop and lead high-performance teams. With her extensive experience as an Executive Coach, Cloé Caron helps business leaders to improve their leadership abilities, so they can reach, with their teams, their strategic objectives. As the President and Founder of o2Coaching, a professional training and coaching business, Cloé Caron helps leaders, teams, and managers to get to their full potential.
In an interview with World Leaders, Cloé shares her vision on the importance of strategic leadership and how she is helping professionals, leaders, and teams at different levels of the organization in evolving at personal and professional levels.
Below are the highlights of the interview:
Brief our audience about your journey as a business leader. What challenges you had to face to get to where you are today?
I feel as if I’ve lived many lives before finding my calling. Younger, I studied law, hoping that my contribution would be grand. I realized that it was not my path; it didn’t fit with my empathetic nature. I always aspired to make a difference, to have a significant impact on people’s lives, to be a vector of change.
I searched for a career that would allow me to express my values; I looked for a place where communication and leadership were important. I managed to land a position in the pharmaceutical industry at GSK. It’s there that I had the chance to develop my leadership abilities, and where I discovered coaching.
It has led me to build my coaching and leadership company o2Coaching. Six years ago, I followed my gut and took the plunge! It’s been an amazing journey ever since!
As an entrepreneur, I have been challenged every day since day 1. I always was a high performer. I had to let go of my ego and of my wish to be perfect. If I wanted my business to be successful, I had to shift from focusing on my own performance to help others perform. This shift started while I was a leader in the pharmaceutical industry, but was fully completed when I became the CEO of my company.
To reach the goals I have set and to influence positively each organizations, team dynamics is crucial, especially for a small business. I am proud that my business now employs five great women who team-up with me to make my vision come to life. I call them the Exceptional Contributors.
Describe how o2Coaching’s offerings address customers’ need.
Our main asset at o2Coaching is that we are flexible, and we adapt to the needs of our customers. All our coaching, programs, and conferences are delivered by ICF certified coaches and are available online through virtual meetings, micro-learning tools, blogs, podcasts and my book, Empower your Team, in which you find my 5C Model to help leaders and teams to better perform.
Since needs change from one client to another, we have developed multiple programs to support those needs such as individual and group coaching, leadership development program, and one-team support approach.
As coaches, we bring a different perspective from a consultant when working with teams and organizations. We start from the premise that our clients have their answers, their solutions, and that we are there to leverage them and ignite them on the best way to work with their team. One of the keys that I have developed to empower them is the very powerful concept of the Unique Strategic Contribution (USC). By identifying their USC, leaders become aware of the impact they can AND must have on their team members to ensure that all of them can reach their full potential and have a positive impact. This concept is at the center of my 5C Empower your Team Model to propel any team!
Every year, we accompany hundreds of leaders in the development of their leadership through our programs and curated coaching methods.
Enlighten us on how you have made an impact in the Professional Training & Coaching industry through your expertise?
I have worked with a display of organizations, but one comes to mind; it’s an important financial organization in Canada. They came to us for help as they were processing a crucial organizational culture change.
We trained and coached 150 of their leaders. We started with the VPs, then their teams, and their HR. Their biggest challenge was to develop a coherent leadership culture in the context of major growth through acquisitions. Their objectives were to bring their expert managers to develop conscious leadership creating a culture of accountability, innovation, engagement, and inclusion. Our offer was a very flexible impactful leadership development program through individual and group coaching. We integrated as well learning tools from our online platform that included training videos, models and self-assessments.
What are the challenges you and your team at o2Coaching come across in your day-to-day operations?
My company was built based on this question: How can I help others to be a leader and reach their full potential? While connecting with people from multiple industries, I realized that we shared the same values.
In the past year, I published my book Empower your Team, and I found the Empower your Team Movement. My company grew exponentially! In our day-to-day operations, I am looking for new resources, talented people and material resources, to create the best environment for our team to perform at their best.
Who are the people, what are the books and what are the life experiences that have influenced you?
My family is very important to me. I have a strong relationship with my mother who raised me alone. I have a deep dual connecting to my roots, which are Canadian on my mother’s side and Italian on my father’s side. This duality impacted my vision of life.
Early in my career, I was inspired by extraordinary leaders such as Tony Robbins entrepreneur and coach, Oprah Winfrey talk show host, Jim Rohn, a motivational speaker, author, among others.
They gave me a strong belief that I could create the life of my dreams and that I could do everything I wanted. This belief is stronger now than ever, and I feel very privileged that I get the chance to have a significant impact through the work I do.
Taking into consideration the current pandemic, and its impact on global economies, how are you driving your organization to sustain operations while ensuring the safety of your employees at the same time?
The pandemic has been unexpected and very challenging. Its effects have been felt worldwide in every field. Everybody has been in one way or another impacted by it.
At the beginning of the pandemic, I was very nervous about the future of o2Coaching. I had great ambitions before the pandemic, and then I realized that we could rise above; I needed to be there to guide leaders during this difficult time and seize the opportunity to make a difference in creating a worldwide culture. Moreover, I acknowledged that our biggest strength came from our business model; my team have been working remotely since the start, six years ago.
It was a blessing to be able to keep my employees safe and working during this chaos. Meanwhile, I wanted to drive changes, to evolve and adapt our methods as humans and coaches. I aspire to contribute in developing caring and inspiring leaders, the ones that will rise above, the leaders of tomorrow.
Describe in detail the values and the work culture that drives o2Coaching.
We believe that successful organizations are built on inspiring leaders – humans who understand their influence, who encourage others to surpass themselves, and who mobilize their team toward common goals. We know that anyone can achieve their professional goals with just a few strategic changes in their mindset, attitude and behaviors. It’s why our mission is to equip individuals and teams to help them continue their development, at all levels of the organization. We value Authenticity, Empathy, Creativity, Accountability and Teamwork. Contrary to a popular belief, being a leader isn’t only about performance. It’s about helping others be better, supporting, guiding, providing a clear vision, and establishing an inspiring work environment.
Where do you envision yourself to be in the long run, and what are your future goals for o2Coaching?
My mission is to create a new generation of inspiring and inspired leaders by making a positive impact in the lives of a million leaders through my book and the Empower your Team Movement. To be successful in this mission, we want to reach leaders from all around the world.
What would be your advice to new entrepreneurs?
You can start by clarifying what I call your USC – Unique Strategic Contribution. Your USC is what only you in your role as a leader need to accomplish for the benefit of your team and organization. The Unique Strategic Contribution concepts allow you to determine your highest strategic level, i.e. what only you in your role as a leader need to accomplish for the benefit of your team and organization. When you focus most of your time on your USC, you not only maximize your contribution, but you elevate everybody’s game.