Why should I work with Rich Gee?
Tough question. I know I bring three things to the table with all of my clients:
- I have coached thousands of people from all walks of life. So I’ve been there.
- I custom fit my coaching to my client. No set assessments. No canned tools. Personalized for you.
- We’re going to have FUN.
What do I mean by fun? What was the best class you had in school? Why was it the best class?
A good part of it was probably your instructor. They made it live – they made it exciting – they made it powerful. And you probably learned more in a semester than any other of your boring classes. That’s what I bring to my clients.
How did you arrive at running this business?
As a upper-management executive, I had a coach (if I didn’t, I would be institutionalized today). She helped me with the the myriad of issues an executive faces and was a trusted partner.
One day she said: “You would be a great coach.” It caught me off-guard (after 20 years in corporate) – so I asked why. She said that as a manager, I have always coached my team, but I also have a real empathy to help people and that I have an innate ability to get people excited and motivated. “You should try it.” she said.
So I did. And I LOVED it. So much that I left my corporate position and started my own practice and 10 years later, I’ve never regretted it. In fact, I have more fun and fulfillment each year. And it takes me out of my comfort zone to challenge me to do new and exciting things. What else can you ask for?
What are you known for professionally?
There are a lot of coaches out there. Don’t get me wrong, there are some great ones that change people’s lives. Unfortunately, the majority (90-95%) are hacks and hobbyists. I hate to be blunt, but it’s true.
I run one of the best executive advisory and coaching firms in the nation. How can I say that? Well . . . I bring 20 years of corporate management knowledge, 10 years executive coaching experience, a practice of 20+ clients, 25+ corporate workshops yearly, and frequently tapped by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Today Show for my views on business topics.
When I come up in conversations with executives, they exclaim, “You have to meet Rich Gee.” When I meet people, when I host talks, and when I coach, I have an ability to get people charged and enthusiastic about what they do (or want to do). Some people have called me their “spark” of business.
What’s the #1 problem you are best at solving for your clients?
I help my clients THINK BIG. We all tend to constrain ourselves in one way or another — we are our worst critics. I get my clients to focus on what they can really do and help them realize that the obstacles that hold them back are pretty easy to eliminate. On calls, I sometimes yell out, “Big Smile!” or “Think Bigger!”. Clients then get the message.
My clients are my best marketers. “He gets me motivated!” or “A weekly investment with a lifetime of return.”
Who have you worked with in the past?
I work with all levels of executives — from the boardroom CEO to the recent college grad looking for their first gig — both men & women (although 2/3 of my practice is currently women – go figure).
I have worked with:
- CEO’s with communication issues (my favorite)
- CIO’s with dysfunctional teams (what fun)
- CFO’s who can balance the company’s finances but fail at balancing their work/life responsibilities (it happens more often than you realize)
- Senior Executives who were summarily thrust into unemployment and have no idea what to do (while dealing with self-doubt that comes with job loss)
- Business Owners who have lost their key client base and don’t know what to do, where to go, and how to do it.
What did I do for them? I got them to stop the mental merry-go-round and understand what is important, what can really make the biggest impact on their situation. We then developed a concise action plan and through a series of coaching calls, helped them stay motivated and on-track to success.
What are you most passionate about professionally?
I love helping people. I love to get people motivated, engaged, and energized. But more importantly, that we have fun during the process.
Look, I did this for 20 years in corporate, but I had to deal with all the corporate BS that trundles alongside. As a coach, I can directly impact my clients immediately — and they get it. I don’t spend my time critiquing them – we look for opportunities for them to shine and acknowledge their successes. That excites me.
What are you passionate about personally?
I love innovation. It energizes me when I see someone totally sidestep the ‘business establishment’ and come up with a new way of thinking, a new technology, or a new innovation.
I love interacting and working with enthusiastic innovators. People that break from the pack because they have a dream and they follow through to make it a reality.
I love talking about innovative companies like Apple, Pixar, Trader Joes, Honda and the TED conferences. All of these leaders consistently drive innovation in the marketplace – I can go for hours extolling their virtues.
Where can we find you when you’re not working?
I love to go for long hikes. We have a bridle trail near my home that used to be a old railroad track back in the 50’s. Now it is just a raised bed of soil that is curvy and level and goes on for MILES. I love hiking and biking it during the spring, summer, and fall. In the winter, I love starting a warm fire in my woodstove and opening up a good book.
How long have you been doing what you do?
I’ve been coaching for almost ten years. I’ve had three coaches during that time, helping me learn, grow, and expand my practice. In addition, I have 20 years experience in executive management – so I bring many of the managerial skills needed in business to my coaching practice.
Where did you grow up and why aren’t you there now?
I grew up in Stamford, CT and happily, my office is located there. Over the years, Stamford has grown from a small CT city into a worldwide corporate and financial powerhouse. It’s a perfect location for me to stay connected to all areas of the marketplace.
Any volunteer activities you’re crazy about?
I am very active in my church (Oxford UCC Congregational), which is an open and affirming denomination. I also sponsor regular free ‘Get That Job’ workshops for the community, to help unemployed workers find work in a crazy marketplace.
Any non-profits you love, & why?
I love IKEA – which is the world’s largest non-profit store. Check it out – it will surprise you!
Any awards or medals, or even medallions?
In 1996, I won the Chairman’s Award for excellence. Only 10 people would win it out of 7000 – the CEO came into my office and let me know that he chose me due to my efforts to drive innovative sales tools that accelerated the sales process in the company.
I also won the Dale Carnegie Highest Award for Excellence. It’s not a big award, but my class of 50 executives had the opportunity to chose one class member that truly exemplifies Dale Carnegie’s tenets – and they chose me. I was honored.
What would be impossible for you to give up?
Technology. I live with the web, my iPhone, my laptop. It accelerates and expands my business exponentially and allows me to do more with less.
Why would someone not want to work with you?
I tell the truth. I push you. I don’t wrap you in a warm blankie and tell you a bedtime story. What I do expect is that you’ve hired me to grow you, your career, or your business. I am your partner — so it behooves me to tell you the truth.
At the end of the day though, I do acknowledge your successes and accomplishments, because people rarely at the top get the kudos they deserve.
How do you want to be remembered?
A flaming ball of fire plunging into the ocean. I kid you.
I want to be know as someone who was put on this earth to help others. And that I succeeded in that endeavor. That’s it.
Anything else you’d like to tell people about yourself?
Not really. Please keep the year in prison solitary on the QT.
Actually, one more thing. I like to have fun. And I want all of my clients to have fun too.