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January 2024

Welcome Back!

Happy 2024! It is the new year, and in Detroit and many other parts of the USA, winter has arrived in its crisp and sparkling fashion. In your off hours, you might be enjoying some winter leisure activities, such as snowshoeing or reading a book by the fire while sipping a mug of hot chocolate. During cold snaps, before turning in for the night, you may be running your car to make sure that it starts in the morning. Even though winter can bring storms that are chaotic and make our daily activities more cumbersome, once things settle down there is something peaceful about the snow. It makes things outdoors quieter and clearer, gives you a sense of calm and a clean slate for thinking. Like a blank sheet of white paper.

January is like that blank sheet of paper as well. We just come off of the excitement of the holiday season from November through New Year's and all of a sudden everything gets quiet. No more parties, holiday shopping, festive foods and music. The decorations come down and we're back to a blank slate. It's a good time to get introspective, to think about goals and perhaps even make a resolution or two. In planning for this month's newsletter, I wondered about the origin of New Year's resolutions. It appears that they trace back to ancient Rome and even farther to the time of the ancient Babylonians, but our modern-day format of making resolutions around self-improvement began to take root in the 1700's. It's always interesting and good to find out why we do the things that we do, when and how traditions got started. Have you made any New Year's resolutions this year? I personally have not, but after writing this newsletter I just may undertake one or two. I've read (and also think) that it can be difficult for people to actually keep their resolutions and work through them. Perhaps if you just pick ONE THING and focus on that, you might attain success. Or if you have a sort of road map to follow and just start with one item and stick with that until you have achieved it, it is an accomplishment to meet that one goal! It is just important to have a target to aim at, because when you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.

This month, we are including an article by John O. Burdett about his "Coaching the CEO" template. It is a general road map that I think is beneficial for anyone, not just a CEO. Because when you think about it, we are each the CEO of our own lives. So you can take the principles in the article and apply them to you - in your personal or work life (or both!) - and I am sure you will be able to make some changes in areas in which you would like to improve. In the coming days during this winter "rest," when you have the opportunity and perhaps a warm drink in a cozy chair while the snow outside has made everything seem still, grab a favorite pen and a clean sheet of white paper, read the article below and see what ONE THING speaks to you. Maybe that can be your area of resolution to focus on in this new year. Make sure, though, to first check out our Featured Candidate(s) and Featured Position(s) below.


Featured Candidate(s)

Seasoned Vice President of Quality, Americas

This high-energy candidate is based in the USA but has also been an expatriate in Europe and Asia previously. This Quality leader currently has 14 direct reports and a large overall team across advanced quality, manufacturing quality, in process testing, and materials lab. His company is a global automotive systems supplier with revenues greater than $10 Billion, but he also has aerospace and defense experience for the first 5 years of his career. This candidate would consider relocation globally for a global lead role as the ultimate leader for a Quality organization, or would consider another regional role for the Americas and can relocate within the USA. Some of the notable accomplishments are three years in a row winning the Presidents award for PPM improvement and also Gold awards from two OEMs.

If you have interest in setting up a confidential conversation with this candidate, call us at 313-887-8300 ex.102 or email us:


Featured Position(s)

North America Director of Operations ($4 Billion)

This is a rare opportunity with this great organization, reporting directly to the COO. In this role you will manage all aspects of a 10-facility manufacturing operation across Canada, the USA, and Mexico. All Plant Managers report directly into this role and you will have autonomy to drive improvements in safety, quality, cost, delivery, and profitability of the region. This is a well-compensated and highly visible role within this highly respected manufacturer.
If you are interested in this position, call us at 313-887-8300 ex.102 or email


Upcoming Conferences We're Attending!

Spring 2024 Pinnacle Society Conference
April 3-5, 2024
Dallas, Texas

Transearch International Annual Global Conference
May 8-12, 2024


Coaching at the Top of the House

Published January 5, 2023 on the TRANSEARCH International website

by John O. Burdett

The ‘Coaching the CEO’ Template

The ‘Coaching the CEO’ template below is drawn from my own work in coaching CEOs and top executives. There is no intent that the framework come across as being set in stone or mechanistically applied. I bring it to the text merely to introduce where and how the CEO coaching conversation might likely add value.


It’s a privilege to coach; such a privilege that it should never be forgotten that it’s never about the coach. The explanation that follows explores each of the coaching elements outlined the the figure above. They are presented in what might be described as a “logical sequence.” In practice each of the elements are like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle: it doesn’t matter in what order they are laid down, merely that you need all of the pieces to complete the picture.

Indeed, coaching that seeks to make leadership of self the initial focus may be stepping into private space too quickly. A more comfortable discussion focusing on the team, culture and/or leadership competencies is often the best way to build rapport. There are, of course, circumstances that dictate that the initial coaching focus be on performance.

1. Leadership of Self

Personal priorities, managing family commitments, giving back, charting a rich and fruitful life and striving to be the best you can be, define leadership of self. Whatever the challenge, self-awareness and how we lead ourselves must always be the genesis of anything approaching leadership excellence.

If you don’t know where you have been … it’s tough to know where you are going. If you don’t know who you are … you can never fully access your talent. If you surround yourself with people who drain away your creative energy … being more of who you have always been is the best you can hope for. If you are not living your own story … you are living someone else’s.

Critical Tools: (1) the coachee’s story; (2) their life priorities; (3) their relationship with the rest of the top team; and (4) their support – or otherwise – from the Board.

Coaching Imperative: (1) Focusing in on what is essential vs. what is merely important; and (2) challenging defensive routes.

2. Career

I have interviewed – at times in front of an audience – a good many senior executives with a view to understand how they had reached such an exalted position. Did they have a career plan? How did they implement that plan?

Managing one’s career means finding the “golden thread” that charts a meaningful passage between the emerging context, personal goals, the expectations of others and career opportunity. It’s the challenge of becoming oneself, while concurrently shaping what’s possible:

▪ Step one: exploring possibility. If you can imagine it, you have made the first step in realising it.
▪ Step two: setting both personal and career goals.
▪ Step three: an investment in learning … being ready.
▪ Step four: responding to opportunity.
Step one: exploring possibility. If you can imagine it, you have made the first step in realising it.
Step two: setting both personal and career goals.
Step three: an investment in learning … being ready.
Step four: responding to opportunity.

Critical Tools: Exploring how the coachee learns. In that career success rarely follows the route defined by “the plan,” how people learn is more important than what they learn.

Coaching Imperative: Finding the golden thread.


To read the entire article which explores the remaining eight coaching elements that follow the above two, CLICK HERE.

John O. Burdett is founder of Orxestra® Inc. He has extensive international experience as a senior executive. As a consultant he has worked in more than 40 countries for organisations that are household names. John has worked on organisation culture for some of the world's largest organisations. His ongoing partnership with TRANSEARCH International means that his thought leading intellectual property, in any one year, supports talent management in many hundreds of organisations around the world. Get in touch with John O. Burdett »

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The Stillness and Beauty of Winter


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