Peggy Klaus - Mentor or Coach of the Year

Gold Stevie Award Winner 2016, Click to Enter The 2017 American Business Awards

Company: Peggy Klaus, Berkeley, CA
Entry Submitted By: Melissa Sones Consulting
Company Description: Peggy Klaus is one of the leading executive coaches in the country with a client roster that is a Who's Who of corporate America. American Express. MasterCard. Disney. JP Morgan Chase. A pioneer in the coaching field, Klaus specializes in helping executive women to change workplace behaviors, which in the end changes their lives.
Nomination Category: Individual Awards Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Mentor or Coach of the Year – Business

Nomination Title: Peggy Klaus

Describe for the judges the nominated individual's activities and accomplishments that supported women in business since the beginning of July last year (up to 525 words):

The executive coaching legend that is Peggy Klaus began in 1991 when Klaus was caring for a dying friend.

After he passed away, Klaus, already a successful actor, producer, talent coach and director with Paramount Pictures, NBC and Warner Brothers on her resume, chose to create a coaching program to help doctors better communicate with patients.

Many hospitals later, in 1993, Klaus turned her prodigious energy and expert Hollywood skill-set to coaching executive women. Klaus’s friends were climbing the corporate ladder and were phoning Klaus for communication and presentation training. Peggy Klaus fast became one of the top executive coaches in the country with a resume that included American Express; Chevron; Bayer; Disney; Goldman Sachs; MasterCard; Mattel; and more.

Fast forward to the awards year of July 2015 on; and a client list featuring Goldman Sachs; DuPont; MetLife; State Street Bank; numerous women's leadership conferences; and a media list including New York Times and Wall Street Journal interviews and trailblazing articles by Klaus.

So what is Klaus’s magic? Simple: Klaus develops groundbreaking, customized coaching workshops for five to eight women (small) up to several thousand (large). They run from one hour to multiple-day sessions. In each, “I get down and dirty,” says Klaus. That means exercises, role-playing, videotaping when possible and discovering your “deltas” (the blundering behavior(s) you need to change).

Over 3500 women in the awards year were coached to change ineffective behaviors, chief among them: 1) fear of taking risks; being strategic; and/or competing for big jobs; 2) lack of “political savvy”; 3) fear of giving critical feedback; 4) won't delegate because may offend someone; 5) a low volume voice and/or “the upward inflection.”

The core of the pioneering Klaus oeuvre is behavioral change. In the awards year, that meant offering “Brag,” a workshop based on Klaus’s bestselling book “BRAG! The Art Of Tooting Your Own Horn Without Blowing It” in which women learned “how to talk about themselves with pride.” “There’s a cultural bias against women in the spotlight,” says Klaus. “Narrow Band” focuses on “the far narrower band of acceptable behavior for women than for white men” and how to navigate it. “Competition” coaches women that “It’s not a dirty word!” As for “Resilience”; “Executive Presence”; and “Now What?” soft skills, a Klaus signature, are prominently showcased. “It’s a universe of hard and soft skills that can run from integrity to strategic thinking to empathy to decisiveness to physical appearance.”

But it’s results that prompt companies nationwide to ask Klaus to return over and over again. Take, for instance, the executives who, in the awards year, were terrified of losing their jobs after the sudden sale of their company. It was Klaus and not HR who said “let’s teach them resilience.” And the executive disliked because of curt emails. Or the “high potential hire” who didn’t get along with people. Or the executive who didn’t trust her instinct that something was amiss. Until Klaus came along. Klaus alone insists on company-wide colleague support for every executive coached. “Changes aren't made overnight,” she says.

Nor is a career that tops the charts for 23 straight years, none more productive than this one.

Provide a brief biography of the nominated individual (up to 125 words):

Peggy Klaus is a leading executive coach in the United States with a client roster that is a Who’s Who of U.S. corporations. American Express; Disney; JP Morgan Chase; Goldman Sachs; MasterCard; and more. Based in Berkeley, California, Klaus provides women executives, many high achievers, with the coaching they need to succeed in what is, as Klaus knows, “a man’s world.” A veteran of Hollywood, Klaus brings a unique combination of entertainment skills to the business world. Having Klaus as your coach means role playing; doing active exercises; and admitting to your “deltas” or business blunders. Then, with Klaus’s help, they will likely vanish. Peggy Klaus has appeared on The Today Show, 20/20 and writes for The New York Times on women and work.