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Life in the middle
isn't easy.

It's pressure from above and stress from below. It's doing the job while also making sure other people do the job. It's managing without management training, leading without leadership development, and implementing changes in strategy without enough information about the bigger picture.

Mid-level managers directly supervise nearly 80% of the workforce. They are the ones who engage, motivate, and direct all the line workers, line supervisors, programmers, engineers, bench scientists, designers, customer service reps, equipment operators, administrative staff, paralegals, clerks, tech support people—everyone who is responsible for carrying out the strategy on the ground. When a new strategy is rolled out, it is the middle managers who have to make sure it gets implemented—on time, on budget, and on top of everything else on their plate.

But coaching for mid-level managers hasn't been affordable. Until now. There are far more mid-levels than senior executives, and one-on-one executive coaching is expensive. Power in the Middle changes that with a combination of individual and group coaching, all firmly based in an effective management training curriculum that can be customized for your organization.

Your organization’s power is in the middle. Business success, profitability, and flexibility in a fast-change world all depend on the skill and ability of mid-level managers. If they are under-performing, it costs your organization plenty—in downtime, delays, inefficiencies, employee disengagement, and turnover... lots of expensive turnover. Put your coaching resources where it will influence the entire workforce. Power in the Middle provides the tools and support your mid-level managers need, at an affordable price.

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Our Services

Power in the Middle provides an affordable, coaching program designed especially for middle managers—whether they are Millennials or mid-careers. Through our curriculum-based coaching program—customized to your organization’s needs—supervisors, managers, and directors will receive:

1-on-1 Coaching

Provides individual guidance and targeted skill-building according to your organization's needs, in areas such as communication, planning, staff-development, and resilience in the face of continuous change.

Group Coaching

Fosters the kind of cross-functional collaboration and peer support that your organization needs, greatly enhancing ongoing performance. Equips managers with basic coaching skills to use with their own teams.

Management Training

Builds new skills, awareness, and capacity, and provides a structured, focused approach to both individual and group coaching. Customized to your organizations specific needs.

 
How it all fits together

Power in the Middle provides a structured program that helps ensure new skills and behavioral changes are brought into the daily work place and sustained. Research has shown that training alone has at best a temporary impact. Behavior changes and new skills don't stick. But when training is combined with coaching, improvements in productivity and behavior change are four times greater than with training alone.

 
 

Research Basis for Our Work

 

Our coaching and training is based on current research in the fields of management, brain science, adult learning, team development, talent management, psychology, adult development theory, and coaching.

We are building our library of links to useful research. Please come back soon to learn more.

In the news from The Guardian: "Employees who feel like their work creates positive impact are more likely to feel fulfilled, promote their company and stay on the job longer. Studies have shown that inspired employees are almost three times more productive than dissatisfied employees. Imagine what you could do if you could triple your current workforce with inspiration, rather than more hiring."

 
 
 

Our Team

 

Beth Shapiro

Founder and principal of Sustainable Success, Beth Shapiro specializes in improving performance and creating sustainable change for leaders, teams, and organizations. Her work focuses on building capacity to create and maintain strong, strategic, effective relationships. 

Beth holds a Master in Public Administration from Harvard's Kennedy School and is a Certified Professional and Relationship Systems Coach (PCC, ORSC). Her background includes 20+ years of leadership in both the private and non-profit sectors. She has provided coaching and training in a variety of settings including federal and state government, higher education, nonprofits, and a number of private sector industries. 

Beth played a leading role in the U.S. Transportation Security Administration's Security Evolution trainings, featured on 60 Minutes and MSNBC.com. The Department of Homeland Security included this transformational TSA program — which trained more than 50,000 employees over the course of 10 months — among their top 10 successes for 2008. 

Beth serves on the faculty of the Center for Right Relationship (CRR Global), served on the faculty of the prestigious Coaches Training Institute (CTI) and also trains, mentors, and supervises candidates for a number of professional coaching and consulting certifications.

Etta Jacobs

Etta's passion is helping people reach their highest potential. She quickly guides her clients to identify their goals and focus their energy to achieve noticeable results. Etta coaches her clients through career transitions, building their confidence, poise, and capacity to lead. Etta has a combination of real-world senior-level corporate experience and intuitive insight into her clients’ deepest skills and talents.

Etta gained her corporate expertise as an executive at two Fortune 500 companies, where she directed teams of creative professionals working on innovative, multi-million dollar projects. She shepherded her teams through continuous technological transitions and corporate reorganizations, nurturing their resilience and cultivating their creative problem-solving skills. While others gave orders, Etta provided direction. When others supplied targets, Etta offered vision. She mentored teams and individuals to be agile as they reinvented production workflows, to meet increasingly aggressive deadlines, without sacrificing quality. Etta draws upon this experience to teach her clients how to look at events through different lenses, question their assumptions, and find creative and unexpected solutions to their career challenges.

Etta holds a Master in Organizational Psychology from William James College where she earned her Graduate Certificate in Executive Coaching,  Etta also has a BFA from Syracuse University.

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Testimonials

 

"The ability that Beth possesses to ask questions that lead to breakthrough answers is uncanny. She has given my leadership team a stronger foundation from which to pursue professional—and even personal—goals. I am confident the framework she has given us will lead us on many exciting adventures as we continue to create lasting change. I can't imagine having the success we are having had we not had her as our team coach."

Tracey Gearlds, Director
UCSF Campus Life Services

"Etta connects with clients quickly and engages in relationships that help them grow. She provides strong guidance while ensuring the client is driving and accountable for their own development."

Dr. Anne Perschel, Leadership and Business Psychologist

"Beth's specific skills are top notch, but what she really gave us was herself. Her ability to hold so much complexity and make sense of it all helped us make sense of it, too. This project would not have achieved such success without her."

Stephanie Rowe, Former Executive Director
Security Evolution, U.S. Transportation Security Administration

"Etta has natural coaching abilities and is a very skilled coach! She is empathetic, curious, and has a calming yet powerful presence. Etta is an excellent listener and is able to stay right with you no matter where the conversation leads. 

Etta is very skilled at helping her clients really explore possibilities and come up with a plan of action. Etta’s real world experience in the professional world is an added bonus."

Ellen Keiley, Certified Business Development Coach

"Beth's sharp acumen about people and systems, combined with her gentle but high-spirited nature, enables her to connect with individuals and groups at every level of the organization. She provides clients with a challenging, supportive place to create useful learning and lasting change. Her commitment to excellence inspires leaders and teams to achieve their highest potential and most ambitious goals."

Paul Sherman, Former VP of Learning and Development
Vertex Pharmaceuticals

"Etta strikes again! This morning I was preparing a response to a difficult email, and stopped, spoke to two coworkers and then wrote a respectful response. It was clear and to the point, stated my concerns, and some solutions. I thought, thank you Etta!  

When I first met Etta, I would not have paused and approached the situation in that manner. I would have charged right in and made a decision based on my initial reaction. 

Etta was an amazing mentor to me, she helped bring out the best in me. Through tireless hours of mentoring and coaching, she helped me develop a deeper knowledge of the business of publishing. She taught me how to approach difficult situations, and how to stand up for what I believe is right, in a respectful and thoughtful way. It is often at moments like this morning that I pause and think of the effect Etta had on my life and career."

Tricia, Design Manager, Pearson
 

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