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In Memoriam: Our Founder, Gary Ranker

Top Coach, Author and Father of Executive Coaching and Founder of GRGlobal, Dr. Gary Ranker passed away near his home in New York City.

By all accounts, he had a remarkable life. He grew up on the beaches of California diving for abalone and lobster, surfing and beginning his lifelong love of the ocean. He received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Redlands in 1964. Drawn to other cultures, he left days after graduating from Redlands to go to Europe. In Cologne, Germany, he studied at the Carl Duisberg Gesellschaft and, in 1965, received a degree in Intercultural Communication. He received his Masters’ Degree in International Business from Thunderbird in 1967. By the time he was thirty, he was the European Marketing Director and acting CEO in Germany and France for Hallmark International and was later CEO of Textron in Australia. He studied at the Fielding Graduate University, where he received his doctorate in 1983.

Throughout his life, Dr. Ranker worked and lived on four continents, learned several languages and prided himself for his global mindset – cherishing and celebrating cultural differences.

Having been approached by Jack Welch to be one of GE’s first change agents, he was known as the father of executive coaching. He was cited by Forbes as being one of “Top Five Executive Coaches on the World” and the Financial Times described him as “One of the 50 Most Important Global Thought Leaders.” Throughout his 30 years as one of the top executive coaches, he prided himself for his work helping the world’s top managers to consider behavioral and management changes to make not only their corporations, but themselves, families and the world they impact better for their presence.

Having been recognized for his powerful activism and bravery in the beginnings of the Gay Rights Movement, including joining Richard Cassidy and Harvey Milk on the first ever march on Sacramento, Gary and his husband Shan received a special White House invitation to join Congressman Barney Frank and his husband to participate in the ceremony when President Obama dedicated the Stonewall National Monument recognizing those first champions of the Gay Rights Movement.

In the end,  what most people would say about Gary Ranker, was that he had an infectious spirit. He would often say, “if you like what you get, you get what you want… If you wanted a sunny day and it is raining, instead of being sad, why not recognize how fun it will be to get to cuddle up in your favorite coat?”

His tireless positive passion for life and learning was so powerful that he influenced everyone he touched. From his clients, to his lifelong friends from Redlands, to the people he met on his 70th birthday when he flew to New Zealand so that he could jump one of the tallest bungee jumps, jet boat up a small slot canyon and sky dive for the first time, all in one day… everyone who ever met Gary absolutely fell in love with him and his spirit.

Throughout his incredible life, Gary inspired and empowered so many people to be better, to treat those around them with love, respect and dignity and to absolutely love life. This is how he will be remembered. 

In Memoriam: Our Founder, Gary Ranker2019-05-17T22:22:29+00:00

Taking Global Executives to Next level

Global Mindset Coaching with CEOs differs greatly from other types of executive coaching.  However, it carries executive coaching’s general goal: helping people be their best selves by improving their behavior.  And, like other coaches, Gary believes that having passion for one’s industry is crucial to success.  For example, Gary has always had a passion to help people from different cultures understand each other, hence his philosophy of global mindset coaching.

Global Mindset Coaching: Gary’s specialized approach:

  • Working with fewer clients, but more in-depth with each client.
  • Working with one company/client for many years to understand their agenda and culture.
  • Working with the CEO and their direct reports to better understand group expectations.
  • Coaching only CEOs or CEOs in training. Coaching CEOs is unique because CEOs:
  1. Have to care about the media.
  2. Have to satisfy the board of directors.
  3. Have to satisfy shareholders. Recently, shareholders have pressured CEOs for more power, in a trend called “shareholder activism.”
  4. Have a high turnover rate; outside factors usually cause CEO replacement every two to three years.

Examples from Gary’s work:

  • Traveling with a coachee CEO to Iraq to build empathy for the challenges the CEO faced doing business in that country
  • Serving as an in-house counselor to many employees at a company after 9/11, thanks to the trust he had built after coaching at the company for many years
  • Helping Japanese and American SONY executives navigate work culture differences to understand that neither culture is superior; there are multiple ways to conduct business.
  • Helping Beijing based CEO use more flexibility when working with two dominating companies in a joint venture.

Global Mindset Coaching Key Takeaways:

  • Understand that there are multiple correct ways to reach the universal goal: profit. Therefore, one should study and consider other cultures’ differing business strategies.
  • Remember that sometimes, especially during international business, things happen that are outside of one’s control.

General Executive Coaching Takeaways:

  • To business executives: Give fewer, clearer messages/objectives. Reinforce the objectives with consistent rewards to promote employee alignment with the objectives.
  • To coaches: remember that criticism is sometimes difficult to hear and accept. Be considerate of your clients while giving them feedback.
Taking Global Executives to Next level2018-01-26T00:53:35+00:00