Box of Crayons Blog


Mary Beth O’Neill, Executive Coaching with Backbone and Heart

mary-bethMary Beth O’Neill is one of my heroes. I am insanely enthusiastic about her book Executive Coaching with Backbone and Heart, and feel that her work has the ability to really shift the impact that coaching can have in an organization.

Her powerful concept is that most people (except maybe Jesus, Gandhi and Buddha) have either backbone or heart, but not both. Her work is about finding that sweet spot where you can bring the two into balance, and be clear about your position, but also connected to the people you’re working with.

Mary Beth and I discuss:

  • How to have and maintain your own signature presence without going through a personality transplant
  • Lessons for corporate executives learned from watching soap opera characters on TV
  • The trick to easily identifying the patterns that are running a working relationship, and how to inspire the people you’re coaching to shift those patterns

Visit her site at

Listen to my interview with Mary Beth O’Neill.

One Response to Mary Beth O’Neill, Executive Coaching with Backbone and Heart

  • Mia

    This interview is fabulous!

    I came across your Twitter account through a tweet mentioning working with Seth Godin. I am a big believer in Seth and I had to come & check you out this morning. I was preparing for a business communications lesson with one of my students concerning motivating employees and convincing them that particular projects are worth investing in. Mary’s insight gave me some great pointers to use. I will be sharing this interview with all of my students. This is one of those interviews that never leaves your mind. It is deeply ingrained now.

    Many thanks to the both of you!

    P.S. – I just googled ‘box of crayons seth godin’ and I spy an interview or two. Very excited to check those out.


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