Avoid Career Derailment Through Change

Empowering Extraordinary

Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change.

                         ~ Jim Rohn

WHAT INSPIRES YOU to change? What are the signs that suggest change is needed? How do you measure if the changes you make are working? Who do you rely on to help you make those changes?

One of the tools I use as an executive coach to look at areas that might need improvement and growth is the Emotional Intelligence assessment, EQi – 2.0. Through the use of this assessment, it has come to my attention that one area that we can all use some new strategies in and reveal untapped potential is in handling pressure and stress more appropriately. I have been surprised at the low scores of many top leaders and executives in this area and unfortunately, losing lack of composure can be a sure path to a career derailment. When we look closely at ourselves, we can usually identify our personal style for handling stress that becomes our common “go to” response. Do you know what your personal default pattern is when under pressure or stress?

The brain only knows two states, reward or threat. Performance decreases under stress because of this reaction in the brain. When this occurs, our personal style could be to:

  • Become emotional or opinionated
  • Shut down
  • Become hostile or sarcastic
  • Make impulsive decisions
  • Become defensive
  • Become overly controlling

A coach can point out how your personal style under pressure is limiting your influence and ability to manage from a strong and positive position. Working with a coach can inspire you to the next level by helping you identify better strategies for handling stress. When you manage stressful situations better, you only move forward. As a leader, your job is to inspire and influence others. One way to do this is to develop new strategies so that those under you can aspire to and change themselves. Change is inevitable. By identifying limiting personal styles and adopting new techniques, you can then make the changes necessary to lead and reach unlimited success. James Hillman eloquently addressed my approach to coaching. He wrote:

My goal is to create a therapy of ideas, to try to bring in new ideas so that we can see the same old problems differently.

Coaching is not therapy but rather a methodology of addressing issues from a new perspective. In this way, a coach acts as a guide to explore never thought of before approaches to a pattern of behavior that may no longer serve you and your goals to success. It is not by chance that one succeeds. It is through conscious awareness and conscious choices to make changes that one succeeds. Remember, success starts with you.


Melinda Fouts, Ph.D.
Melinda Fouts, Ph.D.
Melinda Fouts, Ph. D., International Executive Coach, Psychotherapist is a select Columnist & Featured Contributor for BIZCATALYST 360° and a Member of the Forbes Coaches Council (comprised of Top coaches offering insights on leadership development & careers), and founder of Success Starts with You. She was recently chosen to receive the Empowered Woman of the Year Award for 2021 given by the International Association of Top Professionals (IAOTP). She also received the honor as the top international coach of the year in 2020 by the IAOTP. She provides visionary leadership in her field and her many credentials prove she has the ability to empower women worldwide. Her exemplary role as a female professional in a male-dominated industry displays her influence, capability, and proficiency. Inclusion with the International Association of Top Professionals (IAOTP) is an honor in itself, only a few women are chosen for this distinction based on their years of experience, professional accomplishments, academic achievements, leadership abilities, and contributions to their communities. With innovation and compassion, these women empower others to reach their goals, while creating change for future generations. With over 2 decades of professional experience as a business coach and psychotherapist, Dr. Fouts has proven herself as an accomplished professional and expert in the field. As a dynamic, results-driven leader, Dr. Fouts has demonstrated success not only as an Executive Business Coach, but in every role she has held. Prior to executive coaching and leadership development, Melinda has been in private practice as a psychotherapist for over 20 years. She leverages her strengths and insights from her psychology background to help leaders and managers in transition through increased self-awareness. Owner and founder of Success Starts with You, is based upon the premise that you are already successful. Increasing self-awareness to increase emotional intelligence and unlocking blind spots are paramount to continued success. Dr. Fouts leverages her strengths and insights from her psychology background to help leaders and managers in transition through increased self-awareness and discovering their blind spots. It can be lonely at the top and as a thought partner, she makes sure you are not alone. Dr. Fouts’ unique approach from other business coaches is that she helps get rid of thinking and behavioral patterns that tend to keep executives stuck. Her key areas of expertise include but are not limited to: small business consulting, enhancing emotional intelligence, self-awareness, unlocking fullest potential, brainstorming, identifying limitations, challenges, obstacles and optimizing performance. In addition, her successful career as a Psychotherapist and International Executive Business Coach, Dr. Fouts is a sought-after speaker whose key-note address to Women’s Leadership Conferences is Channeling Feminine Power in the Face of Adversity. Her newly released book, Cognitive Enlightenment, was to be presented at the London Book Fair, March 2020, the NY Book Fair, May 2020, and the Frankfurt Book Fair in October 2020 until COVID hit. Melinda received her Ph.D. in Jungian Psychology from Saybrook University and her Masters in Psychology from Pacifica University. Melinda has worked as a consultant with executives and businesses for over 20 years. As a result of her experience and studies, she has developed a unique craft to fine-tune leadership development for peak performance. She lives in Colorado with her big, beautiful dog, Stryder. For more information on Dr. Fouts please visit:

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