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Coaching Real Leaders

Author: HBR Presents / Muriel Wilkins

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We all want to get to the next level of our career, but so many of us get stuck. Longtime leadership coach Muriel Wilkins takes you inside real-life leadership coaching sessions with high performers working to overcome professional challenges and grow as leaders. Listen in on real conversations and leave with new insights and practical guidance for your own career.

The views expressed on this podcast are those of its hosts, guests, and callers, and not those of Harvard Business Review.
55 Episodes
She’s grown her entire career at one company, but now she’s in a new leadership role and she recently felt blindsided by negative feedback from her team. She’s struggling to process the feedback and respond. Host Muriel Wilkins coaches her through how she can move forward with her team.
She’s a high-achiever who has defined herself through her achievements and promotions. But she’s hit some bumps in her career and she’s feeling less engaged in her work. Now she’s questioning the leadership track she’s on. Host Muriel Wilkins coaches her through defining what success looks like for her moving forward.
He took a less traditional career path to college and law school. Now he’s successful as a lawyer, despite several job pivots. But he is still missing meaning and connection in his work. Host Muriel Wilkins coaches this leader through defining his purpose and how that can translate to his work.
He’s a leader with a growing team, and he enjoys people management. But he’s struggling to  influence those outside of his team and build trust with stakeholders. Host Muriel Wilkins coaches him through developing some of the skills he needs to gain stakeholder alignment while driving for results.
She’s taken a number of chances in her career and made some big pivots. Now, she’s been assigned to a senior role on an interim basis, but she’s not sure whether she should try to make the role permanent. Host Muriel Wilkins coaches her through the decision-making process to better understand what’s holding her back and the future she envisions for herself.
He’s always believed in hard work and is extremely ambitious. But he’s received feedback that sometimes the way he communicates is too direct, and he wants to work on his delivery. Host Muriel Wilkins helps him understand what might be holding him back and coaches him through how he can improve his approach.
Coming Soon: Season 6

Coming Soon: Season 6


Executive coach Muriel Wilkins is back September 18 with an all new season of the podcast that takes you behind the scenes of real life executive coaching conversations. This season, first-time managers, mid-level leaders, and executives work through some of their most pressing career challenges. You’ll hear conversations around questions like: How do I know if I should make my interim role permanent? Have I taken my career as far as it will go? How do I build more effective relationships with my peers and those above me? Muriel helps each leader discover unexpected insights about themselves and actionable steps they can take to move forward. Listen in and learn with them.
On this special bonus episode, host Muriel Wilkins and Think Fast, Talk Smart host Matt Abrahams discuss strategies for creating a strong physical presence that can be felt by those around you . By understanding and controlling your presence, you can communicate more effectively, lead more authentically, and have a greater impact on your organization. Follow the Think Fast, Talk Smart podcast on your favorite podcast app. Stay tuned for a new season of Coaching Real Leaders this fall!
Candor and compassion at work are more important (and more difficult to cultivate) than ever. On this episode, host Muriel Wilkins joins the Radical Candor podcast to take questions from listeners and discuss how to lead in a hybrid environment. Look for Radical Candor in your favorite podcast app. And keep an eye out for the new season of Coaching Real Leaders, coming this fall!
He experienced early success and a fast promotion at his organization, but then things started to shift. Now, there have been leadership changes, and his scope of responsibilities has changed, making him feel like his career is backsliding. Host Muriel Wilkins coaches him through how he can reframe the situation and prioritize what he wants from his career going forward.
She loves the work she does and has effectively managed her career to gain increased responsibility over time. She’s recently started managing managers for the first time and is struggling to find the right pace to help her organization reach long-term strategic goals, amid some short-term uncertainty. Host Muriel Wilkins coaches her through setting goals and timelines for the long term.
He’s a mission driven leader who has always found roles where he can help others. He was brought in at a high level at a new organization, but he’s feeling tension and conflict with the organization’s founder. Host Muriel Wilkins coaches him through how to manage himself in this negative work dynamic.
She’s found a career path she truly enjoys, in part because of her ability to take risks and try new things. Now, as her team is reorganized, she has the opportunity to design her next leadership position, but she’s not sure what she needs and wants to be successful. Host Muriel Wilkins coaches her through reframing what may be holding her back and identifying the priorities she wants to focus on going forward.
He leads a team at a large global organization and gets positive feedback on their work. But he’s having trouble leading his team with a clear vision amid conflicting priorities and without direction from his senior leaders. Host Muriel Wilkins coaches him through how he can help his team have organizational impact, with or without more clarity from above.
She’s finally found a leadership role that feels aligned with her personal mission. But in the wake of unexpected company-wide layoffs, she’s struggling with how to plan for her team’s future amid the organizational uncertainty. Host Muriel Wilkins coaches her through how she can motivate and lead her team when so much feels out of their control.
Coming Soon: Season 5

Coming Soon: Season 5


Coaching Real Leaders returns April 10 for another season of real-life coaching sessions, with leadership challenges like staying motivated after layoffs, achieving team goals, and more. Listen in as host and longtime executive coach Muriel Wilkins takes you behind closed doors as she helps executives, managers, and entrepreneurs work through the challenges they face and discover unexpected insights about themselves.
How Do I Ask for Help?

How Do I Ask for Help?


She’s carved out a unique role for herself, which she loves, but worries that the pace of work is unsustainable. As she thinks about the next step in her career, she realizes that it will require her to lean on the help of others — something she’s not used to doing. Host Muriel Wilkins coaches her through how to get the support she needs to move forward in her career.
He sees himself as a servant leader and enjoys building and supporting his teams. But over time, he’s seen behavior from more senior leaders that he doesn’t always agree with, and it’s making him feel disengaged at work. Host Muriel Wilkins coaches him through how he can respond when executives don’t model the company’s values.
He’s had fast success in a sales-driven industry and enjoys leading his expanding team. But as his responsibilities grow, he needs to learn how to delegate to his team more and empower his direct reports. Host Muriel Wilkins coaches him through how to adapt his leadership style as his team grows.
He’s had a long, successful career as an attorney, in spite of the challenges he’s faced as a neurodivergent leader. Now he wants to parlay his legal experience and interest in advocacy into a different career in diversity, equity, and inclusion, but he’s having a hard time landing the role he wants. Host Muriel Wilkins coaches this leader through how to move forward with his career plans even when it feels like the odds are stacked against him.
Comments (3)

malutty malu


Feb 5th

Audra Martin

Great show, insightful coach. This guest is 100% me. Thanks for the free coaching session.

Oct 21st


Thanks for thesse rich interviews! That’s really helpful for everyone who looks for getting to the next level of the career. 🙂

May 17th
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