In Over His Head

Today I’m talking with author and executive coach, Scott Eblin, co-founder and president of the Eblin Group. Thursday, I’m reviewing his fascinating book, “The Next Level: What Insiders Know about Executive Success.”

I’m also delighted Scott will be “in the house” Thursday, Jan. 20 to share his insights and respond to your comments and questions. In addition, we’re giving away 15 signed copies of his book.


Leadership Freak (LF): Scott, thanks for taking a minute to chat. Let’s jump right in. Can you tell me about a tipping point in your career, an event or experience that made a significant difference in your work-life?

Scott Eblin (SE): Dan, thanks for the opportunity to tell part of my story. A major tipping point in my life occurred when I was recruited to be V.P. of H.R. for Columbia Gas Transmission. It was a major opportunity with a Fortune 500 company.   On my first day, I walked into the lobby and saw something I’ll never forget.   Beside the elevators was a placard titled, “Our Change Agents.” It was covered with the names and pictures of leaders within the organization. Right in the middle was my picture!

All plans of slipping in under the radar went out the door. When I arrived at my new office, the voice mail was full and my calendar was pre-booked for two months. Frankly, I was in over my head.

LF: Did others know?

SE: It didn’t take long for the CEO to realize the situation. Fortunately she didn’t fire me. She made sure I got coaching from herself and others.

LF: You were fortunate. It sounds like a nurturing environment.

SE: Sometimes yes, sometimes no.   My boss had an uncanny ability to know when I needed pats on the back and kicks in the pants.

LF: How did your experience with Columbia impact you?

SE: Really, it’s the reason I do what I do today. I realize there are many executives that feel in over their heads. That’s who I want to help.

LF: Your story reminds me that the fires we go through form us. Rather than running, we should find support that enables us to grow into our opportunities.


If you haven’t been in over your head, you haven’t done much. Rather than running from the fire, I suggest you find people like Scott Eblin who can teach you how to drop and roll and then get up again.

Why don’t you share a bit of your story? Tell us about a time when you felt in over your head and what you did. Your story may help others.