Ian Cook

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Building Best Bosses, Business Management and Organization, Facilitator,
Chairperson, MC, Leadership, Teamwork

Travels From: Toronto, Ontario
Fees: $4500 – 5000.00


Ian is an experienced presenter, group facilitator and executive coach. Through his keynote presentations, highly interactive workshops, and custom- designed team-building practice, he helps his clients leverage their investment in their managers and teams. He works primarily with managers, mid-level to executive. His programs introduce cutting-edge skills and concepts around: transforming managers and supervisors into leaders and fostering superior team performance

Ian is the author of Would They Call You Their Best Boss Ever? He began his independent practice in 1988, following seventeen years of corporate experience in both the high tech manufacturing and transportation industries. Ian’s advice to management is both thought-provoking and practical. He speaks with passion. His message is clear: “Superior results occur when individual employees accept personal accountability for their own goals, priorities, performance, attitudes and how they choose to work with others. And, while it is mostly up to the individual to find job satisfaction, managers can adopt proven leadership approaches to create an environment where people choose to excel.”

Education and Credentials

Cornell University—Masters degree, Human Resources Management

McGill University—Bachelor of Commerce degree

University Associates—Human Resources Development Intern Program

Ryerson University—former part-time lecturer in Faculty of Business

Gestalt Institute of Toronto—(3 year) Diploma in Gestalt Theory and Methodology for group and individual development

National Speakers Association & Canadian Association of Professional Speakers—Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) designation

Ontario Municipal Management Institute—Excellence in Training Award

Ontario Society for Training and Development—Certificate of Achievement (Advanced)

Accredited facilitator of The Leadership Circle Profile® and the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator®


Ian Cook’s Speaker Programs:

  • Dare to Be Their Best Boss Ever! From Ian’s book, Would They Call You Their Best Boss Ever?
    Do you remember what it was like working for the best boss you’ve ever had? You probably worked harder for this individual than for anyone else, before or since. Chances are you contributed more of your potential effort and creativity and felt really good about yourself, your job, and your employer.
    You will leave this thought-provoking event with practical tips and approaches you can apply immediately back at your workplace. We will look at:
    – The primary dilemma facing leaders (and employees) who want to make a difference
    – 3 elements to put in place if you want to generate a high level of results
    – 3 behaviours you can adopt to show up with courage and integrity
    – 3 ways you can build trusting, productive, and collaborative working relationships with your employees
  • Over to You, Employee – Getting Your Staff to Take Accountability for Their Performance, Satisfaction, and Development
    All too frequently in organizations today, managers find themselves trying too hard to get their employees to perform their job, while employees are unknowingly disengaged or waiting for their boss to tell them what their development path should be.
    This presentation introduces participants to a proven strategy for instilling in your employees a sense of personal responsibility for the work they do, their level of job satisfaction (and what they need to do if it’s not high enough for them), and where they want to grow their skills and knowledge. We will look at:
    – Why managers lean to a directive style and how this fosters a dependent staff
    – Life’s dirty little secret: we are all free to choose (and this includes employees, too!)
    – Non-directive coaching: the accountability builder
    – How to use questions to pull choices from your employees
    – Where to position consequences in your discussions
    – How to challenge their current mind set about what’s possible for them
  • Building Best Bosses – Developing Extraordinary Leaders in Your Organization

    Some managers are exemplary leaders but the reality is that most workplace units are headed by well meaning, dedicated, hard working, yet uninspiring and guarded managers. As a consequence, results often fall short of what they could be.
    But it doesn’t have to be this way!  Most managers have the capacity to transform themselves into someone whom their employees would call their “best boss ever.” In this presentation you will find out how to upgrade the current internal “operating system” of your managers to “leadership 2.0.” We will look at:
    – Critical capacities leaders need to succeed in today’s complex environment
    – The internal shift they must make to generate extraordinary results
    – How leadership development is linked to levels of adult development
    – Outcome-creating vs. problem-reacting approaches
    – How to address beliefs, assumptions, and habits of thought in your leadership development strategy

  • Closing the “Performance Deal” – How to Convert Employee Motivation into Performance
    Do you have an employee who is not performing at the level you expect? Maybe they were once a strong contributor but lately has lost the spark. So, you know it’s not a skill problem. It’s a will problem, a lack of motivation.
    This presentation confronts head-on the dilemma facing managersyou can’t motivate someone to perform if they don’t know what they want…and most employees haven’t thought lately about what they want from their job. We will look at:
    – How human motivation operates in a work environment
    – The most common employee motivators that lead to strong performance
    – What managers can learn from sales professionals about closing a business deal
    – A strategy plus effective questions you can use to get your employees to take personal responsibility for clarifying what they want (and how badly they want it)
    – How to link their motivators to their performing well in their job
    – An approach for dealing with long service employees who are within hailing distance of retirement and in “coasting” mode
  • Here’s What I Want. Here’s What I’m Seeing – How to Communicate Your Performance Expectations and Deliver Feedback
    Having tough conversations with employees about performance,” say managers, “is just about the most difficult thing I have to do. All I ask is that they do the job I’m paying them to do.” At the same time, significant numbers of employees will tell you, “I don’t know what my boss expects of me” and “I’ve had zero feedback on how I’m doing.”
    In this highly interactive session, participants learn and practice effective ways to shift the accountability for performance over to the employee-where it belongs. The session defuses the confusion we often experience when facing an employee’s resistance or deflection from the message they need to hear. We will look at
    – What job “performance” is-and isn’t
    – How to clearly lay out the specific performance you expect
    – How to present performance feedback in a way that fosters problem solving, not blame, and an adult-to-adult, rather than parent-to-child, tone
    – 8 practical tips for giving feedback when conducting a performance appraisal
    – How to respond if your employee resists or responds like a victim
    – Word for word phrases you can use to build accountability and commitment from your employees



“I have found working with Ian an invaluable experience both from a personal and organizational perspective. In his trainings, both group and individual settings, Ian excels at getting participants to open up and let their defenses down allowing participants to grow and develop as leaders. Ian is very effective at engaging his audience and getting full participation.

I have also been impressed with Ian’s ability to “interview” an organization and to really pick-up on the culture and understand what the challenges are. I can recommend Ian without hesitation as we have always gotten a great ROI!”

– Michael Parks, Vice President, Corporate Resources, Dow Electronics

“Thank you for delivering a power-packed presentation entitled “The Power of Influence and the Impact on Performance” for our High Potential team. The feedback I’ve received from the participants has been outstanding.

I also know we will experience long term positive results for our business based on this program. Again thank you for presenting the highest quality program that delivered results for our High Potential employees. I look forward to working with you again next year.” – Craig Nielsen Ph.D., Sr. Director, Development & Learning, RealNetworks, Inc.

“Ian Cook’s ability to sift through business and learning needs in a concise and focused fashion coupled with his natural leadership and coaching ability led to a meaningful, purposeful and actionable learning event for about 50 of our leaders.

To this day many of our leaders apply the coaching and leadership principles introduced in the workshop.” – Debbie Fedyk, BA., C.H.R.P., Director, Human Resources, Alcon Canada

“Ian has delivered over 20 presentations to various court audiences during the past seven years, and I can say unequivocally that the court managers and supervisors in attendance have benefited enormously from these training sessions.

To amplify, Ian helped to de-mystify the art of leading people and provided useful, applicable skills for real managers in real situations. He masterfully blended theory and practice and always delivered his message with a high degree of enthusiasm and professionalism.

Ian’s splendid participant handouts and stimulating in-class exercises compliment his excellent verbal skills.” – Michael Eric Siegel, Ph.D., Senior Education Specialist, The Federal Judicial Center

“I just want to commend you for the high caliber of delivery you have exhibited in all of the “Manager as Coach” sessions.

This program was targeted at the very top leaders and managers, 1800 in all, across all ministries of the Ontario Government. Add to this the fact that this is the very first mandatory program for the Senior Management Group.

Our requirements were high. First we needed a program of the highest caliber. Equally if not more important we clearly required extremely high standards of both platform presence and training ability to make the program meaningful.

On all accounts you have exceeded our expectations. You have consistently scored 4′s and 5′s out of 5, with glowing comments received from what can be a very critical audience.” – Martin Krogh, Senior Training Consultant, Centre for Leadership and Learning, OPS Learning and Development

“I am writing to express our appreciation for the outstanding work you have done to customize the content of the Leadership and Supervisory Skills course to the unique needs of municipal Public Works personnel.

Feedback from attendees has been consistently excellent in the two years we have offered the program. Participants remark on your energetic delivery and creativity used to make key content points more memorable.” – Heather Crewe, Manager, Professional Development and Training, Ontario Good Roads Association

“Ian did a team building session for my staff of 20. He not only worked with my employees but also provided me with insights into what was taking place in each of the exercises. It was an extremely enjoyable session and we learned a lot about one another.” – Nancy Dudley, Head, Client Services, CFA Institute

“It is with great pleasure that I write to thank you for the excellent work that you have provided to our association over the past 18 years.

Your professionalism and manner in which you conducted the various sessions with our members has been noted by many as leading to the success of each of those events. In addition, the outcome of the strategic planning sessions has led to the unprecedented success of our association. The number of programs we provide to our members has never been greater and our membership currently includes 95 percent of the industry across Canada” – Henry Walthert, CAE, Executive Director, Wood Preservation Canada

“The KRA process has enabled our management team to focus on the areas and tasks that enable us to deliver a quality service in the most efficient manner.  Also, we have achieved a clarity around roles and deliverables that has fostered a new level of employee accountability across the organization.  We highly recommend the KRA process to organizations that desire to get to the next level of excellence.” – Wendy Gradison, LCSW, President and CEO, PRS, Inc.

“Ian was able to effortlessly galvanize all 22 court employees into an impressive stimulating learning modality. Most importantly, because of our pre-meeting, and his seasoned ability to gather the appropriate value-added training information needed he was able to employ a well received teaching and delivery style with a mixture of some very very rich and highly focused content.” – Keith Robinson, Manager, Staff Development, Center for Education and Training Division, District of Columbia Courts

“We invited Fulcrum Associates to participate in our 2010 annual sales meeting. Their team building exercise, Terra Nova, was one of the highlights of the meeting. The exercise was entertaining, instructional and reinforced the fact that cross functional teamwork is the key to the sustained success of any great organization.” – Kevin Fiori, Vice President, Sales & Marketing, Sunkist Growers Inc.

“Thank you for an excellent job of identifying our needs and focusing the discussion on those areas. The course was relevant to the work environment and you were understanding and sensitive to the challenges being faced by the Communications Officers in their work place.” – Marilyn Rundle, Division Chief Communications, Brampton Fire and Emergency Services

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