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About Clear and Open

What’s Your Puzzle?


People like puzzles. For some it’s crosswords, sudoku, or jigsaws. Those things make me crazy. I like solving real-life puzzles–the things that make you crazy: business culture issues, accountability problems, negative cash flow, work/life balance challenges, and all the other pains of the work world.

I’m not kidding. Solving your business problems is fun for me.

It’s like a treasure hunt. There are clues to collect, messages to decode, and maps to follow. And the rewards? Radically improving the lives of leaders and managers is immensely fulfilling.

It’s so rewarding, in fact, that it’s taken me fifteen years to let go of it.

The biggest challenge for any leader is to let themselves be not needed–to delegate, automate, hire people better than they are, or train them to become so. Just like raising children, the ultimate success is when you’re no longer needed. And just like raising children, that’s easier said than done. I’ve never had children–but I’ve had more clients than anyone could have kids.

And one day I woke up. I realized how limited this was.

I realized how limited I was. I’ve taught since I was fifteen years old: swimming, diving, martial arts, psychology, sales, management, finance, and every other aspect of business. I was hooked: being a teacher was my identity. Who was I without that?

Maybe can you relate. Is there a part of your job you can’t imagine not doing? Maybe that’s holding you back.

I love working individually with people and still do. But I saw I could do something greater. To make clear the tools, systems, and methods I’ve developed over the years and open them to a wider audience–to build a community of people who could learn from and help each other. I tell my clients that if I do my job right, at some point they won’t need me. Clear and Open is about keeping that promise. This is my code of conduct.

Since I first trained as a business coach at EMyth in 2002, I’ve been a change agent for thousands of business leaders and managers. For five years I was the principal curriculum developer for EMyth. I developed and oversaw the training of its worldwide coach network. Coaching is a fast-growing industry, but it’s also very young. I think we can do better. For me, it’s a fun puzzle I want to solve. The needless suffering inside workplaces everywhere hangs in the balance.

This is what drives me to develop simpler and easier ways to facilitate change. Clear and Open is about codifying all that I’ve learned into a community-based, affordable, powerful method for change that can scalably serve many more than I could alone.

I live on Maui, exploring one of my own long-time dreams in the process, where the pressure of getting my guitar to the beach before sunset drives my efficiency every day. Interested in having me speak to your group? Click here. You can also check out my podcast here on the site, or here in iTunes, or here on Google Play.

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Josef Shapiro

Josef S