Member Spotlights

Member Spotlight: Jess Dods '75

Executive Coach, Jess Dods Consulting

Jess Dods '75 coaches people to “step into their greatness” and enhance their skills.  He loves helping people who want to advance in their careers and are not quite sure what steps to take. Professionals, managers, and executives work with him in person, via phone and Skype to be at their top performance in many types of settings, including cross-cultural environments. Jess is not only hired by individuals, but also by organizations to do individual coaching. He can be brought in for a range of services from when the employee may be assimilating into a new role to preparation for cross cultural expatriation.

Jess may also focus on whether the current role is a good fit for the person he is working with. For some clients, he assists them with job search to find the best fit.  And other clients seek his services when they have been laid off or find themselves between jobs for any reason.

He is certified in several different assessment tools and coaching methodologies. The most impactful part of the assessment tools is how Jess correlates the information from the various tools to the person and the situation.  He prefers the Strong Interest Inventory (SII) to get a sense of career fit. He likes this 291-question report because it reveals what your self-reported level of interest is in six different areas (realistic, investigative, artistic, social, enterprising, and conventional), which are then divided into 130 occupations.

How did Jess get to where he is today? After graduating from Thunderbird in 1975, he worked in the energy industry in several countries, interacting with different cultures, different agendas, and different ways of doing things. He then moved into management consulting.

As part of his role as a Senior Management Consultant, working mainly in Latin America, he coached junior consultants, and was told many times that he had significantly helped them advance their careers. This was a "tap on the shoulder" for Jess as he considered a career change.  After leaving Venezuela in 1999, (he was expelled by Hugo Chavez for being a North American – see his recent Crossing Borders article) he balanced his career between the energy industry and coaching for a few years and in 2002, Jess began coaching full time. He has trained extensively in coaching and has worked with hundreds of clients to date.

Thunderbird prepared him well for his global career. He recalled sitting at a lunch table on campus many years ago, and there were six languages being spoken. And of course the exposure to business and organizational principles were important as well.

For the last 10 years, Jess has been an avid student of yoga, to which his wife introduced him. He has trained as a yoga teacher to deepen his own yoga practice. This not only helps with his physical flexibility, but his mental flexibility, which helps a lot in career coaching. Jess and his wife are located 100 miles west of Boston, in the town he grew up in, on the same street he grew up on. He is back to his roots. Looking forward, the next trip he would like to take is to Botswana for an Elephant Sanctuary Retreat.

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