Meet The Man Behind The Cover Of The September 2020 Issue Of InLife International: The Amazing Chris Cebollero


Chris Cebollero is an internationally recognized leadership expert, bestselling author, Emergency Medical Services leader, and advocate who’s passionate about helping people chart a new direction, even in the midst of the most challenging of situations.

His professional history is showered with process improvement know-how. This knowledge provides executive-level support to achieve aggressive business and personal goals. He brings success and his career has been defined by slashing costs and exploding growth in the healthcare arena. In fact, he constructed his healthcare management and small business consulting firm on that foundation.

Some of his key areas of expertise include executive coaching, leadership development, emotional intelligence, change management, Kaizen, Agile & Lean methodology practice, relationship building, business plan creation, organizational process improvement, motivational and keynote speaking, and healthcare/EMS transformation. He has been recognized for his strategic leadership as the Chief of EMS for Christian Hospital, he has been delivering inspiration to international audiences for over a decade as a highly sought-out speaker and he has also been writing bestselling books on leadership.

InLife International magazine recently caught up with Chris to discuss his journey to entrepreneurship and here’ what went down:

So, what is leadership coaching? How does it work?

Leadership and Business Coaching is a collaborative, personalized relationship between a leader or business owner and a coach. This type of partnership shows benefits for the executive, manager, supervisor, team leader, or a business owner. Leadership Coaching is to Professional Development what sports coaching is to professional football or baseball. It is a coach’s job to work with you to take your business, team, or career to the next level. When you engage with me, we have a couple of vision, strategy, and planning sessions. Then over the course of the relationship, we work together to make that vision your reality. This can be done virtually (in this day and age) or in-person once or multiple times a week.

What made you decide to become a leadership expert?

I am never a fan of the term expert, but instead, like the phrase Leadership specialist. Being a good student of leadership means you are striving to achieve perfection or excellence. In my career as a paramedic, I loved teaching other EMS professionals to deliver the best patient care possible. As I grew in my career and started taking on leadership roles, my teaching turned to more leadership and organizational process improvement opportunities. When I began changing the topics of motivational teaching to leadership, more and more people wanted to engage with me on developing into the best leader or developing the best organization possible. So, the growth in my career led me here, and for the past 10 years have been excited to share my skills, knowledge, and experience.

What type of training do you have?

I have been saying for many years that leadership is both an art and a science. You have to know the science before you can paint the portrait of organizational success. Leadership is a science, and it is your interpretation of that science that allows for personal and professional development. There are many certifications out there, and I am honored to have been taught and trained in coaching by my friend and Mentor John Maxwell. For over 7 years John has given me the finer points in not only growing my business and career but the ability to share that knowledge with others. An initial certification is just the beginning, it is vital that Leadership coaches continue to grow their skill and knowledge daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly. Being the best coach possible is like a long journey, and that destination you never arrive.


What is a typical day like for you?

My day starts with ensuring I am facing my day as mentally strong as possible. Visualization and putting your conscious and subconscious mind on your side in of vital importance. After I get to my desk, my schedule dictates my tasks, usually I answer emails, and return calls, and make appointments. Then I get to the highlight of my day, meeting in person or virtually with my clients. I love to have the ability to assist them in reaching the next level of their careers. Later in my afternoon is usually reserved for writing articles, eBooks, or working on the next big course or event. Presently, I am working on my next book which is a comprehensive guide to coaching the high performance of your workforce.

How did you choose this area to focus on?

I was a horrible leader in my earlier career. I was so bad; I dug a hole so deep I was never going to get out of. Then, I found the science of leadership, a little communication, some Servant Leadership, throw in some Emotional Intelligence – all of a sudden, I was creating engagement, my workforce was satisfied, and they became more productive. More importantly, they were creating amazing client and customer experiences. It was then that becoming a great leadership choose me. Then to give back, teaching that skill, and knowledge was my new calling.

What do you think is the biggest mistake people make when trying to improve the quality of their leadership?

That’s an awesome question. In my opinion, it is that they do not truly understand the definition of the word leadership. See, most people think leadership is a position, achievements, or a title, they think of it as a noun. Leadership plain and simply is an action, it’s a verb. You show leadership, you model leadership. You do not need a position to be considered a leader. If you can influence others, you are leading them. Regardless of what you do for your career, you should try to influence someone every day. When people understand how to lead, it makes leadership easier.


Can you tell us a little bit about the kind of care and treatment you offer your clients?

My clients are the most important people to me, and their success is my success. When others allow me to join them on their professional development journey this is a gift, they are sharing with me. With that said, these partners get 100% of my effort, attention, and commitment to them achieving the goals they wish to accomplish. First, we develop a solid rapport/relationship based on trust, respect, and dedication to the same forward progress. Second, we then march together in attaining the goals to reach their ultimate vision. It is my job to motivate, inspire, give insight, create opportunities for growth, and fall down with them and help them up. It is my job to remind them that there are opportunities out there, and how to reach them, that those opportunities open the door to their next success. What do I do for my clients? I help them achieve the best version of who they want to become.

How can using a coach like you get my career or business to the next level?

Sometimes we have to admit we have plateaued, or we may not have the information to get us to the next level. If you know everything there is to know about leadership or business raise your hand. Sometimes, bringing someone in to help guide, share experiences, or to help motivate and inspire is what is needed to get from a stuck phase to the next phase. Somewhere along our path, we have been sold a bill of goods that says we cannot ask for help, or that asking for help is weak or a failure. Nothing is further from the truth. When you engage with a coach it is because you are interested in developing more than a competitive edge and are determined to reach your goals for success. It is this partnership that helps see things that you may be missing, or bringing new information, challenging developed processes, and expanding your market share. Once we determine your vision, we develop the blueprint to build that success.


What’s the difference between coaching and counseling? How can it help me?

When we think about our workforce, they are the only resource that does not depreciate in value. Our copiers depreciate, or vehicles that do not depreciate in value. Our copiers depreciate, or vehicles depreciate, yet with the right touch our workforce can grow in value, and in fact, if we want to grow our organizations, we have to grow our workforce. When we invite employees into our organization, they come to us with a set of skills, and experience. It is our job as leaders to coach them to the next level, to help them achieve their best. The true measurement of leadership success is how engaged, satisfied, and productive the workforce is. To achieve high performance, you have to get away from counseling, and progressive discipline and focus more on development and growth with coaching.

What type of people do you coach?

There is no definition of who benefits from a coach. There is no playbook that says if you are not making six figures or have a real wood desk you won’t benefit from a coach. Anyone that wants more, wants to be better, wants to achieve a focused vision of success can use a coach. I coached someone in the store the other day. They were worried about losing their job because of this pandemic. He was telling me that he is great at his job as a salesperson and has been awarded top sales awards for the past 5 years. His frustration and fear really is that in this current environment he would not be able to make the money he needed to help his family. In my response, I asked him if he was on social media and if he was he needed to set up a 4 or 5-week training class to share his knowledge with people that are in sales and have not been awarded top sales awards for the past 5 years. I told him to share your knowledge, teach the next generation, and become a social media sales resource. He thanked me and thought it was an amazing idea. He told me he would try it, and in that 10-minute exchange, he was more inspired than he had been in a month. I don’t even know his name, but I hope he does it. Who can coaching help? Everyone who is ready for wanting more.

How do leadership experts like you help you get results?

The biggest word is accountability. We wish we can reach a goal; I wish I can lose weight; I wish I can quit smoking; I wish I would go back to college. Wishing leads to more frustration, depression, anger, and fear. My job is to help you turn your “shoulds” into “musts.” How will I do that? By not letting you forget your vision, keep your focus on your goals, not allow you to procrastinate, be the person in your ear to remind you what success looks like. I am your accountability partner in achieving your next level of success. You can listen to your negative self-talk and quit with no accountability. I am not hearing, we are on a march, a journey towards your success, your ultimate vision and together we will succeed.


What kind of successes has people you’ve coached gone on to have?

I have helped individuals grow their businesses; A recent client was in the flooring business. He started his business learning how to carpet when he was 19 years old. Over the past 20 years, he developed a business with sales in the $600,000 range for the past 4 years. I met him through a family member, and we started talking about marketing, inventory control, expanding sales, using contractors instead of employees. Just talking, nothing in particular. He engaged with me and we worked together for just under a year, and I can share (with his permission) He had his first million-dollar year ever. He knew the business of flooring but not running a business. I have helped people go from manager to director, from Vice President to President and everyone in between. Coaching can give you the tools, knowledge, and expertise but in the end, if you have to be the one to execute the strategy and achieve the next level.

Any final words of wisdom for anyone looking to enter the field of leadership coaching?

Experience comes from mistakes and mistakes come from lack of experience. When you engage with a coach, they are locked arm and arm along with you on your journey for success. They share successes, mistakes, failures, and lessons learned in their career. Leadership and Business development is all about science, are you ready to attain the next level? Then let’s go!

Chris Cebollero hosts the Ultimate Leadership Podcast – they have over 100 thousand subscribers and discuss various leadership topics with industry experts. You can know more about Chris by visiting his website (www.chriscebollero.com) or directly sending him an email to chris@chriscebollero.com.Chris7

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