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This coach helps clients to achieve big goals, like exiting–and work/life balance

By Verne Harnish 

Scaling Up Certified Coach Jim Jubelirer sees his “job” as bringing the best practices from a variety of industries to his clients. “My job is to free you up from the low-value activities you are doing, so you can focus on high-value activities and become the expert in your industry,” he says. 

Jubelirer, based in Chapel Hill, N.C., became a Scaling Up Certified coach in 2011. He knew he’d made the right decision when, early on, he attended a Scaling Up Summit where Jim Collins spoke. “It was the greatest thing ever,” he says. “The 1 pm speaker was Peter Diamandis. I couldn’t sleep for two nights.” 

Jubelirer is also a mentor coach to new coaches in the Scaling Up certification program,  an executive coach in the Duke Leadership Program and a member of Abundance 360, a mastermind group committed to using disruptive technologies to solve the world’s biggest problems. He has served a variety of clients, mainly in manufacturing and service industries. So far, three have had exits where they were acquired by bigger companies. 

Jubelirer comes from an entrepreneurial family: During his childhood in Sharon, Pennsylvania,  his father ran a clothing store for women and children. “We did paperwork together on weekends,” he says. “I grew up with that in my blood.” 

He earned his MBA at Cornell University’s Johnson School of Management, after a BA at University of California at Santa Cruz. One early foray into entrepreneurship was selling T-shirts in conjunction with the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. “It turned out to be really lucrative,” he says. “I literally rolled into business school at Cornell doing this crazy, fun thing.” 

After business school, Jubelirer took a corporate path, serving as an executive at firms such as Harris Interactive and Burke, Inc. Along the way, he had many opportunities to do public speaking and training. That led to a stint doing corporate training, where he worked with clients such as General Electric (GE). When GE transitioned to its Six Sigma quality initiative, he became an expert in the field of customer satisfaction and customer loyalty and began selling telephone survey services. He did that for GE and clients such as Fidelity and Royal Caribbean for about 15 years. 

Eventually, Jubelirer came to see coaching as an opportunity to combine his passions for both leadership development and personal growth. One focus in recent years is helping clients build the workplace of the future, given the seismic changes in the business environment. “You need a new way to build culture and cohesion,” he says. “Everything needs to change, even if your basic industry remains the same.” 

When it comes to personal growth, he devotes considerable time to helping clients with their mindset, relying on tools such as the One-Page Personal Plan. He also holds workshops such as “Would it be okay with you if life got easier?”

“People are both logical and psychological,” he says. “As a coach, creating a safe space for crucial conversations hitting on the psychological dimensions is essential.”

One challenge for many clients is workaholism. Although they’re great at “doing,” they don’t often take time away from their inbox. He works with them to start taking days off and limiting their contact with work when they are away. Clients may set goals such as never missing a child’s birthday. “When you apply the Scaling Up Framework to your business with the help of a coach, you truly can accomplish more than you ever thought possible,” he says.

Verne Harnish
Verne Harnish
Verne Harnish is founder of the world-renowned Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) and chaired for fifteen years EO’s premiere CEO program, the “Birthing of Giants” and WEO’s “Advanced Business” executive program both held at MIT. Founder and CEO of Gazelles, a global executive education and coaching company with over 150 coaching partners on six continents, Verne has spent the past three decades helping companies scale-up. The “Growth Guy” syndicated columnist, he’s also the Venture columnist for FORTUNE magazine. He’s the author of Scaling Up (Rockefeller Habits 2.0); Mastering the Rockefeller Habits; and along with the editors of Fortune, authored The Greatest Business Decisions of All Times," for which Jim Collins wrote the foreword. Verne also chairs FORTUNE Magazine’s annual Leadership and Growth Summits and serves on several boards including chairman of The Riordan Clinic and the newly launched Geoversity. He is an investor in many scale-ups. A father of four, he enjoys piano, tennis, and magic as a card-carrying member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians.

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