Karol Wasylyshyn is revered among the very best of Executive Coaches. Her remarkable career has set the gold standard for many of us who get to do this very privileged work. Her intellect, integrity, laser-like insights, broad experience with the very highest levels of global leadership, wit, powered by an amazing combination of IQ and EQ make her a remarkable resource to Boards and CEOs and to those in the consulting psychology world with whom she is incredibly generous. As her previous books have beautifully demonstrated, she is also a masterful writer and storyteller. The book (Destined to Lead) offers real experience and insight not bromides. It is a candid and generous inside look at what can happen in that magical space that can be created when the right Coach/Client match is made. The "360" view of each case with client commentaries is brilliant. And this woman paints glorious pictures with her writing. When was the last time you actually learned something from a business book? When was the last time you actually read a business book that was beautifully written? If someone has offered you the gift of a coach, read this to become a more savvy and effective judge of the coach candidates placed before you (and to demand better when you deserve it). If your work sits anywhere near the coaching space, dive in and enjoy.

Robert B. Mintz, Ph.D

Think about your personal best in your role as coach. Now imagine exceeding that, taking your coaching skills to new heights and even new depths. Destined To Lead, written by the consummate executive coach, focuses in detail on eight executive coaching cases from start to finish. The book reveals Dr. Karol Wasylyshyn’s overall coaching approach, as well as the nuances and varied tools tailored specifically for each executive. Karol’s rich descriptions about this transformative work make these developmental journeys relatable to coaches and leaders alike. Her methods are varied, courageous and caring, and demonstrate the importance of creating and sustaining a trusting relationship with each executive. Completely unique to this book, in their own words, each executive has written a personal reflection about their coaching experience – captivating! Reading this book is bound to make each of us a better coach.

Wendy Axelrod, Co-author of
Make Talent Your Business's Activity

See Additional Reviews for Destined to Lead


Behind the Executive Door offers exceptional insight into the leadership challenges we face in a global economy where collaboration is key to business success, people are networked 24/7 and empathy and understanding are central to the effective management of teams. Karol Wasylyshyn presents three leadership types in a way that absolutely rings true in the current business environment. Grounded in solid research, she describes and assesses them professionally, avoids glib and superficial jargon, and illustrates them with riveting real-life examples. She offers practical, systematic techniques for evaluating the leadership type of your boss and for managing that crucial relationship.

Ellen Kullman, Chair & CEO, DuPont

Once again Karol provokes our thinking with her wise counsel. She offers a creative and intriguing framework to help us understand the underbelly of leadership behavior and provides meaningful ideas for change. This book will be on your desk for many years providing opportunity for reflection and as a guidebook as you face into your role as leader.

—Monica McGrath, PhD, Assistant Adjunct Professor,
The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania

"An inspiring book to understand your leadership behaviors and the personality traits of your boss. Karol has guided me all along my career and this book will provide that same guidance to leaders for years to come."

—Pierre Brondeau, President, CEO, anD
Chairman of the Board, FMC Corporation

Karol's insight into what behaviors and skills enable leaders to unravel their potential and achieve positive results, along with her 25 years of experience, have been instrumental to me and most of my leadership team's development. I believe Behind the Executive Door to be a must read for all current and aspiring modern leaders.

—Moncef Slaoui, Chairman,
Research & Development, GlaxoSmithKline

For the lay person who has not put these things together yet, your book poignantly does so. As your typology and approach spreads out, one sees as if from a satellite, the imminent meeting of troops approaching each other — HR, Psyche, Poetics, Philosophy, Business all marching towards the same intersection. Of course they’ve been there before. But not all at the same time as in your work. It’s as if you have already set up a room and systematic negotiation framework for when they get there. I really am amazed at the accuracy and predictability offered by Erikson’s phases, let alone the other instruments you mentioned. Not being steeped in the literature I can’t tell, but I imagine that no one has done what you have done here!? We all know people who we think “should write a book” (or they think they should write a book) because of their experience, outstanding work, unique approach. But you have actually done it, taking the folders from those cases and creating this lending key for those who are interested to barrow and work with psychology at work (redistribute its ownership?) rather than having it locked up in an ivory tower.

—Aaren Perry
Director of Business Development, Team Builders Plus


Your journal article is extraordinary and…I think it has the earmarks of a landmark paper. The typology you describe should be extremely helpful to anyone assessing the viability of a coaching contract.

—Ulys H. Yates, Science Editor and Poet

I took away so many reminders of what I need to keep top of mind to be a strong leader. None of them were “new” to me because of the very special two years that we have spent together, but it did put them in to one document, which I will be carrying with me always (love the SO SMART). It also reinforces my role as a developer of people— “coach”—for my team and how do this with an organized TOTAL BRAIN approach. Several of the poems made me really reflect on leadership.

—Peter H. Lammers, Senior Vice President, GLAXOSMITHKLINE

I learned more about myself after reading this, and as always I was blown away with the personal depth, perception and power that your poetry brings to the subject matter of leadership. Having you as a coach has been one of the most difficult but most rewarding experiences of my career so far.

—David Schram, Vice President, Rohm and Haas Company

So much of your “four factors” and “meta themes” reflect values that I hold as an OD consultant, although I never articulated them in your concise and poetic way (“traction, trust, truth-telling” – that’s beautiful – and perfect!). The typology that you describe is fascinating - so simple, yet each one of the three is so complex, and people with a combination of the three even more so.

I must say that your poetry BLEW ME AWAY!! It was astounding to me how you expressed all the nuances and intensity of each experience/person with such grace, flow and lyricism – you were right about the “white space”. I read and re-read each one several times and will read them again.

—Carole Cohn, OD Consultant

On a long flight back from Sao Paolo, I had adequate time to read and digest Behind the Door. I found it clear, concise, superbly written and intellectually impeccable. The four factors and three meta practice themes, as well as the High 6 Character Values, really were very helpful to me. In short, the structure of the piece works beautifully.

—Doug Richardson, Career Management Consultant

Your poetry is truly portraiture a gallery of portraits and, for those whose notion of poetry is as some incomprehensible word form, an unexpectedly vivid way of coming face to face with the essential nature of today's business leaders. I think that people are craving insight into the mindsets that created this global catastrophe.

—Jane Green, Sustainable Building Consultant

I continue to consider my work with you as the best gift ever given to an insurance nerd by his publically traded company. And I still use all of your very wise counsel.

—Lee Patkus, Regional Vice President,
The Hanover Insurance Group

You had a notable, actually profound, impact on me as an executive, husband, father, man.

—Nick Gutwein, President, The Braun corporation