About BKG Leadership Coaching
After a career in service and leadership, Ben Grimes decided to share his vision of leader development with others. He believes each of us has the ability to unlock the confidence to lead with trust, transparency, empathy, and passion, and that that finding the courage to do so will create both professional success and personal growth.
Mission and Vision
BKG Leadership Coaching is an unparalleled resource for lawyers and firms of all sizes to unlock the confidence and develop the skills to lead with trust, transparency, empathy, and passion in order to break down personal and organizational inefficiencies and realize increased profitability and well-being.
BKG Leadership Coaching is unleashing lawyers and law firms to lead with their values, create relationships built on authenticity and performance, and serve clients with grace and integrity.
I didn't set out to be a leadership coach. (Anyone who says they did is probably lying.) Growing up, I thought leaders were a special kind of person, born with innate abilities and, often, to circumstances that naturally drew others to them. I was wrong; and I was right. I discovered that leaders are special, but not because they have been gifted a gene for leadership or because they were born rich, good looking, or charming. Leaders are special because they unlock potential and inspire greatness in others, develop amazingly powerful teams, and reach goals that seem unattainable. But they aren't born ready to do all these things. They grow into leadership.
My mother raised four of us on a social worker's salary. Alone. She didn't complain and we didn't go hungry, but we also didn't have much. A revolving door of broken-down cars, hand-me-downs from my (female) cousins, free lunches at school. My father had come back from Vietnam addicted to heroin and spent the rest of his life in and out of jail. He was both a ghost in my life and a fantastical character in my imagination. I am fortunate that what I filled in about him became my example rather than the example he set. I'm not sad or disappointed at my early lot in life and if this is tugging on a heartstring, don't let it. There is nothing sad or disappointing about being poor. I just didn't think people like me launch into leadership from places like mine.
Luckily, a few things were working in my favor. My mother set a great example of how to care deeply and authentically about other people. I had teachers and extended family who cared. And I was naïve.
Looking back, my naivete may have been the best thing for me because it led to one choice that changed the course of my life profoundly and made clearer my path to leadership. There was never any doubt I would graduate from high school. Mom made sure of that. In fact, it was pretty clear that I should go to college. But the kid I was, getting ready to go out into the world, just didn't understand how to pay for college. I really thought you had to have the money to pay for -- all of it! -- or get a scholarship to pay for it -- all of it! And about the time I was trying to figure out what to do, I heard about West Point. Most importantly, I heard it was free. I applied, got an early acceptance, and never applied anywhere else.
Two weeks after I graduated from high school, I was having my head shaved, learning how to salute, and wondering if the Hudson Valley in New York was ever not 105 degrees with 106% humidity.
I was taught to lead from a place of service, to be transparent and empathetic, and to trust -- myself and others. I was witness to and beneficiary of the success that style of leadership can bring. I was put in leadership positions first and then became a leader. More than that, I became someone that relished the opportunity to help others find and develop their voice as leaders.
Like every kid arriving at West Point, I thought I knew what I was getting into and what I had to do to succeed. I was wrong, and it took some stumbles to find my balance.
In the Army as a Blackhawk helicopter pilot and military lawyer, and since then as a managing attorney for a large government agency, I have led teams and organizations to new wins and developed others to grow in their leadership.