Developing Great Leaders
To effectively lead others, you need to know:
Who are you as a leader?
Who is the leader you want to be?
What needs to change to get there?
Leadership Coaching is a powerful method of training that global executives have embraced. The training industry is said to be a multi-billion dollar business, and yet research has shown that the vast majority of this investment is wasted because executives are not putting the learning into action. This is where coaching comes in, to turn investment into effective results, and studies have shown it is producing ROI’s in the neighbourhood of 200% to 2000%.
Coaching works because of the style and format of the learning:
- The leader determines the agenda vs. it being imposed learning. This makes the coaching powerful.
- The leader is then challenged to commit to this agenda. No commitment, no coaching.
- The coaching occurs over time (either through multiple workshops or one-on-one coaching), to allow both learning, and action, to take place. It is not a one-off approach that has little residual impact.
- There is a built-in accountability system, so that the client is compelled, and held accountable for taking action. Action = results.
- The coach comes with the right questions to help the leader determine his or her path to success, vs. coming in with the right answers. When a client finds his or her own answers, the learning has power.
Greg Ashley, Coaching Makes you a better Leader
These words from a past client, Greg Ashley, (then-president of Playground, a division of Intrawest) sums up the impact of executive leadership coaching.
Note: Greg and Katie worked together for over 2 years, including one-on-one coaching and leadership with his senior management team. This note was written to the executive team from when Greg was still at Playground, a division of Intrawest, and outlines his thoughts on executive coaching.
- 1. A good coach gives you unbiased 3rd party feedback – a Coach gives you unbiased feedback. No matter what the topic or the issue; a Coach has no biases, no vested interests, or personal agendas when you ask for feedback. Typically in our day-to-day worlds when we ask for feedback it is usually from the people we work with. And typically we ask for feedback from the same people. Want a different perspective? Ask your Coach. Every now and then it’s good to get feedback from a different source.
- 2. Coaching Sessions are all about you – it’s your agenda, and the meetings don’t get side tracked on any other issues except your own. Typically as leaders, we don’t have the luxury of having an agenda focused on our own issues.
- 3. A good coach is a great sounding board – want to test a new idea before you release it to the company? Want to discuss how you are going to let someone go? Want to discuss a difficult situation before you deal with it? A good coach is a great sounding board.
- 4. Being Coached leads to being a better Coach – we all need to be better coaches yet how do we learn to coach? Typically we learn from those who coach us. If a professional is coaching you I believe your own coaching skills improve.
- 5. A good Coach helps you uncover new ideas – I don’t know how many new ideas I have implemented at the company after a Coaching session, but it is a significant number (people are starting to dread when I have a Coaching session as they know many times I think of a new idea to implement). The Coach doesn’t give you the ideas but asks questions that let you uncover the ideas you have.
- 6. A good Coach makes you look deeper for solutions – in many instances we are all challenged to come up with solutions to challenges. In many cases in this “fast paced” world, the fastest solution becomes the best solution. A good Coach helps you uncover other potential solutions.
- 7. You can say anything to a Coach – having an unbiased third party for feedback not associated with the company allows you the freedom to say anything and not worry about misinterpretation / position / back lash / feelings etc…
- 8. A good Coach knocks you “out of the box” – sometimes you need someone to knock you out of the box. To change your thinking. Not doing the same old same old.
- 9. A good Coach knows you and helps you know yourself – a good coach gets to know you very well and understands your strengths and weaknesses. And in turn helps you get to know yourself and the areas you can work on or leverage.
- 10. A good Coach never gives answers – a good coach asks great questions and helps you discover answers for yourself.
- 11. A good Coach catches you doing things right – good leaders take all the blame and defer all the credit. A good executive coach gets to know your business, the people in your business, and what you are up to in the business. They know your successes and challenges and acknowledge both. In our day-to-day worlds typically only the challenges are recognized.
- 12. A good Coach makes you a better leader