Executive Leadership Coaching

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.

Greg Ashley, past founding President of Playground
Greg Ashley, past founding President of Playground Division of Intrawest
  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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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…
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. A good Coach never gives answers – a good coach asks great questions and helps you discover answers for yourself.
  1. 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.
  1. A good Coach makes you a better leader