Can executive coaching be used as a tool for leadership development?

How many of us know business owners that were leaders in an industry, then they made the switch to being an entrepreneur?  Now they need to switch from being the “technician” to the “entrepreneur” (using Michael Gerber’s E-Myth).  They must get out of doing everything in their business to leading others to do everything within their business.

Being the leader

Many new and even existing business owners struggle with being the person doing everything to now being the leader of their business. They need to develop a leadership mindset, which is combined with the right attitude, habits and skills-items which they may or may not have had to do before.

Being the leader, they must be ready to act in the given environment.  They need to be prepared to bear the responsibility of setting the tone and style for the organization, their team and everyone they interact with. This includes setting the business culture, be willing to change and adapt, set expectations, and develop a long-term strategic plan for their business.

We read and hear about those individuals in leadership positions who no longer need any type of personal development. This couldn’t be farther from the truth.  These leaders are often insulated from meaningful feedback and not developing the skills necessary to adapt to the changing business environments and their industry. Business leaders today, must always be utilizing some type of personal growth.  This is where a good executive coach that has the foundation of knowledge and experience will provide appropriate feedback and be the interactive sounding board for their clients and staff.

A structured coaching process is generally regarded by developing leaders as a valuable privilege and a powerful tool for star performers who wish to shine even brighter — akin to the world-class athlete who seeks coaching to excel. The process also benefits the leader who has potential, but for some reason is not meeting his/her expectations.

A professional coaching engagement helps improve performance and personal effectiveness while reducing stress. It offers a rare opportunity to stand back and take a fresh look at the experiences and assumptions of a lifetime. Keep in mind that a professional coach is potentially the only person one interacts with who has a single focused agenda: the success of their client. The process enables the leader to do the following:

  • Identify inner resources.
  • Target areas for growth.
  • Promote a healthy balance between career and personal life, so he or she can sustain the vitality necessary for effective leadership.
  • Uncover specific behaviors and habits that need to change to enhance short-term and long-term performance.
  • Challenge underlying beliefs and values, and offer possibilities for fundamental change that will enhance the overall quality of life, personal and professional.

A professional coach offers direction and assistance, but the individual client always retains freedom of choice. With the support of the coach, a coaching client is responsible for discovering the self-knowledge that forms the foundation for continued growth.

So, what is an executive coach?

An executive coach is a professional who works with individual clients or client groups to help them achieve results and initiate life-changing behaviors in both their personal and professional lives. Skilled coaches address the whole person, with an emphasis on uncovering blind spots and producing the right actions that leads to more fulfillment, more balance and more effective processes for living. The goal of coaching is to elicit action. The key ingredient is a collaborative, authentic relationship between the client and the coach.

Coaching is a very powerful interaction that enables people to make important changes in their lives. The primary benefits for the client begin after each coaching call. That’s when they begin the real work of redirecting their professional and private lives. A proficient coach offers a powerful combination of advantages:

  • Independence from other agendas
  • Impartiality
  • Objectivity
  • Wide knowledge and experience
  • Different viewpoints
  • Experience of weighing opportunities, risks and rewards
  • Questions that stimulate the collaborative thought process in a productive way

 What are the benefits of working with an executive coach?

Coaching yields a multitude of benefits for the seasoned pro or the up-and-coming rookie alike. The exact nature of these benefits depends in part on the precise form and style of the coaching relationship, but here are a few of the most common:

  1. Coaching helps people order priorities. They gain clarity and confidence, because the coach helps them think matters through thoroughly. True to the old adage “A problem shared is a problem halved,” the coach can lighten the executive’s burden.
  2. The coaching process helps the executive identify the skill set he or she needs to move up to the next step on the career ladder, to acquire the resources and take the actions that are needed to get there and lead their businesses or departments to higher performance.
  3. The coach often can bring a wealth of experience gained from other similar situations, which the executive will value as enlightening and refreshing. A leader’s problems are not as unique as he or she may believe.

Having a coach is like having your own personal navigator for your life’s journey. The coach helps you chart your course and reach your destination.

Imagine having someone in your corner who is totally committed to your success. Someone who always encourages the powerful part of you, who sees how profound you can be and constantly holds up that image for you, even when you can’t hold it up for yourself.

A coach will help you clarify your dreams, aspirations, passions and values, while being at your side to celebrate your victories. As you learn from your setbacks, a coach will guide you to press on toward achieving your goals. A coach is a professional who provides a safe place for you to move beyond superficial, inhibited, self-limiting conversations, so that you have the confidence to express even your doubts and fears.

With help, you will gain the tools and strength you need to defeat the attitudes and behaviors that have sabotaged your past success and created stress in your life.

Potential outcomes from a coaching relationship can include the following:

  • Greater clarity
  • Greater focus
  • Improved decision-making skills
  • Enhanced creativity
  • Improved balance in all aspects of life
  • Greater effectiveness and better performance

In the end, it all leads to increased profitability, enhanced satisfaction and authentic happiness.

Contact us today and see how we can assist you in reaching your goals and dreams.

Steve Feld, Certified Business Coach provides training and business performance coaching to business owners, professionals and executives. He also conducts workshops and training on a variety of subjects for business owners, executives and their staff which he customizes to every organization to provide the greatest positive impact. Contact Steve today to see how he can assist you grow your business, 602-750-3017. He is in the business of business.