No leader has it all. There abound to be leadership gaps. For example, one might be great at corporate strategy but struggle with poor work-life balance, Or excellent communication skills but a poor track record at developing employees.
A leadership coach best addresses these leadership gaps. They do this by identifying blind spots, enhancing core strengths, and refining specific leadership behaviors that will help them succeed in the corporate world.
A leadership coach is a trained individual skilled at enhancing a leader's leadership skills. They use their coaching skills to enhance leadership awareness and manage blindspots to improve leadership performance in the long term.
Also known as an executive coach, a leadership coach is a highly accomplished individual in their own right with impressive leadership credentials and coaching certifications from reputable organizations such as the International Coach Federation(the ICT).
They predominantly work with executive clients as senior leaders, senior executives, and managers in the following scenarios:
It is important to note that leadership coaching is one of the many ways a leader or company can enhance its leadership capability in addition to other initiatives such as the contribution of Coaching & Mentoring, among others.
When selecting the right leadership coach, you must ensure your coach has the experience and knowledge in the areas you need help with. Why is this important? It is simple- coaching is not regulated, and anyone can be a coach, even without training. This represents the danger of following at the hands of charlatans.
As a guide, when looking for potential coaches, consider the following:
The goals of Executive Coaching in making one an effective leader include:
An executive coach will teach how to improve self-awareness and apply it effectively in the workplace. Empirical research studies have continuously shown a link between self-awareness and leadership success.
Self-awareness should perhaps be the first introspection for leaders as most believe they are, but the reality is different. A study by Dr. Tasha Eurich established that only10-15% of people are self-aware. For leaders, it will avoid the pitfall of the Dunning-Kruger effect that can come with a fancy job title.
The long-term effect of self-aware leaders is replicated in financial performance, improved decision-making, better conflict management, and companies with positive work cultures.
One of the most powerful ways of learning leadership is through the guidance of executive coaches, who will offer more insights than one will find in leadership books. For example, they can draw from their example of past coaching engagements.
There is strong evidence that leadership is a learned skill. No matter how brilliant someone believes they are, there is always room to learn, such as the challenges of leading a company in uncertainty, as witnessed during the Covid-19 epidemic.
Some leadership skills taught include talent management, communication skills, empathy, delegation, team management, emotional intelligence, and time management.
In his book, Leadership Blindspots: How Successful Leaders Identify and Overcome the Weaknesses That Matter, Robert Bruce Shaw argues that we all have leadership blind spots. Moreover, he argues that failure to identify and avoid these spots can lead to harm.
Common leadership blind spots include: avoiding difficult conversations, having a know-it-all attitude, favoritism, emotional decision-making, overconfidence, and flip-flopping.
To be a better leader, one needs to identify these blind spots and then work towards rectifying them. An executive coach will help inculcate important skills to ensure that you minimize their chances of them impacting your performance.
In leadership, not all skills are equal. Some are more relevant and greatly impact your chances of success. Moreover, a leader must draw from certain skills to realize certain objectives depending on the situation.
For example, if you lead a company with theory X and theory Y employees, you will require specific skills to elicit the best response for each category. This is because, in leadership, there is nothing like one size fits all.
For teams, there is always room to increase productivity. However, for this to occur, it needs a good leader who commands respect. Such a leader can maximize the output of top talent, manage expectations, and optimize ongoing momentum toward realizing set objectives.
A good coach should explain what it takes to optimize a team's potential and offer a process-based approach to realizing this goal.
Self-assured leaders influence more and make team members build confidence in their abilities. Doubts are a common human trait, and no one should be ashamed. However, unchecked can affect defensive and self-handicapping, which affects leadership.
Like leadership, confidence is a learned trait that can be refined through executive coaching.
When you get to a new leadership position, it can be overwhelming. When you are not adequately prepared, it can be challenging, leading to unforced errors. Moreover, even when you think you are prepared, a change in job title can suddenly cause you to experience imposter syndrome.
To help adapt and lead effectively, you need to hire an executive coach. They will help address the core challenges of leadership and help you succeed.
It is normal to hit a leadership plateau. This is a storage where leaders feel they are no longer growing despite efforts. It can be a frustrating realization that can impact your career trajectory.
A Leadership plateau is a tell-tell sign that you need to enhance your current skills. Understanding that what got you to where you are may not push you ahead is a good starting point. Through relevant training, your executive coach will guide you on how to overcome this stage and rise in your organization.
Leadership is like a roller coaster. You will have high and low moments. Learning how to rise from low moments is a distinguishing feature of successful leaders. Leadership tough moments can either come internally or in the workplace.
Internal tough moments can include work-life balance challenges, job dissatisfaction, a sense of despair, aligning personal values with company values, or burnout. External challenges can include failure to hit board milestones, dealing with employee rebellion, or failure to create a meaningful impact.
When you hire a leadership coach, they will be an allay during these difficult moments, ensuring that the coaching engagement makes you stronger and wiser.
Do you feel that you need to grow your leadership brand? Maybe you admire certain careers, but your leadership exposure is not at par.
If yes, when you hire an executive coach, they will assist in creating an authentic personal brand. This is done by identifying what works if there is a need for a career change and how to better cultivate talent through relevant training, etc.
Are you looking to hire an executive coach to take you to the next level?
Perhaps you want to be a better leader and are looking for a coaching relationship with a strong commitment to boost your career transition.
If yes, reach out today and enjoy the full benefits of executive coaching from our experienced coaches.