Executive Coaching and Leadership Development
An executive coaching and leadership development strategy is especially crucial to growing and improving senior leadership. It is these men and women who will always set the tone for the rest of the organization.
No matter if it is objective or more subjective goals, individuals deliver and therefore determine to a large extent the performance of an organization. People matter. You matter.
Coaching is like a construction site. You are under construction. Building new. Renovating and improving on the existing. Or perhaps going through the fire and being reshaped. Change and growth is quite a process sometimes. And I'm honored to serve you as you pursue it.
Executive Coaching and Leadership Development Focus for the Executive
What does an executive work on?
You may report to a board, owners, or shareholders. Really, the list of things that might need to be addressed around your personal and professional development aren't so much different from many other people in other parts of the organization. You just have to deliver on them at a different level.
"The stakes" are much higher. You have to report to a board, owners, or shareholders. Or, the whole thing may be yours as the owner. That's big. Here are a few things you may need to address in your own growth as a leader. Over my years coaching, I've worked on all of them (and more) with executives.
- Lack of results
- Unrealistic expectations
- Lack of planning
- Changing of priorities
- Lack of commitment
- Right fit
- Unclear of the “big picture”
- Lack of teamwork
- Not listening
- Ownership / Accountability
- Significant weakness in a critical leadership skill
- Poor character or attitude
- Not being supported by team
- Too far removed from day-to-day
- Unwillingness to empower others
- Personal / family issues
- Not taking ownership for team
- Interpersonal conflicts
- Poor communication
Growth Edges for the Leadership Team
What does a leadership team member work on?
Not surprisingly, when a leader is promoted or wants to elevate their game and prepare for future possibilities, some of the same concerns come up. But it will also often include "baggage" from past roles that needs to be dealt with.
Over 25 years of executive coaching and leadership development, I've noticed that there are often common themes playing out right through the C-Suite and into the rest of the organizational chart.
- Unclear expectations
- Lack of stepping up into leadership
- Unclear as to why it is important
- Not demonstrating the ability to perform
- Feels not valued
- Victim mentality
- Lack of personal leadership
- Character traits that cause discontent
- Not capturing the “big picture”
- Their new role, versus their old routine
- Under-expectations of self
- Lack of training
- Lack of recognition and support
- Emotional intelligence insight
- Personal or family issues
- Lack of coaching and development in preparation for this
Though not explicitly discussed on every coaching call, we are always working toward accelerating positive change, whether improving personal performance and attitude, or addressing organizational performance and all those things that contribute to it working better and delivering more.
As I coach, I allow for the fact that leaders are almost infinitely variable, and bring to each situation their own set of marked behaviors and attitudes which must be taken into account. I am comfortable coaching whatever comes up.
A Pattern for Leadership Development that Lasts
In one sense, growth and leadership development isn't all that complicated. It can be broken down into relatively clear areas. Having said that, it's within each of these areas that our "infinitely variable" selves show up. This is precisely where executive coaching comes in. I coach the person.
- Define Outcomes – Identify the objectives you wish to achieve
- Get Clarity – Access all relevant information that might apply
- Take Ownership – Make decisions that address motivation and action
- Create Structure – Establish a plan and systems to support success
- Keep Momentum – Implement, evaluate and adjust for results
Looking at the Pattern More Closely
- Outcomes: It is essential to determine what success will look like once you achieve it. The client (and sponsor if there is one) outline the goals to be reached. Will success be measured by changed attitude, work performance, interpersonal improvements, or something else?
- Clarity: Out of all "your story," what is relevant to coaching you around your personal and professional development goals. Some information will be objective, some subjective. We'll look at anything that may give us insight around how to best coach you toward the desired outcomes while overcoming the perceived barriers.
- Ownership: Unless the will is engaged step by step, it is difficult to make progress without sabotaging the process. An engaged attitude will determine success or failure. It's easier to make progress knowing what you are resisting than it is simply saying "yes" to everything. We'll check in on this regularly.
- Structure: Develop a plan, the road map to reaching your goals. Create alignment, putting in place systems, both physical and personal, that will best support success each step of the way. It's here you will outline any strategic and day-to-day action plans, accountabilities and means of measurement.
- Momentum: Once you start doing anything new, results start to show up. Evaluate those results as they occur, continuously making improvements that move you toward desired outcomes. This keeps moving the learning forward until the original goals are reached. It also serves to identify any needed adjustments in the goals themselves which new information may bring to light.
A Final Reminder
You can have a process. Any company or organization can create that. But without coaching that zeroes in, and willing learning and implementation, the process will not generate a successful coaching engagement or achieve the desired results you want.
Are you willing to make the changes and to do whatever it takes to become the high-value contributor you believe you can be, or your organization believes you can become?
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G.E. Wood and Associates is an international coaching firm registered in Ontario, Canada
142 Pratt Crescent, Gravenhurst, Ontario, Canada, P1P 1P5