Coaching leaders

29 Jun 2021

Coaching leaders

Coaching becomes key as leaders face continuing waves of disruption.  

The impact and repercussions of the pandemic have further emphasized that senior leaders need independent support to lead confidently in the face of change.

Much has been said about the unprecedented nature of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on senior leaders. No-one saw it coming. No-one was prepared. It challenged every aspect of leadership and continues to have ramifications for roles, responsibilities, cultures, and purposes.

Most leaders coped with the emergency phase, the disaster response, moving to online engagement, caring with the health and safety of their workforce, securing continuity and liquidity, and so on.

But now, over a year on, moving beyond the immediate crisis, the focus has changed, no longer purely about survival, but looking beyond the pandemic. Perhaps, the most challenging phase, creating the future, is yet to come.

 

The challenge continues

As Forbes puts it, “It’s not just the challenge of operating in a distributed remote environment, or the dilemma of how many and which employees to retain, and whom to layoff or furlough. It’s not simply rebuilding supply chains and relocating production sites. And it’s bigger than the need to reenergize markets that were previously large, growing, and robust.   It’s all the above, and more. “

“And, for leaders at every level, whether at a startup, a huge global corporation, or a mid-sized city, it’s a time of challenge and change.”

It is clearly going to continue to stress those in charge to an even greater degree, given the level of uncertainty, not just from the pandemic, but from the associated waves of technological, cultural, and, of course, climatic change, none of which have gone away.

If our research is accurate, not all leaders will be able to successfully navigate the continuing multi-wave uncertainty.

 

Unprepared for disruption

Immediately prior to the pandemic, we published the Global Leadership Confidence Index. Surveying close to 2000 executives (including CEOs), we ask one key question, amongst others: ‘how confident are you in your senior leaders to successfully navigate through disruption?’ The answer was clear.

The Index revealed that, across the world, only 15% of executives were actually confident in their leaders to deliver. This clearly left a large majority lacking confidence in their leaders, including the all-important CEO.

Our results further underline the importance of mindset over skillset in this new world, identifying those energized by change not slowed by it. They also have an attitude of constant evolution. And that refers as much to their own personal career development as it does to corporate competitiveness.

Not surprisingly, open-minded leaders see coaching as a way to learn and adapt.

And organisations understand that in a world of scarce talent it is wise to provide the opportunities and environment for leaders to develop is key to retention.  The accelerating speed of change will demand constant attention to quickly address the challenges they face in the new world of work.

 

Coaching culture builds resilience

Encouraging a coaching culture is crucial right now. The shift to remote working has escalated the need for employee development training.  Coaching also builds the quality identified as key to working successfully through disruptions like Covid: resilience. Coaching helps leaders understand and cope with the stresses that are all too common.

But not all coaching is the same, especially at a senior level. It almost always must be external, to retain confidentiality and confidence. Only a certain level of honesty is possible with people who work with and for you. With someone from outside the business, there are fewer barriers to disclosure and openness. It’s a much more secure environment in which you can reveal your thoughts.

With a coach, you know you are getting someone who is truly non-judgmental.

A coach may not have direct commercial management experience to bring to bear, but will be able to focus on a few specific performance or development issues, often from the perspective of a business psychologist or organisational specialist. They can see first-hand the stress that can come with the job and are good at helping you focus your thoughts and provide positive behavioral feedback.

 

Coaching for those important career transitions

Our executive coaching and development focuses on three core areas:

  1. Coaching can really come into its own when newly-appointed executives need to establish credibility quickly, make good decisions confidently, and quickly build trust with stakeholders. Our coaching services helps executives avoid common pitfalls. For example, not establishing a cultural fit, failing to work collaboratively with staff and peer, or being unclear about the performance expected of them. Executive coaching and development will help executives lay a solid foundation for success and avoid these common pitfalls from day one.
  2. We also offer onboarding for business leaders transitioning into a new role. This can mean help with forging relations with their board and senior teams and can provide focus on key deliverables for their first six to twelve months. We can also help identify concrete leadership development needs, navigate complex external relations/stakeholders, and provide a trusted external source of advice on sensitive issues.
  3. Overall, our executive coaching creates more resilient leaders and helps develop leaders in key areas to address specific business or relationship challenges. We can improve an executive’s ability to lead change, gain buy-in, and build diverse teams, whilst balancing the rigours of professional and personal commitments. Coaching and development can nurture strategic thinking and creativity within an executive and provide an outlet to actualize their aspirations or frustrations.

Our customized executive coaching programs are designed to be measurable and outcome oriented. Working with our certified executive coaches and leadership experts, executives are given the tools to align their personal goals to corporate outcomes and improve their ability to build resilient organisations.

If you’d like to discus how coaching can add to your organisation, or your personal career, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.  Today’s leadership challenges are difficult and complex, but with the right coach, you don’t have to face them alone.