Leadership development is hard work. It takes time, effort, and discipline to make improvements. No one can do it alone. The best leaders I’ve worked with look for resources to sharpen their skills. They actively seek feedback and input on what they’re doing well, how to maximize their strengths, and how to minimize their areas of opportunity.
One tool that is invaluable in helping leaders grow is executive coaching. A coach helps you see things you didn’t see before. They bring insight, input, and genuine honesty about your leadership strengths and opportunities. The best coaches take time to get to know their clients. They are humble yet honest; not afraid to hold the mirror up, and share tough feedback with a client when it is needed. Below are the top four reasons why you should invest in working with an executive coach.
- Getting Insight Into Your Leadership: Coaches are one of the best ways to get feedback on your leadership style. A good coach will take some time when they first meet you to learn about your strengths and opportunities, as well as what makes you tick as a leader. They can also use 360-degree feedback to elicit input from your boss, peers, direct reports, and cross-functional colleagues. The accumulation of these data sources provides a robust assessment of one’s current leadership skill-set.
- Putting Together a Development Plan: Coaches are experts at taking a leader’s current state and crafting a coaching development plan that will get them to their ideal future state. A good development plan should contain 3-4 areas of opportunity that a leader wants to work on with their coach. Typical coaching engagements should last, at a minimum, of six months. Nine months to a year can be used when there are multiple areas to cover.
- Leveraging Strengths and Addressing Gaps: It is my belief that we should spend 80-90% of our time leveraging our greatest strengths. If you’re good at vision and strategy, stick to the high-level planning. Get others to handle the details. If you’re skilled at inspiring people, continue to build on this by looking for a new and improved ways to have a lasting impact on others. A good coach will also point out your gaps and help you mitigate them. For example, if you have difficulty presenting in front of large audiences, a coach can work with you by shadowing you in team or group settings, or giving you feedback on your presentation style. Additionally, if you are more results-oriented than people-oriented, a coach can help you to build your emotional intelligence and influence with others.
- Unlocking Your True Potential: The best coaches help us unlock our deepest potential. They identify things we do well and help us to maximize these capabilities. They also push us to be better, do better, and to grow. I’ve coached hundreds of clients over my career, and it is a core philosophy of mine that everyone can improve. Everyone, if they are truly committed, can take their leadership to higher levels. This is what executive coaching, in its purest form, is really about; getting clients to grow above and beyond anything that they ever imagined. It’s all possible with a good executive coach.
For more information on how to take your leadership to the next level and work with an executive coach, contact Bandelli & Associates at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We look forward to helping you maximize your leadership potential!