“I can’t read any more leadership books!” – said a client of mine, an avid reader, a great learner, and a successful Managing Director of a business. No, it’s not that he was not interested or disagreed with what he read. What exasperated him was the fact that excellent wise authors in different creative ways were basically giving a very similar advice, again and again. He could not take it anymore. And yet… the leadership we see every day in organisations is still far from ideal, and not necessarily for the want of trying.
Leadership theories are often easy to understand, but hard to turn into practice after just reading or attending a course. Back in reality people (and yes, leaders are also people) face a multitude of complex issues that look different from business cases which they had learnt about. Not only the circumstances are not the same – their unique characters and skills, their specific team challenges, their own ambitions, and goals do not fit generic advice. And …it is lonely at the top. Where to find support – to discuss, to be vulnerable, to share frustrations and get encouragement? Not to forget that many business leaders were not born ready for their current role – as with everybody, in order to succeed they need to grow and develop. The downside of experience and maturity is that it is harder to change your ways or adapt your habitual leadership style without losing your authenticity.
Leadership coaching provides this customised support for leaders helping them turn theories into practice to achieve personal, team and business success.
This is what a Leadership coach will do:
- Listen and ask questions to spark insights and shift paradigms
- If needed, provide psychometric questionnaires for the leader and/or their team to deepen self-awareness
- Share practical tools for structured thinking, problem solving and creativity boost
- Give constructive (and perhaps challenging) feedback on behaviour and style for self-reflection and action
Insights from questioning status quo, self-reflection and thinking work enables a Leader
- To get clarity about their goals, set up priorities and work out ways forward
- To work out their authentic leadership style, making best use of their talents
- To become a confident influencer with excellent professional reputation and organisational savvy
- To motivate, manage and inspire their team to lead them to high performance
- To thrive at work and achieve their career goals
It is also possible – and highly helpful – to engage a Team Coach, a professional, who will work not just with the leader in a one-to-one relationship, but could bring the same clarity of direction, self-awareness, stretch and development to the whole team. A Team Coach will never replace a leader, but will help them by observing team dynamics, raising some difficult questions and resolving “knotty issues”. This can inform the leader and smooth their further leadership work with the team.
A confident Leader heading a High performing Team is not just a theoretical image from someone else’s experience – with focus and practical steps this can be You.
Anna Slocombe is a Management Dynamics Associate specialising in Career Coaching & Development, Cross Cultural awareness, Korn Ferry Assessment of Leadership Potential and Korn Ferry 360, as well as being a member of CIPD and certified in MBTI and SHL.
If you want to find out more about our Leadership Coaching you can read more or please to get in touch with us!