23 Jun Executive Coaching – Is it Right For Your Team?
Most high performance teams credit their success to an education program. Just as an athlete can achieve great success thru the use of a coach, so can a business management team obtain optimum results. Small to midsize companies are often run by a persuasive leader who has built the company through tenacity and will. Companies that seek to grow beyond their current size and structure must make the transition from a single leader to a team of executives who together can take on the increased responsibilities.
Companies struggle with this transition and their growth becomes stagnant or flat. The reasons behind the difficult transition often relate to a leader who is not ready to give up control or a management team who is charting unknown “waters” with their new expanded responsibilities. An Executive Coach can help the team navigate the difficulties and help establish “new game rules” for the change in leadership the CEO is intending to achieve.
Start with a plan for the future
Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People directs leaders to “Start with the end in mind”. Too often business plans deal with today’s issues and fail to focus on how to advance beyond those issues.
Developing a change in the business strategy must start with the leadership’s vision, dreams and goals. No matter how “far out” your objectives – goals and dreams are powerful motivating tools. We too often see companies’ scale their plans to match current resources. The challenge for the senior leadership to think beyond current limitations and ways of operating – then real success can be accomplished. A coach can focus the team on the issues and create a process to grow the team.
Leadership is a skill that can be learned and improved. Leaders demonstrate their commitment to the company goals everyday by what they do. An organization’s leader is responsible to create vision, set strategy, inspire others and execute bottom-line results. Leaders often have great strengths and varying types of weaknesses. Successful leaders find ways to expand the effectiveness of their strengths and develop methods to pinpoint the resources to bridge their weaknesses and blind spots.
Just as a baseball batting coach can see a deficiency in a batter’s swing an executive coach can help a leadership team increase their effectiveness by helping identify a leader’s blind spots enabling the leader to improve their relationship with their staff and the clients.
Listening and speaking are normally ordinary activities however they take on new dimensions and provide unexpected power when used correctly. Listen and speaking become the tools for leadership, collaboration, creativity and breakthrough productivity.
An executive coach helps leaders use these powerful communication techniques to improve relationships and help develop commitment-based conversations within the organization.
Alignment – Operations with Strategy
A team-of-horses pulling a stagecoach is like a corporate leadership team. They are most effective when all leaders are linked together pulling in one direction. When the team-of-horses is uncoupled they generally will pull the same direction however they are harder to guide and ultimately veer off course. A Business leadership team is most effective when all team members are pulling together implementing a specific strategy.
Growing businesses are challenged daily as the pace of business increases. Leaders must make daily decisions to effectively execute the business plans. Leaders of businesses with clear team alignment outperform their competitors and stay focused on what is best for the company to meet its objectives.
Executive coaches help leadership teams develop a common focus that becomes entwined in the business culture, thereby inspiring the entire organization to achieve a new level of success.
“What you do speaks so loud that I cannot hear a word you are saying”
What a company leader does every day is watched by the staff – it is the same on how the management team interrelates. If your leadership team is viewed as being together and accountable to each other, the staff feels more comfortable and focuses on the real issues of the business. They will follow the lead of management. When the management team fails to follow thru on issues, no matter how little, these actions speak volumes to the staff. Too many leaders are not cognizant of how their day to day actions are affecting their team.
An executive coach works with the company leadership to develop a process of remaining on track and accountable to each other – establishing systems and techniques that enables the team communicate better and accomplish corporate objectives.
A good Professional Executive Coach supports the individual and organization, through the process of defining desired results, creating pathways to achieve those specific results and assisting with corrective advice along the way. Systems used include:
- Building on a solid foundation – leaders of an organization will often appear to have a common goal. The secret is to create an opportunity for the organization’s leadership to have candid conversations among themselves about these goals and then create a process to solidify the team into one purpose.
- Collectively the organizational leadership team creates a plan to achieve their goal. The plan is then broken into specific, mini plans fitting into the overall strategy to achieve the ultimate objective. These short term objective plans are clearly definable and measurable giving leadership and the staff opportunities to see progress and celebrate accomplishments.
- The Executive Coaching process should include one-on-one confidential conversations designed to challenge the leader to think beyond the current limitations, creating what “could be”.
In athletics, coaches are often credited in taking the team or a player beyond what the player and the team believes they could accomplish. Executive Coaches accomplish the same results for companies.