For most leaders fall is a busy time of year. Layer on an uncertain and difficult economic climate and we all tend to hunker‐down a little. This month I hope to nudge you to consider including your own personal leadership development on your busy agenda. Why?
The most important thing that you can do to keep up with the change and uncertainty we presently face is to make sure that your leadership skills are keenly honed and stay that way. And even the most optimistic and forward‐thinking leaders need support from time to time. No one can be an effective leader by going it alone, particularly when managing large–scale organizational change. As a leader, you must be the first to recognize this and plan accordingly if you want to make the most of the rare opportunities presented by current conditions.
Viewing your situation from a different perspective helps you have the courage to take risks, find creative solutions to solve thorny problems, and realign your business to thrive into the future. And you must be willing to ask for help. It’s OK, even necessary, to be open with others, and to look to trusted friends and business associates for support.
Coaching can help you move the dial on your leadership abilities. In this issue I introduce you to two of my recent coaching clients. Sara used leadership coaching to jumpstart her success in a new position. Judi found new self awareness and insight through a combination of traditional coaching and a few experiential coaching sessions with my horses. But first, let’s start by exploring the big picture: What is coaching all about?
Leadership or executive coaching is a powerful tool to help you get to the next level or “unstuck.” When you work with me as your coach, we begin by clarifying your particular needs and setting attainable goals. Not only do I work with you by developing who you are personally as a leader, I also give you the tools to ensure you can handle workplace challenges, reduce stress and increase your sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. In particular, I assist you in:
- Developing creative ‘solutions’ based thinking,
- Seeing the opportunity in the problem or crisis,
- Leading with your heart as well as your intellect,
- Keeping your team focused on the future, not just current reality,
- Developing your leadership message for turbulent times.
Coaching is about your leadership goals
If you hire me as your coach, I assume that you are ready to make meaningful changes in your leadership style, skills, and abilities. While our sessions can sometimes be a combination of coaching and training, our relationship is about your leadership goals – not what I think is best for you. As my client, I expect you to bring your best. You can count on me to be a good listener, not be distracted by side issues, ask you pointed questions, offer constructive criticism, and even to help you laugh about yourself some.
If I see something in your body language, hear something in your voice, or notice other behavior that tells me something is amiss, I’ll probably ask you about it. Often, this outside perspective can yield the small moments that bring about the biggest shifts.