Do You Need a Leadership Coach?
Hint: the answer is most likely – yes!
As leaders, we know the value in pushing ourselves and others to our full potential. Do the leaders in your organization expand the potential of your team? One of the most effective tools to unleashing potential of an individual or an organization is by bringing in a coach. Think about it, athletes at the pinnacle of their careers have coaches. Olympians, professional football and basketball players, even master chess players have at least one (and usually more than one) coach. Some baseball coaches focus on pitching, others on hitting but each is helping unleash the full potential of the players with whom they are working.
Why then do so many business leaders chafe at the idea of having a coach? The rules of sports and games are relatively stagnant: the batter swings and misses, it is a strike; the ball goes in the net, it is a score. However, the principles of leadership evolve, and the expectations can change overnight. One might argue that leaders need coaches far more than their athletic counterparts. With the global pandemic, political polarization, and social justice movements, 2020 stretched even the most seasoned leader. A fast pitch is still a fast pitch, but leaders are dealing with curve balls every day.
Engaging with a coach expands our self-awareness which is the critical first step in conducting any kind of behavior change. Additionally, it establishes an accountability model by which we as leaders can reflect on our progress and push ourselves further.
But just in case you are still skeptical, here are a few signs you need a coach:
- Are you getting the most from your team?
- Have your business goals stagnated?
- Do you and employees dream back to the “good old days” when work was more fun and exciting?
Leaders need to evolve and meet the demands of their business, customers, and employees. To do that, you need highly engaged employees because engaged employees put in extra discretionary effort. It is the extra effort that can boost your sales, revenue, and production goals. Think about what your business could look like if everyone gave 110%. Ever hear that people leave managers not companies? It’s true. With that in mind, you may need to reassess your leadership style and approach to increase the productivity of your team and therefore the organization. But how do you change your style? How do you know which part of your leadership style to adapt to yield the greatest results? A coach can help you.
- Have you received employee feedback that you do not know what to do with or have trouble prioritizing?
- When was the last time you assessed your employee’s level of engagement and commitment to the organization?
Most organizations only do so once a year when they conduct an employee satisfaction survey. Not enough of those organizations actually do anything with the results. This is a missed opportunity to take feedback directly from your employees, acknowledge that feedback in a meaningful way and take visible steps to address it. I often find that leaders either do not know what to do or they try some different approaches in the short term, but they do not last. Coaches can help you critically evaluate root causes and forge successful strategies to address them.
- Do you have DE&I goals but do not know how to meet them?
- Are you able to acquire diverse talent but not able to retain them?
- Do you know why?
DE&I has been an increasingly hot topic for leaders, but few know what to do beyond focusing on talent acquisition efforts and conducting an equity compensation review. How does one build an inclusive culture within an organization? How does one lead with inclusivity? Those are tough questions and answers will vary based on an individual’s leadership style and an organization’s culture. A coach can provide objective perspective, accountability, and facilitate sensitive conversations to leading to real DE&I results.
- Do you see trends in employee turnover?
- Do you have a hard time retaining female employees?
- Do you know why?
We all know that the costs of employee turnover are high and far beyond the recruitment spend. The opportunity cost and the loss of institutional knowledge can wreak havoc on an organization. Digging into why your employees are leaving and what you can do to retain them will save you great time, money, and energy.
- Are your leaders living your organizational values and culture individually and collectively?
- What would it take to get them there?
Yes, a coach can help you enrich your culture. Leveraging assessment tools and facilitating meaningful dialogue across your leadership team can unearth biases, misperceptions, and behaviors that are keeping your team from modeling the culture you want for your organization.
Some great business leaders have leveraged the benefits of coaching. Erick Schmidt, Steve Jobs, and Bill Gates are examples of successful leaders who have used coaches as part of their journey. Perhaps we all could be open to a coach to help us navigate the curve balls of 2021 and beyond.
To learn more about finding the right coach for you, please join us for The Coaching Continuum- Finding the Right Coach For You– February 16th 12pm EST. This free webinar will introduce you to different types of coaches and help you identify how to find the right coach for your organization.
About the Author
As Fahrenheit’s Human Capital Management Practice Area Lead, Sara Shelton brings a passion for organizational performance and creating great places to work. She enables clients to achieve their business goals by aligning and maximizing their talent, leadership, and culture. She influences with integrity and credibility, treasuring her role as consultant, advisor, and trusted confidante.