Recently I gave a keynote at a company, and while I was there I overheard one of the senior leadership team members say he didn’t believe in coaching and that nurturing emerging leaders isn’t important to leadership development.
My first reaction was to ask myself, “What am I doing here?” The second, which followed closely, was that it’s no wonder the company has trouble meeting targets and pleasing stakeholders, or that they rely outside consultants to tell them what is wrong. (Which, by the way, is not the same thing as coaching—it’s the difference between someone telling you something’s wrong and having them help you get it right.)
I believe, coaching emerging leaders makes the development process smoother, quicker and more thorough. Here are some of the areas where coaching is critical to leadership development:
Self-identification of leadership. Emerging leaders need to develop and identify their own leadership framework. Leadership is a difficult role, and unless they’re among the rare few who are born leaders, coaching will help them identify and clarify their leadership—which, in turn, leads to clarity regarding those they’ll be leading.
Development of emotional intelligence. An older generation may consider leadership to be all about being the boss and guarding the bottom line, but happily the field has changed since those days. Emerging leaders need to be able to explore who they are as a leader, which includes developing and managing their emotional intelligence, and a coach is well equipped to guide that process.
Communication and feedback. Coaching provides an outside perspective that helps emerging leaders understand how to communicate with clarity, how to embrace feedback and how they influence the potential of others just with their communication.
Effective decision making. In the fast pace of business, emerging leaders have to learn to be decisive. You can leave that critical process to chance, or you can have a coach on hand to provide best practices, tools and techniques to make strong decisions quickly.
Motivation and effectiveness. A key ingredient of every emerging leader is finding their personal source of motivation when times get tough. Sharing inspiration with a coach helps put them in touch with that source.
Leveraging their leadership gaps. Every leader needs to know their strengths and weaknesses, and be able to identify some of their blind spots or triggers. Once they understand those gaps, they can leverage them to their benefit. As I discuss in my new best-selling book, The Leadership Gap, what you don’t own ends up owning you. Emerging leaders in particular can’t afford to allow blind posts or other areas of weakness to get in the way of their authentic, honest, courageous leadership.
Manifesting character. Emerging leaders who start out on the path of leading with character will earn trust, receive and give respect, and be consistent in integrity. Coaching helps keep them on that path in the difficult early stages.
Good leaders are passionate and committed, authentic, courageous, honest and reliable. But in today’s high-pressure environment, leaders need a confidante, a coach—someone they can trust to tell the truth about their struggles, which is a difficult role for others within the same organization to fill. That’s where coaches truly earn their keep.
Lead From Within: Every good leader and every great emerging leader can benefit from a coach. Coaching gives them the confidence they need as an individual and as a leader to lead self and others to success and achievement.
N A T I O N A L B E S T S E L L E R
The Leadership Gap
What Gets Between You and Your Greatness
After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.
Additional Reading you might enjoy:
- 12 Successful Leadership Principles That Never Grow Old
- A Leadership Manifesto: A Guide To Greatness
- How to Succeed as A New Leader
- 12 of The Most Common Lies Leaders Tell Themselves
- 4 Proven Reasons Why Intuitive Leaders Make Great Leaders
- The One Quality Every Leader Needs To Succeed
- The Deception Trap of Leadership
Photo Credit: Getty Images
Of Lolly’s many awards and accolades, Lolly was designated a Top-50 Leadership and Management Expert by Inc. magazine. Huffington Post honored Lolly with the title of The Most Inspiring Woman in the World. Her writing has appeared in HBR, Inc.com, Fast Company (Ask The Expert), Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, and others. Her newest book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness is being released by Portfolio May 2017.