Developing leaders

“Most companies that are in life-or-death battles got into that kind of trouble because they didn’t pay enough attention to developing their leaders.”
Wayne Calloway, Chairman, Pepsi Co.

Leadership is one of the most powerful factors in the success or failure of organisations; in a survey of 2 million employees at over 700 companies, the Gallup Organisation found the No.1 factor determining employee performance and productivity was the quality of their relationship with their immediate leader or manager.

Effective leadership is therefore crucial in inspiring your employees to give of their best, bringing teams together and enlisting staff in the pursuit of your strategic goals. Simply put, your organisation is successful when your leaders are at the top of their game.

In the current economic climate it is tempting to cut training budgets. However, in order to remain competitive it is essential to support and develop your leaders and managers. In research by the American Society of Training and Development, companies who invest in developing their people consistently outperform companies who do not by an average of 35% every year.

What makes an effective leader?

While we may think of a great leader as a figurehead with energy, vision and brainpower, workplace research by Daniel Goleman — author of best-seller Emotional Intelligence — reveals a different reality. He found that people were nearly 6 times more likely to cite ‘soft’ interpersonal skills such as listening, supporting and empowering than the more mind-based ‘hard’ skills such as knowledge and experience.

This means that developing technical or functional expertise is simply not enough to nurture truly effective leaders. They also need to deepen their personal foundation, cultivate leadership presence, and improve their ability to build effective relationships. The rise of executive coaching reflects its ability to help develop such authentic and inspirational leaders, leaders who can bring your people together behind your strategic goals and directly impact the bottom line.

“Top performing individuals need sounding boards with whom they can discuss matters freely. They need mirrors to tell them when they are not the fairest of them all. They need consciences to help them separate their personal ambitions from the goals of the teams and organisations that they lead.”
Harvard Business Review

Executive coaching helps your leaders:
  • identify and build on their strengths
  • gain insight to their weaknesses and ‘fatal flaws’
  • improve confidence and self belief
  • build effective relationships with peers, client and direct reports
  • learn to delegate effectively
  • develop agile leadership, adopting a style to suit the particular circumstance
  • take time out to reflect, step back and appreciate the big picture
  • develop the interpersonal skills to engage their teams and direct reports with strategic goals

Your highest-achieving people stay with you because they enjoy your forward-looking approach and appreciate the opportunity to excel. But if they sense a lack of career progression, they may leave to find more interesting opportunities. Investing in their development therefore also ensures that you keep your best talent.

Please get in touch if you would like to book a free consultation or read more about how executive coaching for your leaders can help you develop your teams and strengthen your organisation.

Executive coaching opportunities

I offer one-to-one coaching to support and develop leaders and managers at all levels throughout an organisation and at all points in their career. However, there are certain times when the need for leadership development is more acute. Get in touch to discuss your particular needs or explore the options below.

New Leader Support
The challenge of transitioning from manager to leader is seldom acknowledged or supported. Coaching helps your new leaders develop the skills needed to lead a team or division, the ability to stand back from day-to-day management and see the big picture. Providing support at this key transition avoids the expensive situation where a significant percentage of new executives leave their role within the first 20 months because of their inability to adapt and produce significant results.

First 100 Days
Over 40% of managers fail within 18 months of transitioning to a new role. Often this failure can be traced back to their actions and decisions within the first 90-100 days. One-to-one coaching at this crucial time therefore helps new executives develop the success attitudes, behaviours and strategies to bed in more quickly and make a success of their new role. Having an objective sounding board increases their awareness of the common pitfalls of such a transition and supports them in navigating the obstacles and challenges they face. It enables them to make more considered decisions and have a positive impact on the organisation.

Engaging a leader’s motivations
Individual Directions Inventory is a powerful tool based on scientific research that gives your leaders insight into what motivates them. This is invaluable for new leaders, helping them understand their drivers and master the ‘inner game’. I offer IDI assessments as a stand-alone process or as part of ongoing executive coaching. Get in touch to find out more about IDI or download an introduction from its inventors MRG here:

Please contact me if you would like to book a free consultation about the value of executive coaching for your leaders.

“What a lot of our managers lacked was the ability to get the best out of their teams and that was where coaching has fitted in.”
Steve Millbank, Personnel Manager, John Lewis Partnership

“Leadership is not a formula or a program, it is a human activity that comes from the heart and considers the hearts of others. It is an attitude, not a routine”
Lance Secretan