Coaching is one of the most powerful personal and professional development tools available today. While many think coaching is about giving advice, the definition used by the International Coach Federation (ICF) is as follows:
ICF defines coaching as partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential, which is particularly important in today’s uncertain and complex environment. Coaches honor the client as the expert in his or her life and work and believe every client is creative, resourceful and whole. Standing on this foundation, the coach's responsibility is to:
This process helps clients dramatically improve their outlook on work and life, while improving their leadership skills and unlocking their potential.
II am pleased to see that more and more organizations are talking about Leadership Development and not Leadership Training.
Certainly some knowledge and skills can be trained and retained by leaders committed to self improvement but the knowledge that comes from training and the benefits that come from specific skills are not where the overall process falls apart.
The reality is that it is usually neither a lack of knowledge or skills that hold us back from living up to our full potential but rather a lack of commitment to ourselves.
Nowhere is this more apparent than in the area of healthy eating. Most people know that an apple is better for you than a cookie (knowledge) and most people are very skilled in eating. So why are so many people struggling with eating a healthy diet? Commitment to self.
That is why dieting programs now have "coaches" that get assigned to participants... because without that external accountability - people will fail to live up to the expectations they have set for themselves and the previous behaviors continue.
Leadership Development can be viewed similarly. Knowledge is certainly important as are skills. However, it is the commitment to doing the often difficult work of self reflection, personal truth telling and acceptance of what is, that causes many Leadership Development Programs to fail to live up to their promise.
The Three D approach is how I ensure that the work we do together yields the results you are looking for.
D1 - Discover. Coaching is really about learning more about yourself and discovering where you are holding yourself back. Discover a new way of looking at yourself. Discover a new way of seeing the world. Discovery how you are showing up to others around you and if that is consistent with your intentions.
D2 - Develop. Do you want to do something about that? How would approaching that differently impact the outcome? Development is all about translating the Discovery into meaningful change. Clients are often amazed at how much more relaxed they feel knowing they don't have to pretend anymore. The path forward is often EASIER not more difficult than the path they were on before!
D3 - Deploy. It isn't real until you have deployed the action into the real world and assessed the results. Did you act as you wanted? How did people respond? What are the unexpected consequences? What needs to be reconsidered or done differently? The real emergence of an authentical leader cannot happen without deploying what has been discovered in the real world of leadership. As your coach, I help you be accountable to actually deploying the changes you want to make.
Most people are very familiar with management consulting. Management consulting specializes in helping clients figure out how to do things better. This can mean faster, cheaper, with higher quality and with less waste. Management consulting typically involves a business process review (and redevelopment), the development of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and the implementation of a Management System. This approach has proven remarkably successful at helping organizations improve their performance. However...
...specializes in helping clients figure out why they are doing what they are doing, what makes it important and how to articulate it a manner that will inspire, empower and engage others in the cause. Management is great at helping you get what you want. Leadership is about getting more than you thought possible. Organizations that get the leadership part correct have an automatic and sustainable competitive advantage.
Perhaps another way of thinking of this is to consider the performance management process. This has long been heralded as the way to ensure organizational performance. In essence, it involves the setting of goals, preferably "SMART" goals and then the tracking of the employee's progress in achieving those goals. If the goals are met or exceeded, then the employee gets a "bonus" or "raise". If the goals aren't met, then there is some sort of performance improvement plan put in place.
Now let's consider the impact of leadership. Working with Logical Leadership will allow you to articulate not only what your organization is all about, but why people, especially your employees, should care about it. Through the process, employees will not only understand why what they do is important but also what they are collectively trying to achieve. This fundamental approach not only makes the leadership role a lot simpler and less onerous, it helps align everyone in the organization to a single purpose. When that happens - people are not just doing their jobs they are investing in their jobs because they care. They end up bringing not just their bodies to work, but also their minds, their energy, their commitment and their great ideas for how to make things better. What is that worth to you?
In essence, Management consulting helps organizations figure out how to climb the ladder of success faster, better, cheaper and with greater consistency. Leadership consulting makes sure the ladder is propped up against the correct wall.
Don't get caught doing the wrong things...incredibly well.