Executive and Management Focus
What is a coach?
A coach is someone you never see on the playing field. Coaches are not players on the team. Coaches can identify skills, wisdom and knowledge in others but they do not supplant them, or become one of the team.
Coaches sit outside the field of play. They are not bound by the same rules as players. They observe the game from all angles.
Most of my work is with leaders and senior managers, CEO's and Boards.
An Executive Coach works alongside senior leaders to assist them in determining their next move, their next strategic direction, their next action. Coaching is primarily focussed on the present and the future, and is more action-oriented than reflective. Coaching develops leaders in the present, in “real time”, in their present context and role as they continue to manage day-to-day obligations.
An external coach is not influenced by organisational influences or pressures, but can assist the leader to navigate the realities of their organisation. An objective third-party, the coach, can provide a focus that other types of organisational support has limited ability to perform.
Coaching is not therapy or counselling. But it is personal. The relationship between leader and coach is a product of two distinct personalities. For that reason who you select to be your coach must be made carefully. Not all coaches are right for you. You will need to test your coach, and if the relationship is not bringing the benefits you expect then maybe you might find another coach more useful.
Selecting the right coach is partly a process of trying them out, partly a process of checking with trusted colleagues who might be best for you, and partly your own gut feeling.
There are professional Coaching organisations that can assist in this process. But, as you have learned in your career as a leader, resumes, recommendations and marketing do not always deliver the quality, wisdom or expertise being sought.
You may find it useful to set aside attributes such as rank, qualification, education and management experience and look at the qualities that really deliver good coaching. Some of the best coaching I have seen has come from librarians, gardeners and check-out operators. People in these critical roles have met huge numbers of people, mostly in unguarded contexts, and often have deep insights into how people function and behave.
Think outside the box when considering who will be your coach.
Contact me to have a conversation about coaching