Tips and ideas for anyone aspiring to be a Leadership Coach
Leadership coaching is a wonderful career if you believe we all have untapped potential and anyone can lead from where they are. And you have a desire to combine coaching with facilitation.
Grow More Leaders
Why become a Leadership Coach?
If you love seeing people grow. Place importance on practicing what you preach – and have invested time and energy in your own transformation. If you’re excited by the idea of combining leadership coaching and facilitation. If you see the significance of spotting and growing leaders at every level in an organisation – then this could be a fulfilling and stimulating career choice.
A week in the life of a Leadership Coach
For the last 30 years I’ve been lucky enough to be both a Business Psychologist and Leadership Coach. Here is a snapshot of a typical week. This is my story – I want you to create your own story. Remember, if you’re starting off or want to get into the leadership coaching space, then select one of two ideas and choose to excel in them first, before adding anything else.
Monday: thought leadership
I’ve set aside the morning to write. Each year I set myself the challenge of writing a short 60-minute eBook. Busy people just don’t have the time to read books or lengthy articles. Over 20 years ago I came across the work of Price Pritcehtt who produced these short books. I was blown away with the simplicity and clarity of his writing. He was able to convey complex ideas in such elegant everyday language. Price inspired me to write. He also taught me the power of understanding your audience and communicating with clarity and brevity. My eBooks are influenced by my recent experiences. This topic on self-limiting beliefs has come about as a result of working with a HR leadership team, where this topic was identified as the big thing holding the team back.
Tuesday: team development
I love working on team development. Today I have scheduled 6 x one hour coaching calls with a team I will be supporting next week. I’ve sent each team member a list of questions:
- What aspects of this team work well?
- What aspects of being a member of this team frustrates you?
- Does this team get the best from you?
- What recommendations do you have to improve the effectiveness of this team?
Based on these conversations, I will design a series of workshops which will help shift the energy and dynamics in the team. The key objective is to build stronger collaboration and greater levels of trust in this team who are geographically dispersed. They operate more as a ‘working group’ than a high performing team.
Designing leadership workshops is a creative process. Start with the end in mind: what’s the challenge or problem you’re trying to solve? Then think of the stories and activities which will create an inspiring experience for your participants.
Grow More Leaders
Wednesday: design of a leadership programme
This is a long standing client. Each year they identify between 25-35 individuals they deem to be ‘future leaders’. These are individuals they clearly value and want to invest in. I’m adapting a 5 day workshop we typically run face-to-face and developing it, so it can be run as a series of online workshops.
The programme itself runs over 9 months and covers three main sessions: leading self, leading teams and leading big change.
This first module on leading self will entail participants receiving 360-degree feedback and fully understanding their strengths, their gaps and how to take their leadership intelligence to the next level.
I’m finding it hard work converting a workshop we run face-to-face and tailoring it for online learning. I want to retain some of the elements which people really enjoy: namely peer-to-peer coaching, walk and talks and group discussions.
Thursday: executive coaching
I like to ‘chunk’ my work, so I can really get into the flow. Today is my coaching day. I have 3 x 2 hour coaching calls with different clients. Here are some of the challenges each client wants to work on:
Client 1: I’ve moved into a new role and I have a big change agenda. Help me think through not just what I need to do, but how I can take my management team with me, even though I am likely to lose some of these colleagues.
Client 2: I’m stuck in my career. I’ve been doing the same role now for four years, but I can’t see progression in my current organisation. Is it time to leave or should I have a game-plan for finding my next move in the next 3-4 months?
Client 3: I’m having challenges with two of my team, who are under-performing. I’m compensating by having to work evenings and weekends, but I can’t keep this up any longer. How do I have a difficult conversation without demotivating them?
Friday: culture change programme
This client has just made an acquisition. They genuinely want to create a new organisation which takes the technology of the smaller company they have acquired and build a new business model around this new offering. To do so effectively, they know they have to create a more entrepreneurial culture. This business has come from an engineering background, where they have achieved success by being cautious and developing products which have stood the test of time. With the acquisition, they now need to shift from an ‘engineering mindset’ to a ‘service mindset’. Question is, how do we inspire this new way of working? How do we bring it to life? How do we take people on the journey with us.
Through discussions, we have agreed to run a series of leadership workshops which really get people thinking of the small changes they can start implementing which signals to their customers, we are adapting and we are changing. We also have plans to use internal stories of people who are deemed to be entrepreneurial and to share what they do and how they do it.
To find out more about the life of a leadership coach, drop me a note: firstname.lastname@example.org.