A Case for Coaching

April 10, 2015  |   Posted by :   |   YPHR Blog

Why Executive Coaching is the Best Leadership Development Strategy 

Every great athlete or athletic team has a coach.  Phil Jackson is the winningest coach in NBA history – he won 11 NBA titles including 6 titles as coach of the Chicago Bulls and 5 titles as coach of the Los Angeles Lakers.  What was different about Coach Phil Jackson?    Phil Jackson knew how to bring the best out of star players like Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant.   The business world is no different – coaching is a proven formula for individual and team wins.

In today’s demanding business environment, cost pressures often lead to flatter organizations or executive managers with more direct reports.   Because “speed to Coachingmarket” is considered a competitive advantage, the resulting time pressure creates an environment where executives have little time and energy to devote to the development of their direct reports which are the future leaders of the company.  Most executives barely have time to fulfill the basic goals and responsibilities of their positions.   These executives are simply too busy to learn from their experiences, implement best management practices, and develop the future leaders of the organization.

At one time, leaders were developed internally by progressively moving up the middle-management ranks.  Incremental promotions allowed them to be tested in low-risk assignments and to develop skills over a period of time.  The direct supervisors of these middle managers were often available to provide hands-on coaching and mentoring.  In today’s flatter organizations, middle management jobs have been eliminated and traditional career paths have become a thing of the past.

An external executive coach can help fill this leadership development gap.  Coaches help the aspiring leader understand the critical success factors of their management role.   The coach assists with developing a customized, goal-oriented development plan for the middle manager that will increase the probability that he or she will be promoted to the next level of the organization.  As an objective third party, the coach can provide candid feedback, appropriate encouragement, and a sounding board for grappling with management and leadership challenges and opportunities.  Collaborating with the leader’s boss, the coaching engagement ensures milestones are measured and the end goals are met.

In a recent study by the International Coaching Federation, respondents identified the following reasons for hiring executive coaches. The percentage of respondents citing each reason is noted in parentheses:

  • To develop the leadership skills of high-potential individuals (86%).
  • To correct behavioral problems at the management level (70%).
  • To improve the odds that newly promoted managers would be successful (64%).
  • To develop management and leadership skills among their technical people (59%).
  • To help leaders resolve interpersonal conflicts among employees (59%)

Most organizations believe that once an individual reaches a senior management position in the organization, the person will inherently be able to act under pressure, inspire and implement ideas, and maintain skills. Obviously, there have been many people who have reached senior management positions without the assistance of an executive coach.  However, the engagement of a qualified executive coach will in many cases reduce the time it takes for the manager to reach senior management.  Also, a coach will provide the senior manager with the capability to sustain the changes needed to remain in the executive ranks.

Improvements that stem directly from coaching engagements include enhanced executive learning, gains in corporate performance, improved relationships, increased leadership effectiveness, personal maturation, and organizational improvements. In the process, executives improve themselves personally and also have a greater positive impact on their organization. Benefits to the organization include enhanced organizational culture, industry reputation, employee morale, and work environments.  The net result is greater productivity and enhanced client relationships. Coaching can be your competitive edge!

A recent study in Fortune magazine discovered that Fortune 1000 companies utilizing executive coaching experienced the following advantages:

  • 53% increase in productivity
  • 32% increase in senior personnel retention
  • 23% reduction in costs
  • 22% increase in profits

The aforementioned results explain why 93% of business leaders who have experienced executive and leadership coaching have made it an ongoing part of their leadership practice.

Futurists tell us there have been more changes around the world in the last fifty years than in the previous 50,000 years!  Moreover, the human race can expect even more radical changes over the course of the next 50 years. In this environment of dynamic change, successful organizations can simply not afford to leave leadership development to chance.  An executive coach can be a strategic partner in preparing your leadership team for today’s and tomorrow’s challenges.  Contact us today to find out more about YPHR’s executive coaching options.

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