The Point: Executive coaching has been doing rounds in the global business community for the past 2-3 decades. Now it has become a billion-dollar industry, with more and more companies hiring executive coaching specialists to mentor their C-suite executives. However, executive coaching is continually evolving as the definition of leadership keeps changing. As we approach 2015, we thought it would be interesting to look at how executive coaching will help leaders in the coming new year… So think of this as a Tip of the Spear “Happy New Year!” (Yes, we realize we’re early!)… Enjoy!
#10 Senior Management Being Trained to Train (and Lead!)
While executive coaching is meant for top tier leaders, in order for its benefits to be reaped by the entire organization, the training should be passed down to employees with potential. In the coming year, we are likely to witness more and more senior managers (after going through executive coaching themselves) directly becoming responsible for identifying, hiring, and developing future leaders in the company.
#9 Better Succession Management
This follows from the previous point of “Trained to Train” in #10. As crucial leadership roles start to be filled by internal candidates, not only does it streamline the success-planning process, but such leaders tend to enjoy better financial performance for their organization’s as well.
#8 Engaging Leaders in Strategic Thinking
A leader should learn to go beyond their own department, and even that of the organization. They should be able to look at the big picture and gain a broader business perspective that takes into account the social, economic, and political factors at play. But more than that, executives should be able to look beyond the short-term day to day business decisions and periodically engage in long-term strategic thinking. This means focusing on the ‘why’ of the business instead of just the ‘what’ and ‘how’.
#7 Active Listening
Some leadership skills remain the same, no matter which era and economic conditions the business is operating in. You may have read about active listening a lot on the Tip of the Spear Ventures’ “The Point!” blog, but even as we head into 2015, active listening remains a much sought after leadership communication skill. Hence, centered executive coaching and leadership development programs should put more emphasis on active listening.
#6 The Art of Thinking
This follows from the previous point. Leaders should not only listen more to the people that they work with, but also encourage them to think creatively and offer their suggestions for unique business issues. This is done by asking open-ended questions, and more importantly, building trust with your team.
#5 Two-Way Communication
Building trust is essential for leaders, especially CEOs and other executives who are hired to lead teams they have not worked with before. One of the best ways to do so is to encourage two-way communication in the workplace (which is how communication should be done in the first place). Leaders who like to maintain an elite distance from their team are likely to find hesitant employees in their midst who never offer their “true” suggestions for key business decisions.
#4 Data-Driven Decisions
While ultimately leaders will make key business decisions based on their experience and intuition, there is a growing need for executives to understand, interpret, and use data to find key business opportunities.
#3 Time Management
Modern leaders are realistic, but their also unrealistic when it comes to the demands of time on their schedules. They know that they don’t possess infinite resources of time and energy. Hence, they need to be trained and execute in time management. They need to identify areas where time is being wasted and use those periods to pursue value-added activities.
#2 Greater Delegation
Collaboration would be a more accurate term. Communication should go beyond active listening and eloquent speaking where you can reap practical benefits of working with a team collectively to meet corporate goals. Trust also plays a major role in delegation as you learn to trust your team, while they learn to respect your authority.
#1 Commanding Authority
Finally and most importantly, true leaders are those who make their presence known through their confidence, body language, and speech, as they communicate in a way that inspires others. Think of it this way, sometimes your actions speak louder than your words!
To sum up, as we head to a new year, some leadership skills still remain relevant, especially where the executive themselves assumes the role of an executive coach. This should be the foundation of any executive coaching or leadership development initiative.
If you’d like more information on the Centered Executive Coaching programs offered at Tip of the Spear, or any of our other Business Advisory Services including Leadership Development and Communication Skills Training for Leaders, please use the CONTACT US page of this website.