The Point: More and more companies are realizing the benefits of executive coaching as a way to challenge and develop their top-level talent and leadership. Unfortunately, most executive coaching fails to garner results that organizations want. The underlying reason that many presume behind this trend is the nature of managers and leaders to resist change. At Tip of the Spear, this is exactly what our executive coaches help you with! In the following post, we’ll take a look at the major factors that contribute to the failure of a non-results-oriented executive coaching initiative so that you can avoid them and get maximum benefits… Enjoy!
Goals Are Not Defined
This cannot be stressed enough. Neither the coach, nor the person getting mentored, sets goals and expectations for the coaching programs. Worse yet, no one from the sponsoring organization (if appropriate) is in sync with the coaching initiative to track/monitor either. Without a clear end in mind, not even the best coaching can produce demonstrable change in executive behavior that ultimately boosts organizational outcomes.
Lesson: Defining goals is imperative for success.
Separating the Leader from the Organization
This is also a major reason why even results-oriented executive coaching fails to develop sound leaders. Your coach ignores the fact that the problem you are facing at the organization can also be due to the people who work with you, or even your social network (Think of these as those non-work variables). It is a simple fact of life that we orient our behavior towards other people.
In similar vein, it is necessary to engage other people in the executive team to help the person being coached. This can be difficult if there is a history of politics at the office, but unless everyone is one the same page, centered executive coaching will not work.
Lesson: Social context has to be taken into account during executive coaching.
This follows from the first point. Sometimes executive coaching fails because both the coach and the executive are trying to change all problem areas during a single consultation. This is folly, and rarely successful. When we try to change too much, we end up losing motivation to change at all.
Lesson: Be realistic. Find key areas to be changed, prioritize, and tackle them one by one. That is the only way to make sustainable behavioral changes.
Cult of Personality
Finally and most importantly, executive coaching fails because a “cult of personality” that develops around the coach. The coach is revered as the expert who has a “magic lamp” to solve all organizational problems. The danger of this behavior is that coach will forget that they eventually have to leave and that it is the executive or leader that needs to exhibit these superb problem-solving skills. It has often been seen that once a coaching program ends, the executive is left “without a paddle” as they have been accustomed to learn passively from a ‘guru’.
Lesson: The coach should teach the executive to take matters into her own hands instead of running the show himself.
To sum up, to successfully launch an executive coaching initiative, you need to have the end goals in mind, integrate social aspects during sessions, and get other members on board as well. You should also look to a coach that will help transfer knowledge of how to mentor/coach future associates as a leader.
To find out more about Tip of the Spear Centered Executive Coaching, CLICK HERE.