The Executive Coaching Guide – Part 2

The Executive Coaching Guide P2

Leadership has long been seen as a critical determinant of organisational success. Simply put, better leaders produce better results. Becoming a better leader, however, requires learning and development.

It was in response to this need that the field of Leadership Development emerged. Leadership development is the process of building a leaders’ skills and capabilities to better meet the demands and challenges that their organisation or community faces. Effective leadership development, therefore, begins with greater impact as the central goal and ensures that any development activity has a strong strategic focus.

The Emergence Of Executive coaching

The term ‘executive coaching’ first emerged in the late 1980’s It has grown rapidly over the past three decades in popularity and application as a viable leadership development practice.

Initially, executive coaching was developed to rescue talented individuals who were in danger of derailing because of a particular weakness in their performance. More recently, the scope of executive coaching has broadened beyond the ‘deficit’ problem to include a much broader focus on the development of executive-level skills that impact the entire organisation. The specific needs that executive coaching now addresses include:

  1. Accelerated achievement where there is a focus on accelerating the development of specific skills necessary for achieving key results quickly;
  2. Transitions where the executive has stepped into a new role, or taken on new responsibilities, and needs to develop new skills in order to succeed;
  3. Times of rapid change or growth where the leader is confronted by multiple challenges and demands and needs to navigate a way through them; and
  4. The talent pipeline where the focus is on developing the capabilities of ‘high potentials’ to broaden the talent pool for leadership succession.

What Has Driven This Growth?

The growth in demand for executive coaching services has been driven by the need to:

  1. Help executives to develop and deal with novel problems for which there is no ready-made answer;
  2. Help time-limited executives to transfer skills back into the work environment, quickly evaluate progress and make adjustments as necessary;
  3. Create a confidential and objective “space” for self-reflection - a sounding board on organisational dynamics and strategic matters;
  4. Deliver constructive feedback on current behavioural patterns and how effective these are in producing business goals; and
  5. Challenge thinking and decision-making processes to make sure that any proposed action has a robust foundation.

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