Date Added: February 2017
CEOs are frequently seeking methods to develop leaders. Coaching and mentoring support this personal development and organizational succession planning.
There is a fine line between mentors and coaches. Some say mentors are sounding boards who provide advice; with mentees having freedom to choose topics not necessarily tied to performance objectives. Coaches seek to direct people to an end result by strategically assessing and monitoring progress.
The most successful results are a blend where there is an agenda focused on an individual’s objectives related to work, family, self and community. The agenda is flexible and the coach/mentor is a sounding board who provides advice to help the individual develop, grow and learn using personal gifts, strengths and passions.
A core ability is for coaches to have the skills to ask many questions, listen intently, and help individuals discover how their own values, strengths, gifts and passions influence their personal behavior. This includes helping individuals understand their behavior can both positively and negatively influence others, and assisting them discover solutions to challenges.
Individuals must be open to being coached vs. forced to do so. A comprehensive coaching plan should consider individuals at all levels – senior level leaders, and high potential Millennials. Both are key to development and future succession planning; and may also include time with teams to see how individuals interact in team settings and if they apply what is being learned.
Some examples of organizations which have taken steps to create a coaching culture include those where: the CEO and/or other senior leaders are within five years of retirement, there is a good group of “next-level” leaders who need further leadership development, the organization is growing very quickly and leaders need quicker development to keep up with the growth, and there is a gap in the number of Generation X leaders to help with succession between Baby Boomers and Millennials.
If your organization fits any of these or if you’re a leader who desires coaching, take the first step to contact a leadership development expert to ensure sustainability in your organization. Let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance.
David Yeghiaian is committed to inspiring others through faith and leadership. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.