The most frequent reason a CEO sends executives to me for coaching is to improve their leadership styles. The individuals are described in some fashion as "off-the-charts bright ....but needs to step-up-to-the-bat and take control of the power that could be theirs." When I get CEOs to explain further, I find that they mean the otherwise smart person is either too aggressive in manner (and puts people off) or too passive (and doesn’t get buy-in) when dealing with others. It’s an over-simplification to coach the right leadership style because what’s right depends on the organization, the business environment, the company size and stage of growth, the industry, what’s best for the workers, what’s best for shareholders, and whether an entrepreneurial leader vs. administrative leader vs. salesman leader vs. an innovative leader is needed at this point in time. For effective leadership styles, context is everything. But one element is required in all leadership styles regardless of the context: That element is confidence. When someone is too aggressive, mean-sprited, demanding, and critical of others — it stems from their own insecurity. When someone is too passive, risk averse, afraid to make decisions, and poor at delegating — it stems from their own insecurity. My job is to change their confidence level through the introduction of new ways of thinking and new behavior -- that they previously didn’t think possible. Because when they become consistently confident, they:
Make better decisions, more quicklyTake careful risksRefuse to be a sycophantRefuse to tolerate sycophantic behavior in othersExpress themselves betterDon’t lie...or need to lie to cover up their insecurityTruly “step-up-to-the-bat and take control of the power that can be theirs"
Every emerging leader comes to me with a unique personality and proclivities ingrained since age six and honed until twenty-six (or so). I want to retain that individualism. (Well, frankly, it can’t be changed.) But I can provide individuals with new ways to think, act, and interact that coincide with their beliefs and make them measurably more effective at the same time. Give me a call if you know someone who could benefit from this approach.