50% of leaders I have met don’t need to learn what to do.
They need to learn what to stop.
Both terms are sometimes used synonymously. In a wider sense, they mean the same – supporting leadership growth – and rely often on identical practices and techniques.
But context matters – and an executive coach will adjust workstyle and approach accordingly:
The challenges of executives with function-, division-, or enterprise-wide responsibilities have specific nuances. Senior leaders, often as a result of being in a different stage of their career/life cycle, face different personal and interpersonal challenges. Consequently, the work of an executive coach differs from the work of a leadership coach in significant ways.
We approach both executive coaching and leadership coaching with the same premises:
While leadership coaching focuses on building healthy and effective leadership habits & attitudes – such as cultivating influence, standing up for one’s vision, empowering others, or increasing self-awareness, executive coaching or C-Suite coaching are often less concerned with the transmission of know-how. Rather, an executive coach will support senior leaders to act on their understanding of leadership. The challenge, often, lies not in acquiring new knowledge but in applying the knowledge that’s already there. More often than not, the key to executive leadership growth lies not in talking about what to do but in focusing on what to stop.
Our leadership coaching supports leaders to tap the best version of their leadership and succeed in new or existing roles.
Senior executives are proven successful leaders with a track record of mastering personal and organizational challenges successfully. Such leaders usually have a thorough understanding of their strengths and vision, deep subject-matter expertise, and well-honed managerial and leadership skills. More often than not, they also have a strong self-confidence.
A strong, positive self-image and associated deep convictions about what enabled their success is a powerful resource for executives. It provides executives with perseverance, the courage to disrupt, contagious confidence, vision, and a desire to guide their organization’s destiny. But that confidence can be overplayed and may get in the way. The clout of being in a senior role further add to the difficulty of getting realistic feedback. As your executive coach, we are a powerful partner in gathering stakeholder feedback and supporting the coachee to consider with honesty what about that feedback needs to be considered to further improve both – leadership impact and leadership reputation.
We have extensive experience coaching leaders in executive and C-Suite roles.
Areas of coaching include:
Any strength applied in excess can become a liability. Cognitive and self-serving biases as well as a disproportionate focus on “building on one’s strengths” can make it hard to balance that sweet spot. Stress compounds that challenge because stress increases rigidities (“more of the same”), limits self awareness, and openness to feedback.
Derailer coaching is a great tool to help high-performers get a more balanced and nuanced view of how their personality and work style preferences play out at work.
Derailer coaching, by nature, is a conversation about the “shadow aspects” – or dark side – of our personality – so creating a safe space to minimize defensiveness is particularly important. Hogan’s HDS, for instance, provides a powerful inventory to assess and discuss potential derailers, to learn to understand triggers and impact, and to cultivate effective skills to come back from the “dark side” to the sweet spot of performance. While someone’s “derailing” may become the trigger for this type of coaching, our approach involves framing the derailer as the “overdialed” or dark side of inherent strengths to support curiosity and learning over defensiveness.
Please contact us for a free consultation to discuss how coaching can support you or your organization.