What is the Role of an Executive Leadership Coach?

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Between 1980 and the mid-nineties as the leader’s role grew to deal with the increasing levels of uncertainty, ambiguity, and the constant pressures to deliver results, coaching underwent rapid growth and quickly expanded into different directions such as life coaching, leadership coaching, career coaching, success coaching, plus many more.

Since the late nineties, the need for executive leadership coaching continues to grow as it has long been acknowledged it is critical to the long-term health and productivity of organisations irrespective of size. This demand has fuelled the growth in the number external coaches who enter organisations based on specific individual or group assignments, while at the same time there has been equally strong growth in internally appointed coaches along with the expectations that leaders from the executive level down also play active roles in coaching their people.

Having been actively involved in providing coaching to executive leaders for the past sixteen years our executive leadership coaches have observed that this growth has also impacted the coaching concept. While we see great coaching outcomes achieved, we are also observing much of what is referred to as coaching is actually not, in our view, coaching at all. What is often referred to as coaching is informal, not tied to a clear set of coaching objectives or outcomes, and the coaching does not take place within an appropriate context and framework. While helpful, it is more aligned with advice giving, helping, knowledge sharing, skill transfer, and mentoring

The executive leadership coaching process requires the coach to have breadth and depth of knowledge, skills, and experience to effectively connect the professional and personal aspirations of the leader with the outcomes of the organisation so the potential for both is maximised.   First and foremost an effective executive leadership coach has to:

Have a wide range of business and organisational skills and experience.

  • Have a framework and process which that allows trust and effective communication to build quickly.
  • Have ability and comfort to facilitate discussion at both the ‘professional’ and the ‘personal’ level that fosters critical thinking about the range of issues challenging the leader.
  • Respect the confidentiality for all involved at all times.
  • In real time be able to facilitate learning and development of the skills the leader needs to constructively improve impact and effectiveness.
  • Construct clear measures that track coaching progress and achievement of required personal, professional, and organisational objectives and outcomes.

The executive leadership coach does more than influence a leader’s behaviour, they are an essential ingredient in the leader’s learning process. They draw learning from a variety of sources including past activity and performance to enable the leader to shape and focus on the future. In so doing the coach fosters increased individual performance within a business context while at the same time allowing the leader to discover their own path to achieve their professional and personal aspirations.

Viventé Australia enables leaders and managers to create the conditions that allow their people to do their best work every day thus creating a powerful advantage: the synergy between people, leadership, management, and culture, produces performance that allows your business to achieve its outcomes.