How Executive Coaching Can Help You Level Up Your Organization In the business world, coaching is no longer the rare exception, and it is increasingly expected for critical leadership roles, such as top executives like VPs and CEOs.
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People are accustomed to thinking of coaches in terms of athletics or the arts, such as a singing coach, a sports coach or even a dialog coach. Coaches teach skills, and they help people perfect them- and you'll find many coaching niches today. In the business world, coaching is no longer the rare exception, and it is increasingly expected for critical leadership roles, such as top executives like VPs and CEOs.
Simultaneously, it is also beneficial for emerging leaders and mid- to senior management roles. In fact, executive coaching is now a multi-billion-dollar industry and growing. A recent study by the International Coaching Federation (ICF) found that between 2015 and 2019, the total estimated global revenue from coaching increased by 21% to US$2.849 billion. In my opinion, executive coaching is an investment in the future for initiative-taking organization leaders. It can help organizations entice and preserve exceptional leaders, while also assisting executive teams to enhance their performance.
As we all know, the desire for personal growth is extremely valuable- however, as employee demands from the workplace have shifted, leadership skills have not. As employees climb the ranks, they find their way into leadership without necessarily learning the skills and techniques required to lead. Many new leaders turn to a trusted mentor who would only provide information based on lived experience.
On the other hand, executive coaches are tasked with improving performances and capabilities as their day job. But there is a misconception that executive coaches are for leaders who have done something wrong. While it's true that an executive coach could support a difficult employee become a better teammate, they can also be guides for leaders to pursue their desired career paths.
Leadership coaching explains that the main drivers of innovation in an organization are the people and the corporate culture, and it can provide leaders with the tools to master these levers. An executive coaching professional can guide leaders through the steps that allow them to set the foundations of an innovative and competitive company. Here are three ways an executive coach can level up an organization:
1. Maintain leadership empowerment It often happens that a leader loses sight of the big picture, which can lead to the team getting demotivated. However, when these leaders collaborate closely with a coach, it allows them to discover their challenges and work through them, and with these conversations, an executive coach can guide these leaders towards the direction needed to maintain a high level of motivation, empowering their team to achieve their goals.
2. Decrease stir-ups People will stay at a job when they are learning and feel valued. An executive coach accomplishes both by challenging them, enabling their self-improvement, and supporting career growth. Coaching also helps in instilling a better culture in the workplace, which, as we all know, is critical to success. Coaching will thus help leaders drive a positive culture, which will translate into happier and highly motivated team members. Coaching here is extremely important, and it has an added value for high potential and emerging leaders, mid-level to senior management, as well as executives, with each having a different flavor and content of learning. But, here, you might be thinking: "Why would I invest in them given the risk that they could leave after?" First, doing so makes them less likely to leave, but even if they exit, remember what Henry Ford said: "The only thing worse than training your employees and having them leave is not training them and having them stay."
3. Build a series of enhancement Allowing your leaders the opportunity to attend an executive coaching program sends a message that leadership within the organization is an investment. It gives back to the deserving leaders who give their time and energy to the business. Also, collaborating with an executive coach can lead to the leaders becoming coaches themselves, which is the most valuable trait a leader, CEO, or director can possess. Coaching also benefits both the leaders in an organization and the organization itself, as it helps increase performance. A survey by Price Waterhouse Cooper found that the average return on investment (ROI) for companies that invested in coaching was seven times their initial investment, more than one quarter of survey participants reported ROI of 10 to 49 times the initial investment. Also, the Performance Sales Executive Council performed research on sales executives that also found measurable positive results. On average, executive coaching of core sales professionals was associated with an 8% performance increase, which is approximately equivalent to one additional sale per month.
This article was co-written with Sandy Bassil, Partner, LITT.