LONELY AT THE TOP? DON’T LET IT BE SO

As a CEO or a C-level ex­ec­u­tive, do you ever feel you are on your own? Do you feel that ev­ery­one re­lies on you to have the right an­swer, do the right thing, be the right ‘boss’, fore­see and smooth out the speed bumps and more? By Grace Thomas Vic­to­rian Br

Business First - - COACHING -

If your an­swer is “yes”, you are not alone. Most of the CEOs and C-level ex­ec­u­tive clients I work with lament about this. The term ‘to­gether alone’ rings so true for se­nior lead­ers.

As the CEO or C-level ex­ec­u­tive, you are mainly con­cerned with per­for­mance and growth – in­di­vid­u­ally and col­lec­tively. You work hard to nav­i­gate the ever-in­creas­ing de­mands and ex­pec­ta­tions from share­hold­ers, cus­tomers, em­ploy­ees, your fam­ily and friends, and from your­self. That is a heavy weight of re­spon­si­bil­ity on you.

YOU CAN BE FOR­GIVEN FOR FEEL­ING ALONE!

Is this your story? There is a com­mon say­ing “your story is just a story – fic­tion”. How do you know where the truth to your story lies?

Some­one you know and re­spect sug­gests you get your­self an ex­ec­u­tive or lead­er­ship coach. “I don’t need a coach. I am do­ing just fine” you think, in­dig­nantly. Se­cretly, you won­der if this may be good ad­vice.

You’ve met a few peo­ple who call them­selves coaches – some have ap­proached you to of­fer their ser­vices. They might sound the same, yet ap­pear to be very dif­fer­ent.

You might think – don’t coaches work on ‘fix­ing’ peo­ple? WHERE DOES THE TRUTH LIE? How im­por­tant is it to you and to your com­pany for you to be the best ver­sion of your­self as a leader? What would it mean if you can cre­ate a pos­i­tive rip­ple through the com­pany and be­yond, in­spir­ing oth­ers to be part of build­ing per­for­mance and growth – meet­ing and ex­ceed­ing ex­pec­ta­tions?

WHAT’S IT WORTH?

• The 2009 In­ter­na­tional Coach Fed­er­a­tion (ICF) Global Coach­ing Client Study re­ported a me­dian coach­ing ROI (re­turn on in­vest­ment) to be 700%. • The 2003 MetrixGlobal study of ex­ec­u­tive coach­ing “Coach­ing for In­creased Prof­itabil­ity: How to De­liver and Demon­strate Tan­gi­ble Re­sults to the Bot­tom Line” re­ported an ROI from coach­ing of 788% • The Manch­ester Re­view 2001 re­ported that ex­ec­u­tive coach­ing yields a re­turn on in­vest­ment of al­most six times its cost.

BUT WHAT IS COACH­ING?

Let’s pro­vide some in­sights to help clear any mis­con­cep­tions about what coach­ing is and what it is not. Isn’t coach­ing the same as men­tor­ing, con­sult­ing, train­ing, coun­selling, man­ag­ing?

CON­FUSED OR CU­RI­OUS?

This il­lus­tra­tion pro­vides an over­view of the dif­fer­ences be­tween coach­ing and other in­ter­ven­tions. Lead­ing cuts across all quad­rants show­ing the com­plex­ity of lead­ing well.

COACH­ING EX­PLAINED

The In­ter­na­tional Coach Fed­er­a­tion (ICF), the world’s largest coach cre­den­tial­ing body de­fines coach­ing as “part­ner­ing with clients in a thought-pro­vok­ing and cre­ative process that in­spires them to max­i­mize their per­sonal and

pro­fes­sional po­ten­tial”.

This com­mon yet pow­er­ful for­mula ap­plies equally to your per­sonal per­for­mance and to the per­for­mance of your com­pany.

PER­FOR­MANCE = PO­TEN­TIAL – INTERFERENCES

Coaches don’t tell. Coaches don’t pre­scribe. Coaches don’t do the heavy lift­ing for you. The best coaches chal­lenge you to ex­plore deeply, bring­ing aware­ness to the fore, en­abling you to make con­scious choices to build new habits and mind­sets that move you to­wards your po­ten­tial.

The fun­da­men­tal premise of coach­ing is that the an­swers are within you. The coach helps you un­cover, some­times ex­ca­vate, the strengths that pro­pel you for­ward and what’s hold­ing you back from be­ing the ab­so­lute best you can be with less ef­fort. Heard of get­ting more from less?

SO, WHAT OF THESE INTERFERENCES?

One of the frame­works many coaches use to ex­plore interferences is the In­te­gral Model de­vel­oped by Ken Wil­ber. This is an ef­fec­tive way of look­ing at both strengths that sup­port you and the things that im­pede your per­for­mance and growth. Interferences can come from one or more, and of­ten from all, quad­rants. We have in­cor­po­rated some of the ways we might ex­plore these in the il­lus­tra­tion be­low.

AWARE­NESS LEADS TO CON­SCIOUS CHOICE AND CHANGE

From this ex­plo­ration, new aware­ness and in­sights emerge, cre­at­ing con­scious choice to ex­per­i­ment with new and help­ful be­hav­iours that de­velop into help­ful habits. The re­sult? Long term change to­wards the best ver­sion of your­self as a leader and be­ing able to in­flu­ence your teams to meet and ex­ceed ex­pec­ta­tions – yes, those heavy ex­pec­ta­tions!

Get­ting the most from a coach­ing re­la­tion­ship means build­ing a re­la­tion­ship of un­wa­ver­ing trust, quickly. With­out trust at the high­est level, ex­plo­ration stays at a su­per­fi­cial level and change is lim­ited, po­ten­tial re­mains an un­re­alised dream. How­ever, as a CEO or C-level ex­ec­u­tive, if you have a trusted part­ner sit be­side you, walk along­side you, and who is not at­tached to any other agenda ex­cept to help you be the best you can be, you won’t feel so alone and can fo­cus on what re­ally mat­ters, per­for­mance and growth.

Con­tact pres­i­dent.vic­to­ria@ ic­faus­trala­sia.com and we will di­rect you to the best per­son on our team to an­swers any ques­tions you may have. Grace Thomas is the Vic­to­rian Branch Pres­i­dent of the In­ter­na­tional Coach Fed­er­a­tion (ICF). Glob­ally, ICF has over 31,000 mem­bers, of whom 80% are cre­den­tialed, in 149 coun­tries. Her ca­pac­ity to work with se­nior lead­ers bring­ing ‘heat and heart’ to all her re­la­tion­ships builds on a strong foun­da­tion in cor­po­rate lead­er­ship roles in Aus­tralia and Asia-Pa­cific. In­ter­na­tional Coach Fed­er­a­tion (ICF) is the lead­ing global or­gan­i­sa­tion ded­i­cated to ad­vanc­ing the coach­ing pro­fes­sion by set­ting high stan­dards, pro­vid­ing in­de­pen­dent cer­ti­fi­ca­tion and build­ing a world­wide net­work of trained coach­ing pro­fes­sion­als.

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