Leaders? Have You Had Your Coaching Today?

Leaders need access to coaching daily. This may seem like a bold statement, or perhaps an unnecessary one at the least. Here's why leaders need access to coaching daily.

  • Increasing Complexity requiring multiple perspectives
  • Increased iterations and cycle speed
  • Evaluation and feedback requirements for meaning making

Let's take the first one:

Increasing Complexity requiring multiple perspectives
As more an more variables enter into the leadership window of opportunity and possibility, leaders have little choice but to examine more and more territory when making maps. Even if they themselves can't deal with greater information loads, their systems will have to and someone has to direct or orchestrate those systems of knowledge creation.
Much of the time, leaders are caught in a vortex of overload, overwhelm and change. This vortex "isolates" the leader from examining their own system of awareness, purpose, competence, and well-being--often narrowing the range of possible results. Just 10 minutes of time with an experienced developmental coach can arrest many of the effects of turbulence. Coupled with a program of stress reduction, exercise and feedback from peers, subordinates and customers, the leadership system benefits--because the leader is able to continuously shift what they are embedded in--or as Robert Kegan's developmental theory professes--a subject-object relationship shift.

Increased iterations and cycle speed
I don't think there is any argument that change is accelerating. Some change can be mitigated through a clear focus on the following paradigm: IMULL.

  • Importance
  • Motivation
  • Urgency
  • Leverage
  • Low-Hanging Fruit

If the leadership filters are continuously refreshed through IMULL filters, complexity is reduced regarding the speed of change, because the filtering system is continuously narrowing the expanding search space. Often a coaching interaction is required to affirm the validity of the IMULL process. Many times, when I work with leaders, they continuously have to recalibrate IMULL because even though leadership is being orchestrated through core competence, it is quite easy to become distracted by real-time problems or crisis. These distractions become the vehicle of increasing complexity when they run past IMULL filters.

Evaluation and feedback requirements for meaning making
It's interesting to note that few leaders will seek feedback, some will accept it and most will see it as criticism. Developmental research proves that much of the time, the ability to evaluate one's own subjectivity or embeddedness is limited because of blind spots that are invisible to the leader. Using a coach trained in evaluating the leader's meaning making system is often the most efficient, effective and sustainable way in which to address these limitations. Again, a short session daily with a developmentally trained coach--even if it's over the phone or through instant messenging interfaces can be fruitful in "leading complexity."
While it's impossible to address the full range of coaching possibilities for leaders in this short treatise, further information is available on this subject and coaching through www.leadu.com/news

To Self-Knowledge!

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