Leaders? Have You Had Your
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
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
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
- 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
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