How to Take Your Leadership to the Next Level

Can you recall an athletic, artistic, or science coach growing up that inspired you to do more than you thought possible? Andy Stanley stated that a good coach always coaches to a leader’s potential, not their current level of performance. A good leadership coach will see your potential and inspire you accordingly. 

In his book Good to Great, Collins introduces the Level 5 Hierarchy. Level 5 leaders channel their ego needs away from themselves and into the larger goal of building a great organization.  Coaching meets an individual where they are in this hierarchy, but with an eye on their potential, unbound by self-inflicted constraints or current job position

Coaching relies primarily on teaching and guiding to bring out and enhance capabilities already present. Coaching is a development technique used for a skill, task, or specific behavior. Coaching helps individuals or teams through a set of tasks or by improving personal qualities. A coach gets the person or team to understand their current level of performance and guides their performance to the next level. A central coaching task is to link feedback interpretation with developmental actions. Coaches advise an individual or team on what levels can be reached and what to do to reach them. 

An individual development plan (IDP) is a foundational tool in coaching used to assist employees in career and personal development. Its primary purpose is to help employees reach short- and long-term career goals and improve current job performance. An IDP helps to connect the Why, What & How, but it is not a performance evaluation tool or a one-time activity. An IDP helps to clarify what your organization needs from you, have an honest conversation about your competence (what am I great at, where do I want to be, and what is essential to learn or get better at), and connect your passion (what you love doing and what energizes you). 

Coaches use all or some of the following approaches depending on the individual, team, and situation: focus goals, clarify the leader’s self-awareness (using assessment to find out what kind of car you are, what type of engine you have, and what kind of fuel do you use), uncover potential, eliminate developmental barriers, develop action plans, and follow-up. Coaches can draw on guided discovery learning techniques to build rapport and commitment. The coach tailors how directive feedback and guidance are depending on the situation and performance level of those being coached.