First, it’s aspirational. While standard Executive Coaching is about improving your performance at work in more senior executive roles, Executive Leadership Coaching is this and more. It invites you to tap into your career aspirations and personal purpose in relation to how you can make a bigger difference and leave a lasting legacy as a result of your progressively increasing leadership capacity.
“The greater danger is not that our hopes are too high, and we fail to reach them. It’s that they are too low, and we do.” Michelangelo
Strategic Leadership Coaching elevates your goals and expands the dimensions of your role so that it becomes a platform for you to realize your potential. A Strategic Leadership Coach will help you to harness your signature strengths and developing talents to lead others and generate sustainable community outcomes that benefit everyone.
You’ll learn how to rise above the noise and get off the treadmill to engage in the expanse of the emergent future. Conventional operating systems suit Specialists and Achievers but they inhibit the growth of our capacity as Catalysts and Strategists. We need to transcend them to extend our leadership presence. You can find out more about these stages of leadership development here.
“When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project all your thoughts break their bonds; your mind transcends limitations; your consciousness expands in every direction; and you find yourself in a great new and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be.” Patanjali
Second it’s strategic. While this may be self-evident to some, let’s take a moment to consider what this really means. It doesn’t mean to develop strategic initiatives to be more competitive and win more market share. This is the 20th century game of increasing sales and profits to meet shareholder demands for ever-increasing returns. It’s not about strategic marketing or business strategy.
Instead it means increased strategic thinking to make decisions that trade off short and long-term gains in the pursuit of sustainable outcomes and benefits for all stakeholders – including those implicated by the results and their ripple effect, now and in the future. It’s about exercising strategic leadership based on the strategic development of you as a leader up to the level of Strategist, only occupied by 5% of leaders worldwide.
“No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it. We must learn to see the world anew”. Einstein
Adult Stage Development or Vertical Learning provides a pathway to demonstrating more conscious expansive leadership presence. It is the fastest growing trend in leadership development. Advanced Leadership Coaches in this burgeoning field have proven methodologies albeit often unique approaches to enabling their clients to become visionary inspiring strategic leaders.
Third it gets personal. When you wish to be a more strategic leader leading transformational change, it’s essential to review personal reactive patterns and emotional responses to challenging life events and stressful situations. Otherwise the personal blocks in your subconscious will continue to hold yourself and others back.
“We must become the change we want to see in the world.” Mahatma Gandhi
When we look at life personally, we take total responsibility for everything that is appearing in our life experience that carries an emotional signature for us. Life is both a movie created by our conscious mind and a mirror reflection of our subconscious mind. When we realize our intentions by stepping forward into a clear path that lies before us, we can jump for joy! At least figuratively.
However when we face issues that trigger negative emotions, it’s important to realize that they are an expression of our subconscious. Recurring patterns in terms of interpersonal dynamics once deciphered and understood, will lead to new insights and revelations. We can then resolve the underlying issues in our hearts in order to prevent similar struggles from recurring.
“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.” Carl Jung
Remember the Covey framework in relation to attending to what is Important rather than Urgent? The Covey Institute undertook a great deal of research where they compared how people spent their time in most organizations compared to those who won the Baldridge TQM Awards for Excellence.
The difference was not in the 25% of time spent on Important/Non-Urgent matters (red) and the 5% on Non-Important/Non-Urgent matters (green).
The difference was in the time divided between the Important/Non-Urgent (blue) and Non-Important/Urgent (orange) categories. The winning organizations divided their time 55%/15% (blue/orange) whereas the rest did the reverse. The end result was that conventional organizations spent 80% of their time on Urgent (red + orange) being Reactive and Responsive whereas TQM Award Winning Organizations invested a total of 80% of time being Proactive and Creative on Important (red + blue) matters.
“It is not enough to be busy; so are the ants. The question is: What are we busy about?” Henry David Thoreau
Executive Coaching in Leadership is Important. It fits into Quadrant II, the Important/Non-Urgent Zone that is often overlooked by ordinary performers. It sets you up for success in the future by investing just a small period of time albeit regularly in personal self-development. It takes just 90-minutes every 4 weeks with an Executive Leadership Coach assuming they are able to equip you with sufficient insight, clarity and direction to enable you to “sharpen the saw” in the ensuing 4-week period.
Combating stress and exercising greater awareness through reflective and meditative practices is growing in popularity today. They lead us into a field of greater mindfulness and resilience enabling us to be more objective and detached during moments of doubt, fear, frustration, betrayal, uncertainty and panic.
“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
Leadership Coaching embraces the power of reflection before, during and after coaching conversations. One of the most powerful elements of Leadership Coaching is the client’s opportunity to then talk freely, to give expression to their most embarrassing, upsetting and disappointing moments, in the company of a professional friend who is there to listen with a warm heart and open mind offering unconditional understanding and thoughtful mutual inquiry.
Often it’s not until we articulate what’s going on in the company of a trusted confidante that we can get into, behind, under and past our emotional dilemmas and old childhood hurts. They just stay with us. We keep them hidden suppressing our associated feelings until we have an avenue where we feel its okay to be vulnerable. Total confidentiality and a leadership coach’s genuine compassion permits us to voyage deeper and unveil the multiple layers of protection we have built up in the past.
“Anyone who has insight into his own actions and has thus found access to the unconscious, involuntarily exercises an influence on his environment.” Carl Jung
As we take up more senior roles, our managers tend to spend less and less time on our development. Performance challenges, strategic decisions and corporate politics override our conversations with them. Developing executives in their thirties is one thing, but to do so for executives in their forties and fifties is less common. Even the most senior executives find themselves out of their depth.
However an Executive Leadership Coach with a sage strategic seasoned perspective on corporate affairs, business performance, global trends, local reforms, interpersonal dynamics, emotional resilience, neuroscience, mindfulness, adult psychological development, spiritual intelligence and community wellbeing, alongside substantial life experience, can bring a significant portfolio of knowledge, wisdom and discernment to the journey of adult development into our third age of maturity.
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” Mark Twain
Best of all, your Executive Leadership Coach is in your corner. They’re totally committed to your growth and success over the long run. They’ll both challenge and encourage you as you stretch out of your comfort zone into your growth zone where the territory is unfamiliar to you but known to them. Having an awesome Leadership Coach at your back while you face into the future creating a courageous and lasting legacy is a highly valuable career asset. They can make all the difference to you realizing your aspirations and leaving your latent potential on the bench. We all need someone in our corner.
The 6 Main Benefits of Executive Leadership Coaching? It’s:
Does this form of Executive Coaching appeal to you?
I greatly appreciate you taking the time to read this post and hope you gained something really valuable from it. If you did, please Like, leave a Comment and Share it with your network. It would make my day!
All the best,
Antoinette Braks is a Transforming Executive Coach in Strategic and Holistic Leadership with 25+ years global experience. In recent years she has coached more than 50 Senior Executives, led many Strategic Off-sites and run Leadership Development Programs in organizations with outstanding results.
Antoinette has an MBA from London Business School and is currently completing her PhD in Leadership Transformation at the MGSM. Previously she led Leadership Capital Solutions with Korn Ferry Asia Pacific, Strategic HR with Shell in Latin America and Africa, and was GM People and Culture with Vector in New Zealand.
Her transformational leadership has led to quantum leaps of 30% in People Engagement within 6 months, 20% in Leadership Effectiveness for a group of 75+ senior leaders to the 80th percentile in 12 months, and a full stage shift for all Senior Executives in her PhD Study, most to Catalyst, in just one year.
Antoinette is also the bestselling author of Executive SOS outlining the 7 Proven Steps to Set Up Your Own Strategic Operating System. This book shows you how to rise above the noise, get off the treadmill and lead your people and stakeholders as an Inspiring Strategic Leader, showcasing a number of success stories from her executive clients.
Email me email@example.com to talk.