A motivated individual can accomplish many things. But we all have our limitations. This is in part why specialization and division of labor are so crucial to a thriving enterprise. If someone falls short on a given day, someone else can pick up the slack and keep things on course. That said, a business’ success cannot simply rely on different people performing different roles. Continuous improvement and leadership development are also key.
People get better at their jobs and hobbies in a number of ways. One of the best ways to improve is to understand areas that need improvement and implement the attitudes and behaviors to make those changes happen. However, if you’re unaware of the areas in which you are lacking, or you don’t know what attitudes and behaviors are holding you back, improvement becomes difficult if not impossible. This is where coaching comes into play. And, as it turns out, coaches are not just for managers and executives, but everyone looking to enhance their skills and knowledge.
What to Know About Business Coaching
Who Needs a Coach?
In short: everyone, from the newest intern to the CEO. More importantly, everyone needs a good coach suited to their individual or team’s needs and goals. An employee just out of college who is entering the field needs a coach who understands their situation, and who is willing to figure out what they want out of their job, career, or life as a whole. The same applies to the high-ranking manager or CEO. Their coach should be able to help them work through issues of business operations at the highest levels.
Why Have a Business Coach?
So, why have a business coach? Good coaches can objectively point out the flaws in a given process, individual, or team, and find ways to make lasting improvements. This applies to coaches in any field. More specifically, a business coach will look at everything from marketing strategies, internal culture, reputation management, sales numbers, and much more. The coach will help their client analyze this information, determine the root causes, and outline potential solutions. Because it is not possible to be an expert in all areas, good coaches help guide their clients to solutions themselves by questioning their actions and providing feedback.
But the best coaches and business consulting services do more than just identify issues and propose solutions. All industries and companies are dynamic, meaning something that works today might not work tomorrow. Coaches must stay on their toes in this way, and, more importantly, impart this wisdom to their clients. In other words, coaching is about helping people learn how to think and adapt to emergent situations. You can’t predict everything that will happen, but you can at least be prepared with the help of your coach.
The Power of an Outsider
Coaches come in many forms and places, but the best coaches often come from outside your organization. The term “outsider” should not be taken as derogatory. On the contrary, a coach from the outside often sees things more clearly and objectively than you or anyone else on your team can. Plus, this coach will have a much different background, using his/her unique experiences to improve your operations.
In a TED Talk from April 2017, surgeon Atul Gawande recounts a powerful story of birth attendants in North India who lacked the equipment and knowledge to consistently deliver healthy babies or protect their mothers. Eventually, Gawande decided to team up with part of the Indian government to deliver rigorous coaching to nurses, physicians, and managers in these birth centers. Over time, the results spoke for themselves with a massive increase in the quality of outcome for both babies and mothers.
While not directly related to business coaching, Gawande’s story speaks to the power of coaching more broadly. These birth centers sorely lacked methods of performance management. Nurses and doctors struggled to communicate, and the results were sometimes devastating. But with proper leadership development coaching, things turned around quickly for the better.
Good coaches are invaluable to any organization. At Leadership Resources, our purpose is making the impossible possible through people. We aim to do so by helping individuals develop patterns of success that will decrease stress levels and maximize productivity. Contact us here to learn more about what we do and how it can help your business succeed and grow.Read More
The best leaders know how important it is to recognize their team members and partners whenever someone goes above and beyond. Simply put, recognition is rewarding in and of itself. That’s why we’re honored to be recognized by HR Tech Outlook as their company of the year within their category of the Top 10 Leadership Development Training/Coaching Companies.
HR Tech Outlook is a publication focused on the technological advancements and changes occurring in the human resources industry, and in the business world more broadly. To be considered a top leadership development firm in their eyes, a company must be forward-thinking, open to change, and willing to use cutting-edge technology to achieve its goals. Here at Leadership Resources, we’re proud to fit this bill through our Accelerate Program and EOS® Implementation.
Our Accelerate Leadership Program
Leadership development is an ongoing process that can occur wherever you are, at every stage of life. In a world where more and more individuals are working remotely, traveling constantly, and bouncing between roles and careers, leadership development coaching should be more accessible and flexible for everyone’s lifestyle.
With our Accelerate Leadership Program, the resources, experts, and support necessary for developing leadership skills are available for each client as they embark on their unique development journey, regardless of their location or position. Users can go it alone or join a real-life or virtual cohort to grow together, taking courses, working with coaches, and tracking their individual and organizational progress via the Accelerate software.
This program is designed for people at all levels, whether they’re aspiring to become a leader, recently entered a leadership role, or want to expand their knowledge as an established leader.
Another way Leadership Resources embraces modern methods is through our implementation of the Entrepreneurial Operating System®, which provides prospective and current leaders with a top leadership development consultant (EOS Implementer™). EOS Implementers™ help leaders establish a cohesive vision for their organization and improve their team culture by establishing habits and skills that can be used in a practical, day-to-day way.
Read HR Tech Outlook’s Write-Up on Our Company
For more on how Leadership Resources is blazing a trail in the leadership development industry, check out HR Tech Outlook’s article which recognizes Leadership Resources as the top leadership development firm of 2019. This article features several insights from Boyd Ober, President and CEO of Leadership Resources, regarding the importance of accountability, strategic planning, and specialized coaching for organizational success.
As technology improves and the business landscape changes, one thing will remain constant: the need for good leaders. We thank HR Tech Outlook for recognizing our efforts in establishing a model for ongoing organizational growth through modern approaches to business consulting services and leadership development. We aim to continue innovating into the future.
At Leadership Resources, our purpose is making the impossible possible through people. We aim to do so by helping individuals develop patterns of success that will decrease stress levels and maximize productivity. Contact us here to learn more about what we do and how it can help your business succeed and grow.Read More
Anyone familiar with the Star Wars franchise knows that Obi-Wan plays the mentor role to both Luke and Anakin Skywalker. This archetypal figure became the symbol of wisdom and guidance for millions around the world. Today, most people know what’s meant if asked, “Who is your Obi-Wan,” or, “Do you have an Obi-Wan?” That is to say, do you have a measured mentor? If you struggle to find an answer, you may be missing out on a key relationship.
Mentors come in many forms. They may be a business consultant, a professor, or something more intimate like a father figure. Whatever the case, mentors play an important role in guiding us, helping us grow by learning from them and from our own mistakes. They act as a method of course correction that keeps us heading in the right direction without doing everything for us. Let’s further examine the mentor’s role and how you might find the right guide on your journey.
Mentorship and Reference Points
If you recall from the prequel trilogy, Anakin, a hot-headed Padawan (student) was taken under Obi-Wan’s wing. Anakin occasionally listened to his mentor’s advice, but often acted out of rash arrogance and impulse instead. This, of course, led to his demise. While ignoring the guidance of a mentor rarely results in something so tragic, the story paints a clear picture of the importance of adhering to such guidance.
A mentor’s principal role is to act as a reference point for proper or common behavior. Obi-Wan, though he had his own internal issues with the corrupt politics of the Jedi Order, played his role, acted in accordance with tradition and laws, displayed leadership qualities, and became one of the most esteemed masters. In the original trilogy, Obi-Wan shows Luke the ways of the Jedi, recanting stories of old, displaying his power when necessary, and giving Luke important advice along his journey.
It is, of course, the student’s role to follow their mentor’s guidance by internalizing their teachings and mimicking their behavior. While Anakin fails to do so, Luke eventually succeeds, willingly sacrificing his ego for a greater purpose. If you’re willing to learn and grow like Luke, you want an Obi-Wan to show you his ways so you can follow suit.
Finding the Right Mentor
In works of fiction, the protagonist tends to stumble upon his/her mentor as an act of fate. While this can happen in reality, finding the right mentor usually takes some effort. Leaders who want to improve their skills might enroll in executive coaching programs to learn from multiple mentors. Or, leaders can actively seek advice from those with more experience. Even if you don’t build a strong relationship with this person, you’re participating in the role of student, and they the role of teacher.
The truth is, you can’t force any kind of relationship, whether it’s with a business advisor or a significant other. If your Obi-Wan is out there, you will naturally build this connection. You simply have to show a willingness to learn. Ask questions whenever possible, go to more networking events if the opportunity arises, and take on more responsibilities as long as you can handle them. This will draw Obi-Wan-like figures to you naturally, as they will see your potential, passion, and spirit.Read More
By now, most of us are familiar with the bad leader trope. Shows and movies like The Office and Horrible Bosses parody the worst possible qualities a boss could have, some of which may ring true to life. These so-called leaders lack empathy, fail at communicating, speak rashly, micromanage, and unwittingly abuse their employees. As a result, their employees become bitter, resentful, indifferent, or too distracted to do a good job.
While we clearly see what makes for poor leadership, it’s a bit less clear to discern what employees truly want in their leaders. Interestingly enough, we can find these answers by looking at the inverse behavior of these awful fictional bosses. The best leaders exhibit qualities that actually encourage employees to work harder. Let’s examine why by looking at five of the most in-demand leadership skills.
A good leader shouldn’t lie to or hide things from his/her employees. There are of course exceptions when it comes to confidential information. But in general, leaders must be as transparent as possible. This means giving honest feedback to staff, admitting mistakes when they occur, and letting everyone in on new goals, developments, and challenges. Any HR business consultant can tell you that a leader who exhibits honesty will encourage honesty in employees, creating an open atmosphere where problems aren’t bottled up to fester and burst.
Like honesty, responsiveness involves maintaining a clear line of communication between leaders and employees. Leaders must be able and willing to hear concerns and criticism from employees and then act on them. Bad leaders always think they’re in the right and scoff at negative feedback while doling it out. Good leaders accept any and all feedback and take action to resolve problems, whether or not they’re responsible for them to begin with. When employees see that their leaders truly listen to them, they’ll want to listen to their leaders as well.
Clear Instructions and Feedback
When consulting a business advisor to improve your company’s operations, they’ll probably indicate the importance of clarity. Clear instructions and guidelines help everyone do their job better. There should always be some flexibility, of course. But overall, employees will work harder and do a better job if they know exactly what they’re doing and why. If things aren’t completely clear or someone makes a mistake, they should also receive descriptive and constructive criticism to prevent these errors in the future. The best leaders train their employees with precise, coherent instructions, giving them helpful tips, corrections, and methods along the way.
Trust and Independence
If a leader has displayed honesty and trained his/her people well, employees should be trusted to do their job with little interference. According to business consulting services and employees, micromanagement is one of the least helpful and most annoying methods of leadership to deal with. Whether employees work in teams or alone, they want to be left to their work and trusted to do it well. If they have questions, they should feel comfortable enough to approach their leaders. Leaders should trust their people enough to not have to check in every half hour and pull them away from their work.
Employees want to work for someone who cares, not only about them but about the work being done. Indifference and cynicism can become highly contagious and negatively affect the entire workplace. Likewise, positive energy, devotion, and excitement can spread even faster. Even if not all employees share the same level of passion as their leaders, they will naturally feel better about their work if they encounter this energy. Of course, effective leadership doesn’t mean ignoring bad things when they happen, but remaining positive and seeking solutions rather than dwelling on the negative.
You may notice that the fictional bosses mentioned earlier carry none of these qualities, at least not until the final act. And to be fair, some of these skills can be difficult to hone, which is why executive coaching programs can come in handy. These programs help leaders develop skills such as responsiveness and transparency. Things like passion can’t necessarily be taught, but they can be expressed in helpful ways. Employees will naturally work harder for leaders with these qualities and will develop leadership traits of their own. Leadership Resources provides tools for leaders as they grow to become even better. Contact us here to learn more.Read More