How Every Leader Can Benefit From Executive Coaching

Ken Larson

Ken Larson

What is the value of executive coaching?

Executive coaching has never been more critical for leaders. The world at large, and our respective worlds as individuals, have become increasingly complicated — too complicated for anyone to “go it alone.”

We no longer live in a world where a single leader can independently and successfully run and grow a business. That world is gone in a big way. 

Interdependence has replaced independence as the driving force. Like your favorite rock band or classical orchestra, synchronized and aligned teamwork creates harmony, singing of mutual attachment to a common and powerful purpose. 

In response, culture has taken on fundamental importance. It’s become the foundation of every organization, and that foundation needs to be strong. Culture has to be much more than a plaque on the wall in reception. Team members from top to bottom need to live their organization’s values, visibly and daily.

To spearhead this, leaders need to come to the table with high levels of honesty and humility and a willingness to be vulnerable. Ongoing learning is key, and so is a consistent application of that knowledge. 

So, how do you become that Chief Culture Officer? How do you stand up as Chief Growth Officer, the example everyone wants to follow? How do you grow, personally and professionally, reaching the position to grow your business? Lastly, what do you need to learn?

Whatever your intended destination, executive leadership coaching can help get you there. Consider the following 10 benefits of executive coaching.

1. Heightened Self-Awareness

Leadership demands heightened self-awareness. Good leaders need to understand themselves and how they interact with the world around them. After all, everything they say and do in a professional capacity affects their organizations. They need to have a higher than average awareness of their:

  • Position within the organization
  • Current leadership skill level
  • Strengths and weaknesses

These qualities are impossible to fully understand with only your own perspective. It’s nothing personal — no one can see themselves clearly without their viewpoint being at least somewhat tainted. They don’t yet have the skills to broaden their scope, but they can develop those abilities with a coach’s aid.

A coach has the external perspective and objectivity to see a client clearly, without bias. They observe, listen, and ask questions the client wouldn’t think to ask themselves. They gain clarity on how clients’ words and actions impact the business, and how others in the business affect how the client leads. 

Through their work with the coach, the client increases their awareness of themselves, their teams, and their business, gaining a new ability to understand what’s going on in the wider world. 

You can only get that kind of awareness when an outside coach comes in with fresh eyes, a new perspective, and the experience of working with other leaders.

2. Deeper Self-Discovery

Few skills are more beneficial to the 21st-century leader than a deep knowledge of oneself. Self-awareness is part of the picture, but self-discovery goes a step deeper. It’s less about understanding your interactions and more about knowing who you are as a person — what’s important to you, what your goals are, and what you value. 

Self-discovery is also about exploring how you spend your time and energy. How you invest those precious resources says a lot about what drives you. A coach can help you connect what you do to what you believe, helping you use your values to drive positive change.

These conversations are particularly important in trying times. When things get difficult, many people shut down. They respond to stress by ceasing to interact meaningfully with the world around them. Others get stuck in routines, doing the same thing every day and denying themselves the opportunity to innovate.

Good leaders avoid these temptations. Instead, they use hardships as incentives to develop themselves and their businesses. This emotionally and mentally challenging approach is only possible if you know yourself and what you want from life, work, and your business. 

It takes effort, but it pays off exponentially. Not only can you take a more proactive approach, but you inspire your people to do the same.

3. Refined Communication Skills

Unless you know your communication style, it’s terribly hard to connect with others. Leaders need to understand how they communicate so they can adjust their approach to suit the situation and the other person’s needs.

As a leader, you need to know three things in any interaction:

  • What are your communication skills and preferences?
  • What are the other person’s communication skills and preferences?
  • What approach does the situation call for?

Leaders need to be able to adjust their communication style in a moment based on what gets results. If you talk too much, the other person won’t feel seen, heard, and understood, and the conversation won’t work. It also won’t work if you don’t talk enough or start rambling because you haven’t thought about what to say.

You need to be able to gauge the situation and adjust your communication style accordingly. Executive leadership coaching gives you the skills you need to do just that.

4. Startling Clarity on All Topics

Clarity is king. Without it, leaders have nothing.

It’s a bold statement but it comes from truth. As a leader, you need the capacity to make that kind of unwavering assertion and back it up with insight. This is what clarity offers.

Leaders need startling, blinding clarity on every possible topic. With true clarity, we can finally make the kind of informed, unbiased decisions that grow our organizations and benefit our people.

But if we neglect the pursuit of clarity, we can only make decisions from our limited internal perspectives, flip-flopping all over the place like a fish on the deck of a boat. Making decisions from that ungrounded, unsettled place is extremely risky. 

Obtaining clarity through coaching is the best way to mitigate that risk and make better decisions. A coach helps you see things from all possible angles to understand the next best step.

5. Regular, Applicable Leadership Breakthroughs

As leaders, we want our teams and businesses to grow. To make that happen, we need to do the same thing.

You drive growth as a leader by identifying two things:

  • The next necessary breakthrough
  • The steps your organization needs to get there

Does your team need to make breakthroughs around communication? Strategic planning? Taking care of yourselves and the organization? The goal itself is less important than always making strides.

The same goes for your leadership. You always need to break through barriers, even in small ways. In fact, small breakthroughs are often better than large ones because they’re easier to repeat. Small breakthroughs can become a habit, and that habit becomes part of your leadership DNA. 

Instead of making giant breakthroughs every few years, strive to make minor ones routinely. A coach can help you do that.

6. Greater Levels of Self-Confidence

At Champion PSI in Calgary, we understand that the leader’s energy enters the room before the leader does. Too often, leaders walk in with a lack of self-confidence or a lack of clarity on what to do next. They’re not sure what to do with the leadership team or the business. They can convince themselves that no one sees, but everyone does, at least subconsciously.

Executive leadership coaching can change that. Instead of presenting yourself as unsure, or perhaps arrogant, you can be the kind of confident leader everyone wants to follow.

To get you there, your coach will help you focus on what you’re doing well, identify where you need improvement, and build focused results. Your self-confidence builds naturally from this process.

You’ll see the results of your newfound self-confidence in how others react to you and in how you make decisions. You’ll notice the difference instantly the first time you have to make a choice in the spur of the moment. Instead of wavering, you’ll choose decisively and earn others’ respect.

7. Better Ideas, Options, and Alternatives

Here, we get into the progressive benefits of coaching. The previous six benefits grow out of early coaching, as you start to know yourself and the different ways you can approach the world. Once you’ve achieved growth in these six areas, you can sit down with a coach and learn more about the many ideas you could pursue, including ones you haven’t thought of.

With your coach, you’ll lay out all the options you could take. The coach can give you clarity on each of them, their costs and benefits, and what the alternatives might be. 

At this point, many leaders will point to something that’s broken. Coaches at Champion PSI Alberta will often respond with the concept of a coin flip. When the client has presented a “broken” idea, the coach will ask, “What’s the opportunity on the other side of that coin?” 

Most clients have never thought about options that way. But with the aid of a coach, they can come up with different and often better ideas, options, and alternatives.

8. Accountability Skills and Tools

This is a big one. If a leader doesn’t hold themselves accountable, they can’t hold anybody else accountable. It’s a common problem among executive clients at Champion PSI, so coaches here know how to handle it. Your Champion PSI Calgary coach will help you develop skills and tools like writing things down and blocking off commitments into their schedules.

As those leaders develop accountability, they set the example for the rest of their team. Everyone starts to hold themselves accountable and the organization can accomplish more.

9. Greater Motivation and Inspiration

These eight accomplishments will give you maximum motivation to lead and get the job done. Once you have that motivation as a driver, you can do what’s much more important — inspire your team.

Good coaching helps you turn motivation into inspiration. You’ll learn what motivates you as a leader and how you can use that to inspire yourselves. Then, by extension, you can become an expert at inspiring your team. 

10. Action, Traction, and Momentum

Getting on track toward your goals takes a lot of time, effort, and even money. The more purposeful and intentional you are about the process, the more efficient it becomes. This is where coaching really starts to show its results.

In coaching, you assess what it will take to turn actions into traction. Action happens whenever something new happens or leaders add a new element to the strategic plan. Momentum is present when the results of those actions drive more growth, and traction is how you bridge the two.

Your coach can help you find the actions to get you there. Using your progress in the previous nine domains, they guide you to set your actions up for traction. Eventually, through a good rhythm of meetings and actions and accountabilities, you get good at it. You establish momentum and can tackle the next challenge — and the next one, and so on.

It takes time for that traction to get you “over the hump” and become momentum. When it does, it’s become a critical part of your operational DNA. It turns your actions, traction, and momentum into the elusive “That’s just what we do around here.” It makes your organization what it is, and will be.

Becoming the Best Version of Yourself

When you put each of these 10 achievements together and you get results — for the individual, team, and business. Your coach can help you do each of these things to the highest level possible, which means you’ll get the strongest possible results.

Of course, to be useful and repeatable, those results need to be measured against your goals. A coach can help you set those goals and track your progress. It’s a big task, but at Champion PSI in Calgary, we’ve done it successfully for many leaders just like you.

Learn more about how coaching works by reading 31 big questions about business coaching and executive coaching or explore what to expect from your world-class executive coach.

Ready to get started now? Schedule a free 30-minute call with one of our experts. Your top-level results are waiting.