The field of Executive Leadership Development is crowded and conflicted. Not only are there more “experts” out there than ever before, touting more theories than we’ll ever need, but there is a new paradigm of leadership emerging. The old profit-at-any-cost way of doing business is losing ground to concepts like “values-driven leadership” because that old standard is setting new benchmarks on the scale of failure.
And, the old “go-it-alone” mentality about leadership is morphing because studies are making it clearer and clearer that using coaches and consultants typically yields between 150% and 689% return on investment. Executive coaching and consulting options have exploded, making executive development a maze of conflicting choices. So how do you sort through it all to find the right match for your leadership development needs?
The data is clear that building values into your leadership infrastructure creates a solid foundation for reaching and staying at the top of your game. Finding coaches and consultants who know how to capitalize on values is the most effective way to not only develop as a professional but to also develop your entire organization to be more profitable, have higher retention rates, more innovation, and optimum stakeholder loyalty.
Executive development is a lot like athletic development. More and more successful leaders are finding out what Olympians have always known: you don’t hire a coach or consultant because you’re weak. Quite the contrary. Just like Olympians don’t hire coaches to fix broken ankles, [business leaders] are realizing that there’s nothing like ongoing coaching to keep you on the cutting edge.
No matter how good the method, there is no standard executive training that can address any one leader’s unique situation. Coaching for executive development isn’t just about teaching or training – it’s about maintaining the same kind of “leaderful” edge that Olympic winners do. Even after reaching the gold, Olympians go right back to work with their coaches because a winning mindset is always expanding its frontiers.
Good coaches know exceptional development, executive or athletic, isn’t an endgame; it’s more an evolutionary process – more like a carrot and stick than a destination. Good leaders coach to problem solve or to reach specific goals but great leaders never stop developing their vision and never stop improving their games.
Great leaders build dynamic cultures based on a full spectrum of values ranging from strong financials to strong corporate citizenship. Hiring an executive coach who understands the value of values is an efficient and cost-effective way to stay at the leading edge.