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  • Writer's pictureShari Gibbons

Executive Coaching: Beyond Tactics, Towards Transformation

Updated: 7 days ago



The road to the C-suite is paved with both technical challenges and adaptive challenges. Technical challenges have clear solutions – mastering a new software system, crafting a persuasive presentation. Adaptive challenges are more complex – navigating a company merger, fostering a culture of innovation, becoming less controlling, pleasing others, or self-protecting.


Great leaders excel at tackling all types of challenges, but here's where executive coaching shines.


Immunity to Change: The Hidden Barrier

Executive coaches, familiar with frameworks like Robert Kegan and Lisa Lahey's Immunity to Change, help leaders identify their unconscious patterns that hold them back. Imagine an executive struggling with power dynamics, delegating, or Imposter Syndrome – a nagging belief of inadequacy despite achievements. A coach could help unearth the root cause – maybe a fear of failure instilled in childhood. By surfacing their self-protective strategies and limiting beliefs driving this "immunity" to change, the executive can expand their complexity of mind and unlock their true potential.


Coaching for Promotion: Beyond Skills and Experience

Executive coaching goes beyond simply fine-tuning technical skills for a promotion. A coach can help an aspiring leader assess their Leadership Circle Profile (LCP). The LCP identifies a leader's reactive tendencies (e.g., micromanaging, pleasing, arrogance, critical) and creative competencies (e.g., strategic thinking, systemic thinking, courageous authenticity, relationship building). A coach can then create a development plan that strengthens creative competencies and mitigates reactive tendencies, equipping the leader for the demands of the next level.


Recovering from Missteps: A Second Chance at Success

Executives can stumble – a failed product launch, a public relations nightmare, dysfunctional team dynamics or failing to achieve their KPIs. Executive coaching fosters resilience and insights that will help the executive grow beyond these types of challenges. A coach can help a leader explore the underlying behaviors contributing to this undesirable outcome. By creating a path for change, the leader can learn, adapt, and emerge stronger, ready to regain trust and navigate future challenges.


From Friction to Flow: Cultivating Effective Leadership

Leadership teams can become dysfunctional, with communication breakdowns and interpersonal friction affecting performance. Executive coaching, informed by models like the LCP and the systemic thinking included in systemic team coaching training, can help executives identify their reactive tendencies and how they clash with others. Through coaching, the executive can cultivate creative competencies for effective communication, collaboration, and conflict resolution. The result? A executive that can build a team that functions as a well-oiled machine, driving the organization forward.


Investing in Transformation, Not Just Tactics

Executive coaching is more than just learning new techniques. It's a transformative journey of self-discovery and growth. By helping leaders address the underlying behaviors that hinder them and bringing forward tools to navigate their immunity to change, the right coach can empower leaders to tackle both technical and adaptive challenges, propelling them to achieve peak performance. So, on your path to the C-suite, remember, a great coach can be your secret weapon – a guide who helps you not just climb the ladder, but transform yourself into the leader you were meant to be.

 

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