“Lonely at the top” resonates with CEOs

Interesting results of a study conducted by Stanford Graduate School of Busines.

  • CEOs are the ones looking to be coached – When asked “Whose decision was it for you to receive coaching?” 78% of CEOs said it was their own idea. Twenty-one percent said that coaching was the board chairman’s idea. Mr. Miles sees this as a positive trend: “Becoming CEO doesn’t mean that you suddenly have all the answers, and these top executives realize that there is room for growth for everyone. We are moving away from coaching being perceived as ‘remedial’ to where it should be: something that improves performance, similar to how elite athletes use a coach.”
  • Coaching “progress” is largely kept private – More than 60% of CEOs responded that the progress they are making in their coaching sessions is kept between themselves and their coach; only a third said that this information is shared with the board of directors. “As coaching is starting to lose its ‘stigma,’ more of this secrecy is being removed,” says Mr. Miles. “Although much of the coaching discussion should be treated confidentially,” Professor Larcker adds, “keeping the board informed of progress can improve CEO/board relations.”
  • How to handle conflict ranks as highest area of concern for CEOs – When asked which is the biggest area for their own personal development, nearly 43% of CEOs rated “conflict management skills” the highest. “How to manage effectively through conflict is clearly one of the top priorities for CEOs, as they are juggling multiple constituencies every day,” says Mr. Miles. “When you are in the CEO role, most things that come to your desk only get there because there is a difficult decision to be made — which often has some level of conflict associated with it. ‘Stakeholder overload’ is a real burden for today’s CEO, who must deftly learn how to negotiate often conflicting agendas.”
  • Boards eager for CEOs to improve talent development – The top two areas board directors say their CEOs need to work on are “mentoring skills/developing internal talent” and “sharing leadership/delegation skills.” “The high ranking of these areas among board respondents shows a real recognition of the importance of the talent bench,” says Professor Larcker. “Boards are placing a keener focus on succession planning and development, and are challenging their CEOs to keep this front and center. However, there is still a long way to go in the area of succession planning for most companies, especially as you get further down the reporting structure.”
  • Top areas that CEOs use coaching to improve: sharing leadership/delegation, conflict management, team building, and mentoring. Bottom of the list: motivational skills, compassion/empathy, and persuasion skills. “A lot of people steer away from coaching some of the less tangible skills because they are uncomfortable with touching on these areas or really don’t have the capability to do it,” says Mr. Miles. “These skills are more nuanced and actually more difficult to coach because many people are more sensitive about these areas. However, when combined with the ‘harder’ skills, improving a CEO’s ability to motivate and inspire can really make a difference in his or her overall effectiveness.”

Stanford GSB

Why CEOs Don’t Want Executive Coaching?

Most CEOS omit or misconstrue the core coaching element that they need to grow their skills and effectiveness: Increased self-awareness, honest self-knowledge, about one’s motives, personality capacities and values. The consequences of this absence play out in ways that diminish the relevance of coaching in the eyes of most senior leaders.  Self-awareness is crucial to leadership and it can be heightened through coaching. To explain why and how, consider the obvious but insufficient explanation for the paradox that CEOs want coaching but don’t pursue it. Stephen Miles, CEO of the Miles Group, that partnered with Stanford on the study, pointed out that to CEOs, “coaching is somehow “remedial” as opposed to something that enhances high performance, similar to how an elite athlete uses a coach.” Moreover, CEO’s say they’re most interested in such skills as conflict management and communication. Yet they put the need for compassion, relationship and persuasion skills far down on their list. They think of the latter as “soft skills,” ancillary at best.

 

source: Huffington Post

The negative effects of criticism

Criticism does not just have a negative and lasting impact when it comes to reviews of actors. The same impact is felt in the business world as well. How can leaders expect to get the best out of people when criticism permeates our business culture? There are ways to turn it around and it’s called “constructive direction”, a unique spin on getting your point across without being destructive.

 

 

Source: CBS News

 

Get the most out of executive coaching

Well thought out tips for someone considering hiring an executive coach. The process is very participative. It’s not a cakewalk but the rewards could be the difference between success and mediocrity.

Get The Most Out of Executive Coaching

Source: HBR

What is executive coaching about?

Coaching is about “partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.”  This is the essence of the relationship.   I feel strongly that everyone has the answers inside them but a coach is frequently needed to ask the right questions to draw them out. Thats the special mentor-mentee relationship.

So what Is Executive Coaching?

Source: Fox Business