Leadership Performance Coaching
WHY Leadership Performance Coaching Is Essential
“There are only two types of leaders: effective and ineffective”
___Jocko Willink, Extreme Ownership
Before we can answer why leadership performance coaching is so indispensable and important for your
- individually adapted
- and data-driven development
I may first ask you the following three questions to find out whether you are an effective leader:
Intension vs. OutcomeDo you always have the very best intentions with your people, but you usually end up with sometimes completely different results, not really target-oriented in contrast to what you actually wanted?
Self-efficacy & OwnershipDo you most of the times feel powerless in the face of circumstances that you seem unable to control or manage?
Humility & CourageDo you often get the impression that if everyone was as passionate, competent and determined as you are, it would solve just about every question and problem?
HOW Did You Answer Those Questions?
90% of leaders answer with 'yes' 1-3 times...
There’s good news and bad news. Ready for a hard truth?
If you have answered “YES” to just one of the three questions, you are most likely not an effective leader.
The good news is that if you are one out of the 90% it is up to you alone to change all this! The only questions that remain to be answered are whether you really want to do this and how you can achieve the improvement? (By the way, already the first wonderful question for a coaching session…)
All beginnings are hard… they say. You know what? I’ll make it easy for you. My offer: Contact me today and receive a free and completely non-binding consultation on how coaching could look like for you and where we could start immediately.
WHY Leadership Is Everything In A VUCA World?
Even if there are still a few hardliners and conservatives who refuse to believe it, in the last few years we have taken the step into a completely new era of human and economic history. There is no doubt that today we live in a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world (VUCA). Movements such as the 4th Industrial Revolution, Digital Transformation or New Work are based on the core of the paradigm change in the general rules of the market and thus describe the challenges for companies to survive and strive in these markets, starting today at the latest.
In other words – the way markets and value creation used to work is over – once and for all! If company organizational structures led by “command & control” through rigid hierarchies were completely sufficient to meet the requirements of the market, these times are simply gone. The innovation cycles have become breathtakingly fast, the requirements of consumers and customers resemble a permanent Christmas wish list and customer loyalty and retention is no longer easy to map via a customer loyalty card, as it was possible to do successfully just 5-10 years ago. A Gallup study from 2017 found that 86% of all employees are “disengaged” or even “actively disengaged”. With such a situation, you as a company will have to struggle hard to get along anyhow. We’ll see how many companies will finally succeed in making the change required.
To make a long story short: Only those who succeed in creating an appropriate environment for employees and especially teams, where people feel safe, valued and supported will succeed in inspiring them for their cause and motivating them to fully develop their existing potential. This development of potential is the key to success for every project in the future and is ultimately the result of effective leadership.
“If you want to develop potential, you have to start at the very bottom. Everything begins on your doorstep, with the people, with yourself.”
___Prof. Dr. Gerald Hüther
Mind Your Personal Firewall
If ego clouds our judgement it becomes destructive – checking our ego and operating with a high degree of humility, admitting mistakes and taking ownership is essential for effective leadership. Our own ego can prevent conducting an honest and open assessment of our performance or of the team and most certainly prevents us from progressing and improving our skills as leaders.
Before we dive into the principles and beneficial behaviors of good leadership in Leadership Performance Coaching, we need to question and reflect on how your inner attitude towards people and your subordinates in general is and how much your ego guides and influences you. This awareness – in this case self-awareness – is the key to effective leadership. For the following principles and behaviors of effective leadership can only be effective if we give them meaning through our inner attitude and awareness and control over our own ego: Leadership is not only about mechanics & methodology but to a large extent about our personality and inner attitude.
Learning In Complex Environments
As described in the previous section, managers at all levels of the hierarchy find themselves in a complex, constantly changing, truly uncertain and ambiguous world. As nothing is clear anymore and even best practices and expert knowledge can’t help you any longer, you have to grope ahead in a constant cycle of “probe”, “sense”, “respond” – leadership performance coaching is your personal turbo-boost for exactly that. In the following I have outlined the three essential components for your personal learning and improvement in a VUCA world:
“In God we trust, all others must bring data.”
___W. Edwards Deming
This Is WHAT We Can Focus On
There are never “too few” topics for coaching. Nevertheless, it is useful to give the whole thing a clear and comprehensible structure, which allows us to break down the main principles and behaviours of effective leadership and to look at them individually. Thus we are not only able to determine your personal starting situation and optimize it on the timeline, but also to focus on the most important topics first in order to achieve effective and sustainable results quickly. Peter Drucker once said: „If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.“
Leadership has to do above all with mastering contrasts. Principles of effective leadership are easy to understand but not easy to implement. For this reason we use a clear scheme of three domains of leadership for your personal development as a leader:
Among the respective domains are the important behaviours that make up good leadership and the respective attributes that are dichotomously opposed to each other – i.e. one only “works and is good” if the other is also present to the right extent or not (depending on the situation).
So here is what we can work with in Leadership Performance Coaching to help you improve data-driven:
Are a coach & mentor to their people
1.1 Effective Leaders create awareness, give feedback and provoke thinking
but not miss to put strong focus on their own self-awareness, reflection and learning
Empower and do not micromanage
2.1 Leaders must be attentive to details
but not be obsessed by them (micro management / no autonomy)
2.2 Must be able to stand up for the team and respectfully push back
but not fail to recognize when the team can stand up for itself
Understand & transport the WHY / purpose
3.1 Leaders must have a clear understanding of where to go and actively communicate the WHY
but not become dogmatic and pigheaded once hypothesis proven wrong
Inspire people to bring in their full selves to work
4.1 They must possess humility and the ability to control their ego
but not be apathetic and disconnected
4.2 Leaders must appreciate the diversity of people
but not fail to prevent discrimination and exclusion
Role model to others and are supportive
5.1 Leaders must be close with subordinates
but not too close so a single person becomes more important than the team or the overall success
5.2 Leaders must show great interest in the further development of their people
but at the same time they make sure that individual ambitions do not weaken the team and cause frictions
Create an environment of safety, shared vulnerability and purpose
1.1 Leaders must create a learning and performing environment
but not maintain high standards with low level of psychological safety
1.2 Leaders must be strong in their respective areas of competency
but not miss to share their own insecurities and vulnerability with their team and others
1.3 Leaders must be humble and not try to take center stage at all times
but not be passive if actions are utterly required
Build relationships that create trust, demand candid conversation and provide full transparency
2.1 Leaders must be calm and control their emotions
but not be robotic and stay totally human at all times
2.2 They must admit failures and figure out a way to prevent them from happening again
but they must not try to blame someone else and point to others
Ensure clear roles and accountabilities
3.1 Leaders must outline the roles and how critical they are for successful mission accomplishment
but still remain flexible to change and adapt if required
Seek different perspectives
4.1 Encourage people to contribute ideas and learn from diversity
but not at the same time dominating the situation with own ideas and judgements
4.2 Leaders must act with professionalism and recognize others for their contribution to success
but don’t emphasize their own accomplishments in front of others
Resilience & adaptability
5.1 Leaders must be at least mentally strong and help to support in the right moment
but likewise have endurance if the road to success is a marathon
5.2 Leaders must respond fast to changes on any driving factors
but they must not overwhelm their people with constant change
Solve problems effectively
1.1 A leader must ensure that decisions are made in line with the objectives on the basis of data and facts
but that he or she does not act largely alone and politically motivated
1.2 Leaders must be confident and stick to her principles
but never be cocky and loose the ground underfoot
1.3 Leaders have a strong sense of urgency
but they do not fail to challenge it and help prioritize
Strong result orientation: Focus on goals by setting high standards
2.1 Leaders must be brave and try to achieve high outcomes
but not reckless to ignore the actual situation and environment of the team or of other parameters
2.2 Aggressive in setting objectives and defining results
but not overbearing, so they will not lose the will of the team to support them with this
2.3 Leaders must help to set focus on the most important things
but not lose sight of the bigger picture (perspective)
Assertiveness to drive outcomes and the ability to overcome adversity and resistance
3.1 Courageous to overcome adversity and resistance
but not be invested whole hearty
3.2 Leaders must have strong bottleneck orientation to maximize outcome and impact
but must not push their people to maximize output and to be constantly overloaded
3.3 Leaders create commitment to their work and that of their teams
but do not fail to remove necessary obstacles in time
Taking ownership & proving reliability
4.1 Leaders must exercise extreme ownership
but at the same time not forget to foster self-organization and give way for others to lead
4.2 Leaders must create a stable and consistent environment for employees in teams
but not constantly jeopardize this stability for short-term promises of benefits
4.3 Leaders ensure that risks are quickly and comprehensively identified, addressed and mitigated
but do not allow incurred risks to be used as an excuse for poor performance
Arbitrators and mediators
5.1 Leaders must ensure that conflicts are managed openly, fairly and constructively
but must not shy away from necessary confrontations and remain inactive
5.2 Leaders are careful to prevent conflicts from arising in the first place
but when a conflict is inevitable, they should not be unbalanced and biased