Are successful business leaders born, or are they made?
Great leaders often appear to find leadership effortless. Were they just lucky enough to be born with a leadership gene?
It’s unlikely. Successful leaders develop strategy, nurture innovation and motivate people. They know when to take risks and when to pull back. They understand how to work hard and how to accept mistakes.
No-one knows how to do all these things without also knowing how to seek and use support and feedback. Great leaders commit, with purpose and passion, to their own growth and development. Studies show that while personality can play a part in success, leaders are mostly made, not born.
Think about where you are now, and the success you’ve had so far. Have you achieved things by chance, or because you’ve worked, learned and committed yourself to success?
The best leaders are those who have practised leadership and taken active steps to develop their leadership skills.
Executive coaching can play a vital part in that development. Experienced coaches, like Jaimie Crooks, are used to working with leaders at the top of their game, and challenging them to do even better. So how exactly do they help? From her years of experience, Jaimie outlines the top three reasons where executive coaching can give you an edge.
It gives you an outsider’s point of view
As a leader, it can be difficult to get real, honest feedback from those around you. And it can be equally difficult to ask for it.
A good coach will look at where you are – your achievements, interactions and skills – and talk about them in a way that people close to you simply wouldn’t feel able to.
A coach may see potential where others do not and ask challenging questions that others cannot.
It may be that there are things you know you could benefit from an outsider’s view on. Coaching gives you the opportunity to talk about them without fear of repercussions. A coaching session is a safe space in which you know that nothing is off limits.
It helps you gain balance
Good leadership isn’t just about what happens in the office. It’s about everything that’s going on in your life. A good executive coach will take a holistic view, looking at your approach to nutrition, fitness, family and relationships as well as your work.
Leaders sometimes fail when they’re working so hard that they forget to nurture their home life or health. Leadership isn’t a discrete task with an endpoint, so being able to balance leadership with everything else is vital to avoiding burnout.
It helps you focus on your vision
Success doesn’t happen without a vision, but staying focused on that vision can be hard. How do you define your vision and set goals for achieving it while also dealing with constant everyday demands? It can feel impossible.
Coaching helps you cut through all the day-to-day noise and focus sharply on developing your vision and setting goals. They also provide a clear structure for accountability, with regular follow-up on the goals you’ve set and tasks you’ve committed to.
A good coach won’t be afraid to ask tough questions if your focus is slipping, while also providing empathetic support.