Nov 082014

Dr. Earl R. Smith II

Good leadership coaching provides direction and guidance, support and counsel, during an executive’s personal development efforts. Personal growth accelerates with the support of a coach. My coaching engagements are fast tracks to improvement. One client described them as “coaching on steroids”.

Leadership coaching is about more than lifestyle or quality of life. The aim is to help you make lasting, positive changes in your leadership style. The best type of coach helps you set your sights on the important changes. They brainstorm with you and provide suggestions and guidance. They stay with you until you have successfully made the changes and turned them into habits.

Leadership-development poses many challenges. Each challenge represents a door – the other side of which is a new world. A few examples of these challenges are:

  • identifying your strengths and weaknesses
  • deciding on what needs to be worked on first or the most
  • identifying priorities to be developed aggressively
  • setting goals and establishing metrics
  • planning the steps to achieve each goal
  • discovering your hidden talents
  • remaining on track and never giving up

In my role as a leadership coach, I work closely with my clients through the temporary moments of excitement, despair and discouragement. I help them return to course when the rest of their life sidetracks them. I make sure they keep focused on their goals.

Personal growth and leadership development is a path that is best traveled with an experienced guide. Support is extremely important to success. A coach can offer this and so much more!

In many of my leadership coaching engagements, the primary objective is achieving the personal growth that will allow career mobility. Some of my clients have stayed in jobs that they hate or in situations which make them miserable. They know that they are missing the joy that life has to offer them. They are also putting their own physical, emotional and mental health at risk. They are highly motivated to make changes.

All of my leadership-coaching clients want to improve – become better leaders. Some of them are motivated by personal reasons while others feel a need to contribute more to their company or organization. In the end, it does not matter what the motivation as long as it is strong and deeply felt.

Before beginning any leadership coaching engagement, I ask the client a series of thought provoking questions – give them some homework. Over the years, I have refined this list and it always gets them thinking in new ways. I also conduct a leadership assessment. This gives us a baseline on their strengths and weaknesses. It also allows us to develop a program that is based on their situation – not a one-size-fits-all program. We always start out by figuring where we are and then begin to plan where we are going.

Here is one of the assignments that I give new clients. “On a scale of 1 to 10, where 10 means that you are a being a good leader and 1 means that you are really more trouble than you are worth, where would you rank yourself today?” This gets them to focus on their leadership in a highly personal way. No matter what their answer, we work to improve that rating – and their perception of themselves as a leader. The process here is as important as the program. Leadership is a skill that can be learned and every leader can improve those skills.

If you want to learn more about leadership coaching, send me an e-mail and we will arrange a time to talk.

© Dr. Earl R. Smith II

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