Oct 122014

Dr. Earl R. Smith II

Foundations are important – and nowhere more so than when preparing for a career of success. Starting construction with the second story only makes it certain that the structure will fall when the winds start to blow.

For the successful executive, the learning process never stops. The world itself is a school and we learn daily. Acquaintances, colleagues and adversaries teach us lessons about how to succeed in life. Occasionally we have the good luck to meet an enlightened person who takes the time to teach us. A major part of my coaching practice involves just such teaching. Some call it mentoring – others leadership coaching – I refer to it as success coaching because it contributes to the ability of my clients to lead a more successful and fuller life. Success coaching involves finding a guide who supports you to bring along the great journey of discovery that is life. With such support, you gradually come to realize your capability, resourcefulness and personal genius.

Success coaching magnifies all of the other areas of coaching that I engage in. A client that has made the journey of discovery is much more likely to advance in other areas such a leadership, management and personal growth. They become much more valuable to the businesses that they are involved with. Business establishments need to have highly trained professionals, fit for the job in right positions. They need managers of enviable personality and great leadership styles. They have to be committed towards the goal-set of the company and motivate their co-employees in achieving the same. However, they also need people who understand how to succeed and how to teach others to succeed as well.

I worked with a company on an organizational level engagement. The CEO was committed to the development of her key team members. Although the client was the company and the principal point of contact the CEO, I worked with every member of the senior team. I organized a series of seminars, brain storming sessions and one-on-one sessions. We focused on the process of discovery – discovery and development of skills and abilities. The sessions were high energy and highly productive. We completed the ‘success coaching’ engagement prior to shifting to the executive and organizational focuses. In other words, we reinforced the foundation before we starter to renovate the house.

As their success coach, I called upon my skill in assessing people and my judgment about the best ways to identify and develop potential. As we made progress, the levels of enthusiasm for the process increased greatly. Here are some of the things we accomplished:

  • We put the executives, staff members, senior managerial cadres on fast track developmental programs. We helped the managers of the company to become dynamic leaders.
  • We continuously challenged the current thinking – particularly groupthink. As the executives went through the program, they began to understand their own follies and eliminate them.
  • Communication gap were identified and spanned – then reduced and eliminated. They became better at understanding the process of communication.
  • Leaders began to evolve more quickly. They began to act as coordinators of their co employees. The old style of dictatorial leadership began to disappear. The one that replaced it stimulated a harmonious functioning that better supported the growth of the company and their personal growth. Leaders no longer misused their position and power to enforce their mindset on the team. Instead, they encouraged their team members towards progress and created a cheerful atmosphere in work environment.

Within a very short time, the company’s performance improved significantly. Moreover, this was before we had begun the executive, leadership and organizational coaching. We had not even started the coaching that most companies begin with – and the improvements were already clearly visible. This is because the success coaching helped each team member to widen their personal vision regarding his own life and the future of the company and to understand better their value to the company and to themselves. Each grew to be a self-motivated, inspired and creative person. They attained a self-understanding and self-discipline that allowed them to more productively participate in the team.

An additional benefit came from the fact that individuals who had completed the success-coaching program were able to gain significantly more from the executive, leadership and organizational coaching programs that followed. As their relationship skills improved and their self-understanding increased, they became leaders that are more charismatic and more engaged as team members. The effect on the organization was electric.

I highly recommend this ‘first step’ in organizing a coaching program. I will magnify the returns of subsequent expenditures and accelerate the development of team members. On both fronts, success coaching is a force multiplier.

© Dr. Earl R. Smith II

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