It's Life Coaching Afterall
Executive Development - Coaching
Call it leadership coaching, executive performance, career planning....in the end, it is about life management
Strangely, the key issues they brought up are never really directly linked to leadership issues. All of them were distracted by none leadership issues but eventually affected their leadership performance or longevity.
The Team Leader
I remember that afternoon. We were in a hotel lounge, by the windows overlooking a breath-taking scenery. Holding back her tears, she said that she probably needs more therapy than coaching. I could sense a lot of angst in her, how she hated slow witted team members she has inherited but could not change that situation.
I recall she said, "it just seems that whenever you managed to solve one challenge, life would throw an even tougher challenges at your face. It's never ending.....and I'm so tired....". And tears rolled down her cheeks.
The General Manager
Ambitious and hopeful, but at the same time dismal at how come the good initiatives he implemented or the good ambitions he championed never seem to take place.
20 mins into the session, we landed at his family issues. It was a walk around the garden but we ultimately come back to his core. There was a pattern - the relationship between his father and mother, and how it ultimately held him back from spreading his wings in his career.
I have never been a General Manager of a business unit.....but in the end, his problems were close to home and heart than I was in an aha moment myself.
The Chief Operating Officer
He felt like a walking zombie, despite being one of the pioneer members who started up the company. He was instrumental to the founding, the developing and he is helming the growth of the company today.
As a foreigner to the country he resides and works in, he is popular and well regarded amongst the local employees. Unlike his foreign counterparts, he gets the trust, respect and privy to the local inner circles. So what's wrong?
He is losing interest in his job because he has been on the same position for too many years. Not quite helping the situation, he didn't believe in his superior. He was shafted a successor without being addressed what happens after his successor succeeded him. His boss, being a newer guy in the block, doesn't share the same values as the original core team. He is not secretly paving his exit plan. A leader with a wondering mind...
Global Regional Account Director
A leader in siege.
What turnout to be a promising career opportunity a year ago goes on to prove another - it's time to move on.
She left the organization after a good half decade with the organization. Soon, she was offered to be back to the organization, with a new global leadership position in Singapore. Little did she expect that she would be thrown into a total different operating culture. Whatever brought her success, could no longer take her forward. She used to have the magical touch with her clients but strangely, it just wouldn't work here is his new land. Her warm yet steady personality has won her great accolade amongst her subordinates in the past but it is simply not working here.
She was wondering whether it is the cultural issues, her own issues or what??
Over the coaching period, her leadership issues improved. But it got clearer that where her heart lies and what has been the key hurdle or "sucker" of her energy. She dislikes her team from her home country. They are the real underlying reasons to why she left in the first place. And with the coaching, she begin the see even clearer that she will never truly perform as long as the home team values and what she wants in life remain in conflict. On the last day of coaching, she made up her mind......
The New HR Manager
"I'm the new kid on the block. My goal is to make sure I'm well regarded as a credible and reliable manager".
This is by far the most decisive client.
He may be a manager but he is a functional head of a huge, prestigious local organization in the United States.
The story with him isn't a long a winding one. It almost has the flavour of an American drama - there are specific situations to each of our session, not unlike each episode of a sitcom. And the long session has a theme - a punishing perfectionist who has an inferiority complex. Who says only women suffers from that??
To all the stories above, there is a common theme - a disconnect between doing and feeling. That is actually the biggest dissonance in people in high positions in my opinion. And the coach's job really is to create this space and possibilities to lure those swept under emotions out, allowing the fears, sadness, insecurity, anger...to rear their heads and see some lights finally.
According to a Centre of Creative Leadership blog, "The 6 Essential Principles of Leadership Coaching", in all coaching, a lot of the same rules of thumb apply:
In the end, we all wearing multiple hats of a leader, executive, brother, sister, friend, teacher, mentor, student.....in the end, we are all human and it's all about the alignment of our head to hearts.
In the end, it's life coaching afterall.
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