Why should self-made corporate leaders require coaching?
If leaders are made and not born, who or what makes them? Many leaders take pride that it is their own hands coupled with guts and grit which form the success which they experience today.
Why then should successful corporate leaders require coaching when most of them should be coaching others?
Why should a capable leader pay good money to listen to an outsider telling him or her how to run the business or manage his or her life?
Here’s the best-kept secret of corporate coaching:
Corporate leaders who are looking for sustainable success have a regular sounding board which reminds them that there is no such thing as a well-rounded leader.
From a BBC interview with Usain Bolt after he won the 100m final, we learnt that Bolt is not a good starter. He’d been worrying about this, trying to improve his start, trying to react quicker and get out of the blocks ahead of his rivals. And all this worry was tensing him up and making him run worse.
Until his coach said to him:
“Forget about the start. You’ll beat them when you get into your stride. For you, it is the second half of the race that matters.”
And when he realised that, and let go of the desire to put everything right, he was fine. More than fine: he was 9.63 seconds.
Many leaders are worried about not being a good enough “starter”, constantly trying to improve gaps and weaknesses. While we cannot neglect weaknesses, the coaching focus should be on strengths – just like the type of coaching that Bolt received.
Leaders who focus on their strengths and create opportunities every day are six times more engaged and three times as likely to have a higher quality of life in general.
As a leader, here’s the best question you can ask yourself today:
Do I have a strengths-based coach who has an objective and scientifically-validated approach to amplify my strengths instead of constantly focusing on my weakness?
Each of us has a race to run.
To run (and finish) this race well, we cannot afford to be distracted by our weaknesses. Any help we can get which focuses on our strengths is well worth the investment of time and effort.
Joseph Tan is CEO of Leaderonomics Good Monday. His passion is to work with performance-focused leaders to capture the hearts and minds of their employees through a strengths-based and accountability-driven approach. Much of what is shared in the article above comes from his work as a Gallup-certified strengths coach. If you would like to engage him to enhance the engagement level of your organisation, email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details. For more Consulting Corner articles, click here.
First appeared on Leaderonomics.com. Published in English daily The Star, Malaysia, 6 June 2015