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Leadership Development
Part 1 of 4

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Why do executives like you need leadership development or coach­ing? Based on research conducted with 1,000 executives, it was found that approximately 40 percent of newly appointed leaders prove to be disappointing, are terminated, or leave the job voluntarily within 12 to 18 months of their appointment.

This article presents a new model that enables you to look for "evi­dence" points you exhibit, determine which type of imprint you are heading towards leaving, and get coaching to leave the appropriate imprint, preferably one where you leave "footprints," or a legacy that cannot easily be reversed.


Complex management jobs usually take executives about 2-1/2 years to fully learn. Today, there are few executives with that amount of time available to them. However, the first 80 percent of that learning pro­cess can be accelerated. Executives can leverage a leadership develop­ment system, including coaching, to enable this 80 percent. Highly skilled consultants are a good source of support in this area.

In a survey of 726 directors on the cause for removal of CEOs, Korn/Ferry found that 73 percent were removed due to ineffective lead­ership. This should be enough incentive to pursue or supplement your development and seek out a coach.

Leadership Development System

As shown in figure 1, a leadership development system can be thought of as consisting of five components: (1) training, (2) education, (3) experience, (4) career plans, and (5) coaching.


The concept of coaching is bringing out the best in people. The first English use of the word "coach" occurred in the 1500s to refer to a particular kind of carriage. So, the root meaning of the verb "to coach" is to convey a valued person from where he or she is to where he or she wants to be. Today, that's still a good definition for the coaching you should receive.

Coaching Drivers and Barriers

As shown in figure 2, you can think of coaching in terms of drivers and barriers. Key drivers for executives seeking coaching typically in­clude seeking additional expertise, testing ideas, discussing alterna­tives, and confidentiality. Executives typically set themselves apart, and their people expect them to be perfect. Key barriers to coaching for some executives include ego, being blind to the need, having an unwillingness to focus on weaknesses, and being unable to ask for help. Executives also resist coaching because they think their personality is going to be called into question. In addition, there is no sense of ur­gency for coaching given other schedule demands.

In today's times of organizational change, it is important for execu­tives to have a lot of clarity about themselves and how others see them. You must understand the effect you have before you can do something. Most executives find coaches that help them see the areas they need to grow as very useful.

Performance Coaching Process

What can you expect? The performance coaching process is a two-phased, eight-step process. As shown in figure 3, the pre-coaching phase consi sts of four steps: (1) identify need and agree on intervention, (2) se­lect external consultant, (3) administer self-assessment, and (4) admin­ister 360-degree assessments. Steps one and two of this phase are ini­tially internally facilitated; the balance of the pre-coaching phase is externally facilitated by a consultant coach.

To Be Continued


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