At some point in our careers, most of us have worked with a leader who changed our lives. A leader who pushed us, understood us, inspired us! A leader who we observed and thought, “When I get to that level in my career, I want to lead like that.”

Now you’re a leader yourself, and you’re seeing that it’s not so simple. Maybe you’re struggling with the specifics of your organization. Maybe you feel overwhelmed with the pressure of your role. Maybe you just know that you could be having a much bigger impact, but you’re not sure how.

What qualities make a life-changing leader? And how can you embody those qualities in a way that feels authentic to you?

You did not force anything but planted the seeds which we cultivated together. Today, I’m in a better place professionally and personally.

Attorney, Individual Executive Coaching client

I work with executives who want to realize their full potential as leaders.

Through six months of coaching, experimentation, and evaluation, we will identify and prioritize goals, develop a plan for achieving them, and solve any problems or challenges that emerge along the way. In addition to goal-directed work, learning occurs as we work through real-time, on-the-job challenges that emerge during the coaching engagement. And throughout our time together, we will take advantage of opportunities to build self-awareness as well as interpersonal and leadership skills.

How do I find the right executive coach?

Coaching is first and foremost a trusting, supportive partnership between coach and client. I encourage potential clients to interview more than one coach before committing to a relationship; you will be spending a lot of time talking about important (and often confidential) issues with this person. Choose a coach with a proven track record whose process is sound, but also take time to ensure you feel comfortable and at ease when interacting with him/her.

How Will we work together?

The purpose of coaching is to help a client become more effective, productive, and fulfilled. Coaching may take place through face-to-face, virtual, or telephone sessions over a six-month time span. No two coaching processes look exactly the same because every client is unique; my job is to meet each client “where he or she is.”

The basic phases of a coaching

engagement are

1. Kickoff Session

This session offers us the opportunity to get to know each other. Topics at this session are likely to include your work history, what leads you to seek coaching, the goals you want to achieve and any questions you have.

2. Assessment

The purpose of the assessment phase is to identify strengths and developmental needs. At the end of the assessment phase, we will understand your strengths, gaps in your knowledge and skills, thought patterns and behaviors that are holding you back, and the system in which you work. This step may include verbal interviews with direct reports, peers, managers, and others in your work environment.

3. Identify Coaching Goals

Coaching goals emerge from the objectives you bring to the coaching process and the data we gather via the assessment process. As a starting point, we will identify the 1-2 goals likely to most significantly and positively impact your success.

4. Define Success

How will we know that the coaching process has been successful? Based on your goals and, potentially, input from your manager, we will define what success will look like at the end of the coaching process, including new behaviors, the way you will feel, and the way others will 
respond to you.

5. Design and Implement an Action Plan

Creating an action plan involves breaking your goals down into smaller weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly objectives that we will monitor at regularly scheduled meetings. An action plan may include experimenting with new ways of making decisions, solving problems, strategizing, seeking visibility, and/or interacting with others.

6. Measure Impact

The final phase of the coaching process determines how coaching has enhanced your performance and/or affected behavior change. This step may involve follow-up interviews with your assessment participants and/or a review of your coaching goals, an evaluation of the changes you’ve made, and your feelings about those changes.

I’m afraid I might have crawled under a rock and given up those many years ago without your advice, guidance and counsel.  

Banking Executive, Senior Vice-President, message sent 10 years after coaching ended

True success always feels authentic.

The coaching process is about finding new ways of being and acting that are aligned with who you are – not about incorporating a set of standard leadership behaviors that don’t fit you. At the end of the coaching process, you will have new skills, a slightly altered perspective, and a revived enthusiasm for your work. My goal is for you to feel prepared to take on whatever leadership challenge comes next.