As a busy professional navigating the complexities of leadership, it's all too easy to get caught up in the daily grind and lose sight of our growth and development. We may face challenges and setbacks without realizing the untapped potential within us to overcome them. But what if I told you that the key to becoming a better leader and person lies within your grasp?

The Power of Self-Coaching: Three Key Benefits

Empowerment

"Continuous personal development is a cornerstone of success." - Jack Canfield

In today's fast-paced world, continuous development isn't just a luxury—it's a necessity. Research shows that individuals with a growth mindset are more likely to succeed personally and professionally. By embracing self-coaching, you empower yourself to take control of your growth journey, unlocking your full potential and achieving greater success.

Resilience

Did you know that 85% of successful leaders have a resilient mindset? (Source: HBR)

Resilience isn't just about bouncing back from adversity—it's about thriving in the face of it. Through self-coaching, you build the resilience needed to navigate leadership's inevitable ups and downs with grace and confidence. By reframing challenges as opportunities for growth, you emerge stronger and more resilient than ever before.

Positive Mindset

"Your mindset determines your success." - Carol S. Dweck

Our mindset has a profound impact on our reality. By cultivating a positive mindset through self-coaching, you open yourself up to a world of possibilities. Instead of dwelling on limitations, you focus on solutions and opportunities. By asking empowering questions and challenging assumptions, you shift your perspective from problem-focused to solution-oriented.

Practical Tips for Self-Coaching

Just last week, I had a conversation with a business owner struggling to find fulfillment in her work. The weight of responsibility had taken its toll, and she was stuck in a cycle of negativity and self-doubt. But she discovered a newfound sense of empowerment and clarity through the power of self-coaching.

By reframing her challenges as opportunities for growth and tapping into her inner resilience, she transformed her mindset and reignited her passion for her work. Her story serves as a powerful reminder of the profound impact that self-coaching can have on our lives and careers.

If you are ready to embark on your journey of self-discovery and personal growth, here are some actionable tips to get you started:

  1. Set aside dedicated time each day for self-reflection.
  2. Ask yourself meaningful questions that challenge your assumptions and spark new insights.
  3. Practice gratitude and self-compassion, recognizing the progress you've made and the strengths you possess.

As someone who has experienced the transformative power of self-coaching firsthand, I can attest to its profound impact on personal and professional growth. By embracing the practice of self-coaching, you empower yourself to unlock your full potential, cultivate resilience, and foster a positive mindset grounded in possibility.

Are you ready to take the first step on this journey of self-discovery? I invite you to subscribe to my newsletter and join me as we explore the power of intentional leadership practices and unlock the potential within ourselves and those we lead.

You don't have to navigate this journey alone. I'm here to support you every step of the way, cheering you on from the sidelines and serving as your accountability partner. Together, let's embrace the power of self-coaching and unleash our limitless potential.

Understanding Mid-Career Stagnation

Are you stuck in your career, questioning your path, and yearning for something more? You're not alone. I understand the complexities of mid-career stagnation all too well. I was there, and now, as an executive coach, I guide leaders through similar challenges. 

It's no secret that many leaders reach a point in their careers where the once-thrilling challenges lose their luster. The corporate landscape is riddled with stories of executives feeling uninspired and disconnected from their work. This sentiment is echoed in recent studies and podcasts by the top executive talent management and organizational development firms, such as McKinsey, Deloitte, Mercer, and Korn Ferryall shedding light on the reasons behind executive departures, including feelings of stagnation and a desire for greater autonomy.

But it's not all doom and gloom. Let’s delve into this phenomenon, using insights from data-driven trends and my personal journey, and give you some actionable strategies to reignite your passion and drive for success.

My Journey Through Mid-Career Stagnation

My experience navigating mid-career stagnation taught me invaluable lessons about mindset, resilience and intention. I was at a crossroads, grappling with the disheartening realization that my once-passionate leadership had waned, replaced by overwhelm and disillusionment.

It was during this challenging time that my own executive coach played a pivotal role in my journey. In one memorable session, she gently confronted me with an observation that shook me to my core.

Coach: “You sound a bit like a martyr.”

Me: “What the heck are you talking about?”

Her holding up the mirror to me helped me better understand that I had fallen into a pattern of blame, attributing my dissatisfaction to external factors rather than taking ownership of my own experience. Through this moment of insight, I realized that I had relinquished control over my situation and allowed myself to become a passive observer in my own life.

Through personalized coaching sessions, I discovered the power of reframing my current role as a sandbox for experimentation and innovation. Instead of succumbing to the allure of external opportunities, I learned to harness the resources and relationships to inject excitement and purpose into my daily work. This shift in mindset and proactive ownership of my career trajectory proved to be a game-changer.

Strategies for Success

Now, as an executive coach, I leverage a similar approach with my clients facing mid-career stagnation. Here are two strategies you can explore to reignite your passion:

  1. Reframing Your Current Position: Reframing your current position as a "sandbox": Instead of focusing on jumping ship or making bold changes prematurely, I encourage my clients to view their current roles as opportunities for growth and experimentation. By treating their current positions as sandboxes, they can explore new ideas, test innovative approaches, and inject excitement into their daily work.
  2. Taking Proactive Ownership of Your Career: I guide my clients to step out of the grind and envision their future trajectories. This involves mapping out how they want to add value in future roles, taking intentional steps to make those changes a reality, and reclaiming control over their career paths. By getting in the driver's seat and actively shaping their professional journeys, they can overcome boredom and rediscover fulfillment in their work.

Mid-career stagnation is a common challenge faced by leaders across industries, but it's not insurmountable.

Don't let mid-career stagnation hold you back any longer! Whether reframing your current roles as opportunities for growth or proactively mapping out your future trajectory, my goal is to empower you to reclaim your sense of purpose and reignite your professional journey.

Take the next step and work with me.

In the world of leadership, there comes a point in one's career when the term "executive presence" enters the conversation. It's that juncture when you find yourself with increased visibility in your organization, and suddenly, how people, including senior levels, perceive you becomes crucial. You receive feedback along the lines of, "You need to work on your executive presence," but what exactly does that mean? To complicate matters, there are numerous misconceptions surrounding this elusive quality.

Dispelling Myths About Executive Presence

During my time in the corporate world, I, too, grappled with the notion of executive presence. I believed that to exude executive presence, I needed to “act more like a man.” Over the years, I've coached male leaders who believed it meant impeccable grooming or dressing to impress. It's not uncommon for leaders to have these misconceptions, and often, the process of demystifying executive presence begins with understanding what it is not.

It's often easier for organizations to pinpoint when someone lacks executive presence—when an individual is overly reticent or excessively talkative, when emotions become a stumbling block, when punctuality or professionalism falters, or when nervous fidgeting or rambling takes over. These outward signs of unprofessional behavior, whether in appearance, language, or demeanor, are easier to identify. However, explaining what executive presence is can be a more nuanced challenge.

The Three Key Questions

Identifying executive presence is a personalized journey unique to each leader receiving feedback. One helpful approach is to consider three fundamental questions regarding how people perceive you:

  1. Do they believe you are of value or benefit?
  2. Do they want to engage with you or do business with you?
  3. Do they find you credible?

These questions prompt leaders to reflect on the alignment between their words and actions, a central aspect of authenticity. After all, authenticity is about being genuine and consistent in presenting yourself. It's not a facade or an attempt to mimic someone else's style; instead, it's about being true to your values, strengths, and personality.

The Role of Authenticity in Boosting Executive Presence

Authenticity plays a pivotal role in boosting credibility and fostering genuine connections, which, in turn, supports your executive presence. Here's how:

  1. Consistency in Words and Actions: Authentic leaders practice what they preach. Their actions align with their words, creating a sense of trustworthiness. Whether in challenging times or when the going is good, they maintain their authenticity, providing a solid foundation for how they are perceived.
  2. Genuine Engagement: Authenticity encourages leaders to be themselves, which promotes sincere interactions. When leaders show up as their authentic selves, it invites open, honest communication, making others more willing to engage and collaborate.
  3. Adaptable Authenticity: Authenticity isn't about being rigid. It's about understanding when to be assertive, when to be empathetic, and when to be visionary. Authentic leaders adapt their authenticity to different situations and stakeholders while staying true to their core values.
  4. Building Trust: is the bedrock of effective leadership, and authenticity is its cornerstone. When you consistently demonstrate authenticity, you build trust with your team, peers, and superiors, which is essential for cultivating a strong executive presence.

Remember that authenticity is not a one-size-fits-all concept in your journey to enhance your executive presence. It's about embracing who you are, understanding your unique strengths and values, and confidently bringing your true self to your role as a leader.

Take Action and Elevate Your Executive Presence

Here are some actionable steps to incorporate authenticity into your executive presence:

Executive presence is a dynamic quality that evolves with personal growth and self-awareness. By prioritizing authenticity in how you show up consistently and working on being more authentic, you'll not only elevate your executive presence but also leave a lasting, positive impact as a leader.

Ready to elevate your executive presence? Take the next step and work with me to enhance your authenticity and elevate your executive presence—and, in turn, your career. Together, we'll unlock your full leadership potential and help you leave a lasting, positive impact on your organization.

As an executive leadership coach who's walked the corridors of corporate leadership, I've witnessed the increasing demands placed on today's leaders and the increased importance of prioritization in leadership. The relentless pursuit of results, the pressure to meet higher expectations, and the evolving dynamics of the modern workforce present challenges that demand a fresh perspective. It’s time to consider a seemingly paradoxical concept—finding ways to "care less"—and how it can unlock a leader's capacity to care more about what truly matters.

The Landscape of Modern Leadership

In a world where job satisfaction is declining, and the workforce is grappling with the stresses of returning to the office or navigating hybrid work, leaders find themselves at a crossroads. Despite efforts to provide flexibility, support, and even salary increases, discontent persists. The distance between leaders and their teams has eroded trust, giving rise to misunderstandings and conflict. The remedy, however, lies not in doing more but in doing things differently.

The Irony of "Caring Less"

As an intentional leadership coach, I often ask my clients a seemingly ironic question: "How can you care less?" It's not a call to apathy, but rather a challenge to shed unnecessary burdens. Leaders must learn to care less about the distracting noise around them - the non-essential matters that hinder their ability to lead with intention. This shift is crucial because caring less about the trivial allows leaders to invest more in what truly matters - leading, engaging and supporting their teams to be their best. 

Prioritization in Leadership & Identifying Less Important Matters

To embark on this journey of caring less, leaders need practical strategies to identify what is less important. Here are 3 ways to navigate this process:

  1. Prioritize Impact: Evaluate tasks and responsibilities based on their potential impact. What actions contribute significantly to team engagement, productivity, and overall success? By prioritizing tasks with a direct impact, leaders can allocate their time and energy where it matters most.
  2. Align with Core Values: Leaders should reassess their activities in light of their organization's core values. Are the tasks aligning with the company's mission and values? If not, there may be distractions that hinder authentic leadership. By aligning actions with core values, leaders can streamline their focus and contribute to a more purpose-driven workplace.
  3. Delegate Wisely: Effective leaders recognize the power of delegation. Identify tasks that can be delegated to capable team members, freeing up time for leaders to concentrate on strategic, high-impact initiatives. Delegating empowers team members, fosters collaboration, and ensures that leaders direct their energy where it matters most.

Embrace a New Era of Leadership

In a time where intentional, heart-led leadership is needed more than ever, the challenge lies in bridging the gap between the desire to lead effectively and the daily grind of overwhelming responsibilities. It's time for companies and decision-makers to invest in developing their leaders, providing them with the skills and support needed to navigate the complexities of today's business landscape.

“Caring less” is not about neglecting responsibilities; prioritization in leadership is a strategic decision to shed the unnecessary and focus on what truly matters. By embracing this shift in perspective, leaders can navigate workplace challenges with resilience, authenticity, and a commitment to making a meaningful impact.

If your leaders are grappling with prioritization of what matters most, it may be time to support them in developing modern leadership approaches critical to sustained success into the future. Let's connect

One of the biggest challenges facing leaders today is meeting fatigue and the epidemic of unproductive meetings. When you ask any leader about their calendar these days, the response is often, "My calendar is unmanageable." It's not just back-to-back meetings, but sometimes two or even three meetings happening at a time.

Some leaders find themselves juggling multiple screens and logins, taking multitasking to the next level, but is it really?

In my own corporate experience, I spent hours upon hours in meetings, but I had an executive assistant who could help protect some small slivers of time each week on my calendar. 

Navigating the Meeting Maze

With the ever-increasing speed of change and the rising expectations for urgency, how can leaders be at their best? They plow through the day, switching contexts like crazy, leaving little room for actual work…or leadership!

As companies require their leaders to bring new thinking to the table, keep up with emerging trends and technologies that significantly impact strategy, and lead differently to meet the new expectations of a post-COVID workforce, leaders struggle to find a moment for a bathroom break or lunch.

Of course, we all have the opportunity to hold ourselves more accountable for our own time, our most precious resource. I've recommended and walked leaders through tools like the Eisenhower matrix, "start/stop/continue", and time tracking. These excellent approaches enhance focus, prioritize tasks, and manage time better. However, we've reached a point where companies need to more actively support their leaders in these efforts and in breaking the meeting culture.

We can delve into what's holding us back from setting boundaries or saying no. Still, it's less effective if leaders aren't provided with encouragement or examples of how to do this.

I've spent the last three weeks with three different clients in three states, discussing various leadership topics. The common theme that emerged across all these leaders' experiences and occupied the minds of everyone I spoke to was TIME — specifically, finding time on their calendars to do more: more of what's expected, more of what their teams need, and more of what makes them feel fulfilled and alive.

Leading with Intention in a Time-Starved World

How can I find time in my day to lead ...and lead like I really want to? The desire to lead with intention is there, but stepping off the hamster wheel and making that desire a reality is incredibly challenging.

Shopify recently confronted this problem head-on by installing a calendar app to track the number of hours spent in meetings and their associated costs. By simply being aware of this data, they are on track to save $322,000 in meeting time costs in the first year alone.

During a discussion and facilitated brainstorming session about strategic priorities this week, one of my clients decided to focus on meeting and email overload as a strategy in itself! 

Sometimes, awareness is all that's needed to drive change. Leaders are crying out for help as they feel conflicted, unprepared, and unsupported in giving their best in today's workplace. If we ask leaders to lead differently in this ever-changing world, organizations need to do something different to support them and their teams in this endeavor. 

Support them in pushing back, support them in changing the trajectory of where we're headed, and support them in prioritizing the true value they bring to the table.

Practical Steps to Combat Meeting Overload

Here are four actions to consider in the fight against meeting fatigue at your organization:

  1. Survey your organization to gather facts: Conduct a comprehensive survey across your organization to quantify the extent of meeting overload. Ask employees how many meetings they attend regularly and how valuable they perceive them to be. Gather insights into common pain points and frustrations related to meetings.
  2. Implement technology to track meeting time and costs: Leverage technology solutions similar to Shopify's approach to track the amount of time employees spend in meetings and calculate associated costs. This data will provide valuable insights into the financial impact of meetings and highlight areas for potential optimization.
  3. Establish meeting-free zones in your calendar: Encourage leaders to designate specific time blocks in their calendars where no meetings are allowed. These meeting-free zones provide leaders with uninterrupted periods to focus on critical tasks, engage in strategic thinking, and prioritize their most important work. This practice helps prevent burnout and fosters productivity.
  4. Implement Meeting Purpose and Agenda Guidelines: Encourage the adoption of clear meeting purpose and agenda guidelines within your organization. Require meeting organizers to define a clear purpose for each meeting and share a well-structured agenda in advance. This ensures that meetings stay on track, focused, and result-oriented, reducing unnecessary meetings and time wastage.

What other ideas do you have to help leaders dig out of the meeting culture of today?

If you are ready to navigate these challenges and invest in your leaders, let’s connect.

A new era of female leadership in a post-pandemic era is dawning!

The pandemic disrupted economies and livelihoods, impacting women disproportionately and leading to what became known as the ‘She-cession’. But now, women are returning to the workforce with unprecedented determination, according to the latest statistics from the Labor Department. June marked a historic milestone in the United States, seeing the highest number of women actively seeking jobs. Statistics have increased vs. last year for women holding board seats and women CEOs, as well. 

This progress is inspiring, but there's still more to be done. How do we further advance these statistics and help develop female leadership in a post-pandemic era to even greater heights?

Empowering through Executive Leadership Coaching

The answer lies in executive leadership coaching, a powerful "secret weapon" that can transform the trajectory of female leadership. Coaching provides a tailored and focused approach to unlocking a leader's true potential in an era where authenticity and impact are differentiators.

1. Defining Goals with Intention

The journey of development begins with clarity. Coaching helps women leaders connect with purpose-driven goals, clarify what they want, and feel confident about their action plans to get there. Whether it's attaining a board seat or becoming a CEO, setting precise goals provides a roadmap for success.

2. Refining Leadership Skills

Leadership is an evolving skill set; coaching provides a unique platform for honing these abilities. Through personalized guidance, women leaders can identify areas of strength and areas for growth. Whether it's effective communication, strategic thinking, or decision-making, coaching supports skill refinement that's tailored to the individual.

3. Amplifying Impact with Confidence

Confidence is a cornerstone of leadership impact, especially female leadership in a post-pandemic era. Many women face internal barriers like imposter syndrome or self-doubt that can hinder their progress. Coaching addresses these challenges head-on, fostering self-assurance and helping leaders step into their roles with unwavering confidence.

4. Navigating Challenges with Resilience

Challenges are inevitable on the path to leadership. Women leaders encounter various obstacles, from navigating complex corporate dynamics to addressing biases. Coaching equips them with strategies to overcome adversity, build resilience, and maintain a sustained focus on their goals

5. Building a Supportive Network

Coaching also extends beyond one-on-one interactions. It creates a support network, connecting women leaders with like-minded individuals with similar aspirations. This sense of community can be invaluable in providing guidance, sharing experiences, and celebrating achievements.

A Brighter Future for All

The re-entry of women into the workforce post-pandemic presents a unique opportunity to reshape leadership landscapes. By empowering women through executive coaching, we can amplify the impact of women leaders, ensuring their voices are heard and their contributions are recognized.

Are you ready to harness the power of coaching to develop and empower female leadership in a post-pandemic era in your organization?

If so, I invite you to reach out to me to explore the right development opportunities for your organization.

It is incredible how leadership has evolved over the years. Gone are the days when dominance and intelligence were the most commonly used words to describe leadership. In 2023, we are witnessing a shift towards qualities like empathy, collaboration, and adaptability, which are redefining successful leadership. As someone who has experienced the corporate world firsthand, I understand the importance of developing caring, effective leaders who can drive both personal growth and business results. Let's explore gender differences in leadership styles and how inclusive leadership is the key to creating a thriving workplace and a desired culture.

The Phenomenon of "Mansplaining":

One striking manifestation of gender differences in leadership communication is the phenomenon known as "mansplaining." Many men assert dominance and power through their speech, while women typically communicate to build connections. A study conducted at George Washington University found that men interrupted women a whopping 33% more often than they interrupted their fellow men. Additionally, 46 out of 48 interruptions came from the man in one-on-one conversations between a man and a woman. 

These aren't the only studies that shed light on how gender can influence leadership behavior in the workplace. Women have been found to downplay their abilities when their achievements are made public, while men seem to consistently rate their performance similarly in both public and private settings. Even more recent is the research done by Dave Dunning at Cornell University that found when experiencing failure, men have a tendency to respond using external attribution, while females use internal attribution, often blaming themselves.

In the book "STFU: The Power of Keeping Your Mouth Shut in an Endlessly Noisy World," author Dan Lyons examines the differences between men and women in communication styles and provides practical strategies for leaders to become better listeners. 

It is essential that we become more aware of these dynamics and foster a workplace where everyone's voice is respected and heard and inclusivity thrives.

Investing in Leadership Development for an Inclusive Workplace:

Here's the deal: if we want to foster inclusivity and create a thriving workplace, we must invest in leadership development. It's our responsibility to equip leaders with the skills and knowledge to navigate the complex workplaces of today. 

By understanding gender differences in leadership and implementing strategies to address them, leaders can create a more inclusive environment. Here are three key strategies:

  1. Promote Gender-Neutral Opportunities and Recognition: Ensure that opportunities for growth, promotions, and recognition are based solely on individual merit, irrespective of gender. By establishing transparent processes, leaders can create an environment where gender differences do not hinder progress and allow all employees to thrive based on their skills and contributions.
  2. Foster Effective Communication and Understanding: Developing strong communication skills and cultivating understanding across gender differences is crucial for effective leadership. Leaders can encourage open dialogue, active listening, and empathy-building activities to bridge the communication gap and foster a deeper understanding of diverse perspectives.
  3. Cultivate Mentorship and Development Programs: Establishing mentorship and development programs that focus on gender differences can contribute to leadership competency and understanding. Leaders can create opportunities for individuals to learn from experienced mentors who can provide guidance on navigating gender dynamics and fostering inclusivity.

By moving away from outdated male traits and behaviors, such as dominance and 'mansplaining,' and embracing care, empathy, and inclusivity, leaders can foster an environment where every voice is valued and heard. Leadership development plays a crucial role in cultivating inclusive leadership.

I invite you to reach out to me to learn more about custom leadership development workshops tailored to your organization's unique needs. Let's invest in our leaders today to create a brighter, more inclusive future.

As we step into the year 2023, corporate leaders are faced with an ongoing challenge of a rapidly changing business environment. For a few of my clients, I am seeing them face a very pressing and unfortunate issue - navigating the challenge of layoffs. This has created a sense of uncertainty and fear among employees and highlighted the importance for them to navigate - purposefully,  transparently, and with care and compassion.

The Heart of the Leader

Recently, I observed one of my executive clients communicate a very difficult message to his team that 50 jobs would be eliminated. Each one of the employees in the room was directly impacted. He delivered the news clearly yet compassionately as he explained the circumstances, acknowledged the impact of the decision, and offered space & uncomfortable silence for the individuals sitting in front of him to process the news best.

He put himself in the shoes of his employees - many tenured and committed for years to the organization - and took a heart-centered approach to share the difficult news. In navigating the challenge of layoffs, he met his employees in a place of empathy, went off script a little where necessary, and did his best to hold the space they needed to receive the news. He showed up as an intentional leader during a difficult time, and his actions served as an excellent example for other executives to follow.

In my book, Lead with Heart & Leave a Legacy, I talk about my own experience as a corporate executive faced with communicating a layoff. The lack of progress against the company strategy led to a top-down decision to execute a reduction in the workforce across the organization.  

It was a heartbreaking day, but my team needed a sincere, transparent, vulnerable leader.  The experience taught me the importance of leading with care and compassion during difficult times and proved to be the best approach in minimizing impact on the people. 

Three Ways Intentional Leaders Can Minimize the Impact of Layoffs on Employees

When navigating the challenge of layoffs, intentional leaders prioritize taking steps to minimize the impact on their employees. They do this by adopting a heart-led approach that focuses on transparency, compassion, and being connected.

Here are three things that intentional leaders do when navigating the challenge of layoffs:

  1. Communicate with Transparency
    When communicating with employees, leaders who want to navigate layoffs effectively must be transparent and honest. It is essential to clearly explain the reasons behind the layoffs and what steps the organization is taking to help affected employees. This can help alleviate some of the anxiety and uncertainty often accompanying layoffs.
  2. Show Deep Care & Concern
    It is important for leaders to show empathy and compassion towards their employees during these difficult times. This means taking the time to listen to employees, acknowledging their emotions, and showing genuine concern for their well-being. Leaders can demonstrate this by providing support and resources to employees during and after the layoffs.
  3. Pay Attention to Remaining Workers' Concerns
    After a layoff, the remaining employees may feel overwhelmed, anxious, and uncertain about their own future with the organization. It's important for leaders to pay attention to their concerns and make personal connections to understand how they are really doing. Leaders can organize one-on-one meetings, hold group discussions, and encourage open communication channels to create a space where employees can express their feelings, ask questions, and share their thoughts. This approach can also help identify potential issues and areas for improvement within the organization.

The Power of Intentional Leadership

For my executive client, how he chose to communicate the devastating news influenced how those individuals reacted and accelerated their ability to process through the change. While life-changing, they felt supported and mirrored their leader's calm sense of commitment.

The year 2023 will continue to present many challenges for corporate leaders, including the ongoing issue of layoffs. By communicating transparently, showing care and compassion, and being mindful of the concerns of their remaining employees, corporate leaders can navigate the challenge of layoffs while minimizing employee impact and fostering a culture that will thrive in the years to come.

If you are a corporate leader looking to develop intentional leadership skills in your organization and cultivate a culture of care and compassion even in the most challenging of times, I invite you to work with me

Is employee engagement a priority for your organization?

If it’s not, it should be. 82% of employees want their company to see them as a person, not just an employee (Gartner (2022)). 

Being seen as a person looks like:

To meet the rising demand for more “people-centered” workplaces, leaders must lead differently. 

Which type of leader are you?

In my work, I see two types of leaders:

  1. The transactional leader
  2. The intentional leader

Transaction leaders prioritize results, metrics, and outcomes. Intentional leaders prioritize people – while still meeting key targets and performance expectations.

Given what we know employees expect and prioritize, intentional leadership is more imperative than ever. 

Top performers want to work for someone who is focused on cultivating personal connections, digging into what inspires each individual contributor, and creating personalized motivational strategies. 

How can a leader become more intentional?

It’s easy to tell leaders to show up differently and lean into the proven practices of intentional leadership – but it’s a bit harder in practice.

Change fatigue and work friction, increased by remote and hybrid work, leave most leaders feeling unprepared, unsupported, and uncertain about how to be an effective leader.

Enter: Executive coaching.

This is the most effective way to equip today’s leaders to make behavioral changes and perspective shifts to become an effective, intentional leader.

Executive coaching is effective. It’s also one of the top resources and professional development tools requested by leaders themselves

48% of global leaders want to learn from external coaching (DDI 2022).

4 ways to build intentional leadership through executive coaching

Executive coaching has many benefits for leaders – both professionally and personally. Of those benefits, these are the 5 most important ways executive coaching can impact your leaders:

1. Create Space
An executive coaching engagement can provide the forum and breathing room that allows the leader to get off the hamster wheel for a moment and refocus/reconnect to their role as a leader. This space creates room to feel effective and connected to their purpose again.                                     

When leaders are given the gift of time/space to focus their own leadership, they feel seen, acknowledged, and understood. This leads to feeling inspired and supported, so they can show up and create value for their team and organization.

2. Expand Possibility
A skilled executive coach will guide your leaders to their highest potential. Coaches use their skills, like active listening and building trust, to create a connection with each leader. This personal connection and belief gives the leader a conduit to see their own strengths and potential.

3. Increase Self Awareness 
Leaders need to be more aware of their role. Without increased self-awareness, leaders, like all of us, will blindly continue doing things the same way as usual. The trouble with self-awareness is that it’s challenging to develop on your own. 

An executive coach will guide leaders to examine their behavior, reflect on their decisions, and facilitate a powerful experience that allows the leader to become more aware of their values, emotions, and habits – and how they impact the people they lead.

Coaches help people see themselves more clearly and more compassionately. Executive coaching is the best way for a leader to understand their strengths and weaknesses, learning how to see different perspectives and accounting for their own actions as they are mirrored back. 

4. Challenge Beliefs and Support Shifts

Like with self-awareness, it’s almost impossible to challenge long-held beliefs or shift your perspective on your own. Executive coaching gives leaders the power to examine the things they believe and the perspectives they hold to determine how these things affect their team and overall organization. Leaders who feel empowered to reconsider their beliefs and make important shifts are then able to re-engage with their team, recommit to their values and goals, and reignite their impact.

Leaders who participate in executive coaching feel more aligned to their priorities and are better at helping their team members feel aligned to their projects and responsibilities. An aligned leader is an inspired, effective leader.

Using executive coaching in your organization

The engagement, morale, retention, and overall well being of a company won’t change if leaders don’t start doing something different.

The benefits of effective executive coaching include improved emotional intelligence, better ego control, and an enhanced perspective. Is this the “different” you’re looking for?

If you’re ready to develop more effective, intentional leaders – click here to learn more about executive coaching and how our team of coaches can benefit your organization.

I don’t know about you, but this Thanksgiving was the first time since 2019 we could have the extended family together. Our celebration included 50 family members – aunts, uncles, and cousins – together in close quarters, sharing stories, laughter, and hugs. We were all in a room together… without masks! It felt like a renewed spirit of family and connection. 

Because so much time had passed since our last gathering, it did take some time to “break the ice.” We had to intentionally work to increase the comfort level and rebuild the connection with extended family we hadn’t seen in a while. 

We all needed time and space to symbolically remove our (COVID) masks and create space to step into our authentic selves. Reflecting on this experience highlighted the importance of authenticity and reminded me of how often this topic has come up in my work recently, especially in my work with self-aware leaders. 

The Authenticity Paradox

I recently asked a group of leaders – “What do you believe builds trust most quickly within a team?” Their answer? Authenticity.

But when it comes to being authentic, we often get it wrong – thinking “being authentic” always equates to “feeling comfortable.” 

HBR published information about the authenticity paradox – digging into how feeling like you’re “faking it” can signify growth. Contrary to popular belief, genuine authenticity is about vulnerability and self-awareness, often requiring leaders to step out of their comfort zone.

What does the authenticity paradox look like in practice? Navigating the desire to be your “true self” when at the office while also recognizing that you are a work in progress that can (and should) grow and evolve to meet your organization's and team's changing needs.

As their careers advance, many leaders are challenged to elevate their leadership contributions in expanded or new roles. It’s at this moment that we must fight the urge to retreat to familiar behaviors and styles that feel authentic but are actually a step back. Growth often requires leaders to live in discomfort, being willing to create a new authenticity that reflects their expanded skills and responsibilities. 

Self-aware Leaders Are Vulnerable Leaders

So many of us buy into the myth that authentic leaders have unwavering confidence in who they are. We believe it’s a sign that we are not authentic if we show signs of weakness, self-doubt, or discomfort. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

Authentic leaders commit to learning more about themselves. They are vulnerable in sharing their mistakes and humble in their willingness to learn as they go. 

I’ve noticed the importance of self-aware authenticity even more lately. These days, the new normal includes hybrid work schedules with remote teams and physically disconnected colleagues. With the leaders and teams I work with, on the rare occasion that teams come together in person, they need time to “remove the mask” and step into their authenticity. Everyone needs a little space before they are prepared to let themselves be seen and connect with one another.  

Removing the mask takes courage and intentionality. 

Leaders need the space to recognize the disconnect and the courage to stay open in the discomfort, so we can ultimately bring our best to the office and the teams we lead!

Interested in helping your leaders remove their masks and understand the crucial importance of self-aware, vulnerable authenticity?

I work directly with leadership teams to develop the soft skills required to succeed in the ever-changing landscape of today’s modern workplace.

Click here to learn more about how I can support your team.

Tricia Manning © 2024 All Rights Reserved.
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