- The pace of change in our world is not just fast, it’s frenetic.
Once upon a time we used to do strategic plans for a 5-year period, then we reduced it down to 3-years, then 12 months, and now it’s a 3 month plan (or possibly 6 months) with a review each month. So, there’s pressure on execs to keep transforming their thinking to keep on top of present-day realities in order to be effective and keep the bottom line buoyant.
- Previously we used to have more hierarchical organisations based on command and control, but now we have leaner, flatter structures which require more networking, have less boundaries, and are virtual organisations requiring greater emotional intelligence and interpersonal skills of leaders all of which now need coaching and support.
- Staff now work from home (given the intervention of Covid-19 on work practices) and there is a great deal more flexibility in the workplace than previously. Often it is difficult to get staff together as a team or to meet face-to-face and for the leader, it is more difficult to connect with staff, to know how they’re progressing and to create and sustain team morale. Coaching helps the leader navigate this significant change in the workplace.
- The game has changed from rewarding seniority and longevity to understanding how to not only retain human capital, but to inspire and develop talented people to bring about high-performing teams. Leadership coaching is a new tool for understanding how to keep and grow talented staff.
- Given that the world has seen unprecedented (there’s that word again) change since the beginning of 2020 and due to the longevity of that uncertainty and change, leaders have become tired, exhausted and burnt-out. The weight of the world has been upon their shoulders. They have had to chart a course in completely uncharted waters and sometimes with no compass as it were and with little idea where the rocks are or what the coming weather (or storms) looks like.
- Along with leaders being exhausted and burnt-out, staff also have had enough. So, there is a trend for staff to resign or look for “greener pastures”. Of course, the leader is sometimes glad to see a staff member go (for various reasons), but generally speaking, a leader wants to retain staff not only for their IP, but because of the cost of hiring and re-training a new person which all means loss of productivity and disruption to team dynamics and functioning. Coaching is a means to keep the leader accountable ensuring that he or she keeps close to staff and further, makes the staff feel cared for and supported.
- Individuals are being promoted rapidly to senior roles instead of the traditional way of slowly moving up the chain and acquiring experience under the watchful eye of numerous mentors and senior staff. Rising to the top quickly means that leaders need support and guidance on this rapid journey.
- Being at the top is a lonely job. It’s difficult sometimes too to know who to trust in the organisation and although leaders often use friends informally to chat and run ideas past, the use of a leadership coach to talk to and confide in is an important asset.
- The business world has also become more legalistic where corporate governance responsibilities seem to increase daily meaning that stress also increases requiring new strategies for dealing with it all.
- Leaders now need someone to talk to more than ever. The change in the workplace since early 2020 has meant many (or most) of the rulebook has been tossed out meaning that leaders have had to think on their feet, do unconventional things, be innovative, make quick decisions, change direction, and try to see what is coming around the next corner. Having a coach who is a “guide on the side” is now an important aspect of being an effective leader.