The central mission of executive coaching is change. It is change, at both the individual and organizational level, that ensures corporate survival and long-term success.
As humans, we are wired to grow. It is through adaptation and change that we survive. When we are not growing and changing, we feel stifled, bored, and without purpose. The same is true at the organizational level. Continuous change is vital to maintaining relevance and competitive advantage. For this reason, strategic organizations must constantly seek out ways to change. In the words of Peter Drucker, “Every organization must be prepared to abandon everything it does to survive the future.”
The greatest challenge from a coaching perspective is the fact that change is quite easy, but sustainable change is quite hard. Anyone who has tried to eliminate a bad habit or modify an unwanted behavior is aware of this truth.
Based on my experience working with a variety of organizational leaders across a wide range of industries, there are four essential ingredients required to achieve sustained behavioral change through an executive coaching engagement:
Build a coaching relationship characterized by support, challenge, and trust
Derive a valid leadership assessment that engenders meaning-making
Translate insight into action and reinforce new behaviors
Embrace an evidenced-based process
Over the next few months, I look forward to examining each of these essentials in greater depth and how they can be leveraged to affect sustained behavioral change for the leader, as well as business value for the organization.