Who would you suppose is the better candidate for leadership coaching: the low-performing leader who obviously needs help strengthening leadership competencies, or the high-performing leader who already has a track record for results?
Of course, a strong case can be made for the poor performer’s candidacy. After all, they need help, right? And good performance coaching can certainly lead to the development of an under-performing leader. But as it turns out, the high-performing leader is more likely to both engage a coach and benefit from the experience. Why do you think this is the case?
There is actually a host of reasons, but here are 3 universal laws that I have observed in my experience coaching leaders at various levels:
The Law of Abundance
“For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them.” — Matthew 25:29 (NIV).
Does this sound fair?
Why is it that only the people who don’t need it can acquire lending credit, and only the people who don’t have enough money in their checking accounts to cover a check get hit with additional charges for that insufficiency?
All of that is debatable as theory. But it has been true in my coaching experience that the leaders who approach their work from a scarcity perspective have a more difficult time rising to the next level of leadership, while leaders who approach their challenges from the standpoint of abundance are more likely to succeed.
These are the leaders who understand that adding more leads to more. They understand that scaling is the only way to reach the next level of their own personal performance and leadership. So, they seek and invest in additional tools to make them even more effective than they already are. These tools are necessities to them, not luxuries.
The Law of Attraction (Like Attracts Like)
The idea that opposites attract may be true to some degree when it comes to personality characteristics in relationships, but not when it comes to deeper values. Leaders who thrive on negativism attract negativism, and conversely repel engaged, positive leaders, and vice versa. This also applies to the appetite leaders have for learning.
The humble leader who is dedicated to lifelong learning is drawn to the people and things that can expand their knowledge and elevate their thinking.
The Law of Awareness
In leadership, this law simply says that you cannot change something of which you are unaware. Some leaders refuse coaching because of arrogance — they think they are in some elite class of people who don’t need coaching. But most are simply unaware. They do not really know where their leadership vulnerabilities lie.
I recently coached a group of leaders who were shocked by the feedback they received in their 360-degree assessments. The eye-opener led them to develop the understanding that leadership is less about the leader, and more about the people being led.
Leadership coaching fosters this awareness, and then provides a unique space for the leader to strengthen new leadership muscle and keep pace with the rapidly-evolving complexities of the work of leadership.
I hired a coach a few years ago, and I was asked by people how I felt about having a coach when I was a coach. My answer was, “Why wouldn’t ANY leader want a coach?” The best of the best employ coaches — the greatest actors, singers, dancers, athletes, and even presidents use coaches.
If you have never engaged a formal leadership coach, you truly don’t know what you are missing! Coaching goes beyond mentoring into the realm of shared accountability and laser focus on meaningful goals.
Click HERE to learn more about our approach to Executive Leadership Coaching.
Have an amazing rest of your week!