What I Offer As Your Leadership Team Coach
Over the years I have developed several leadership team services that can be used independently or as a complement to my other services. Let’s discuss what makes sense for you and for your leadership team.
Leadership Team Meeting Facilitation
I have in-depth and unusual experience facilitating leadership team meetings. In fact I have facilitated over 300 such meetings. My experience may be relevant and valuable to your company.
The weekly leadership team meeting is the “linchpin” of several management operating systems. Verne Harnish (Rockefeller Habits / Scaling Up) and Gino Wickman (Traction, the book introducing the Entrepreneurial Operating System®) have devoted considerable attention to these meetings in their systems. In both, it is a critical element in the company “pulse” or heartbeat.
When done properly, weekly leadership team meetings improve communication, action, and accountability across the leadership team. They also eliminate the need for some meetings and provide much greater focus for others.
Think about these aspects of your company’s leadership team meetings, and answer the following questions:
- Are they crisp, productive, and decision-focused?
- Do you share critical leading metrics for the entire company that accurately predict operating results for the quarter?
- Do they help the leadership team “nip problems in the bud?”
- Can you point to specific decisions and improvements that regularly flow from your leadership team meetings?
- Is there an atmosphere of openness and honesty, resulting in trust that allows any problem or issue to be addressed?
- Do your leadership team members look forward to these meetings or do they simply endure them?
If the answers to these questions are “No” or “Not so much,” we should talk.
My preferred approach is to begin by facilitating all of these weekly meetings, then to scale back to twice monthly, then to scale back to once monthly, then to completely halt facilitating those meetings. The time frame for this “phase down” approach will depend on the needs and the issues within your leadership team.
Company-Wide Quarterly Meetings
Many companies hold these meetings in order to share results, to focus on major initiatives, and to allow employee interaction with company leaders.
Are you holding such meetings, but not satisfied with the return on time and effort invested? If so, you are in good company. Most companies feel obligated to have these meetings, but are not happy with the results.
My perspective on these meetings is both as a company CEO who has conducted dozens of them and as a coach who has advised my clients on them.
If you are showing dozens of slides filled with numbers and charts, a typical approach, you are headed down the wrong path. No one remembers a good PowerPoint slide, but most people remember a good story.
I’ve learned from my friend, Gordon McAlister, that the key outputs from any leadership team meeting are very simple. What do you want people to THINK, FEEL and DO during and after the meeting? Gordon has a PhD in Communications, and combines that deep field expertise with his experience as a successful entrepreneur and a pastor.
He wisely focuses on starting with the results desired, then working backwards. Didn’t another leading thinker suggest “Start with the end in mind?”
I’ve seen Gordon’s approach deliver significant improvements in a company-wide meeting, based on written survey of attendees, before and after. Now retired, Gordon does occasional project work with me when his global travel schedule allows.
Let’s discuss how a simpler agenda, the involvement of multiple presenters, and recognition of employees demonstrating your core values can transform a “snooze fest” into an “energizing event.”
1 on 1 Coaching
Sometimes a brief and intensive 1 on 1 coaching engagement can help a leadership team member “get over the hump” on a stubborn issue. Or on a behavioral change he or she wishes to make.
Often these engagements are a mix of face-to-face meetings and telephone conversations. The frequency of the sessions varies, but they are often weekly, sometimes every other week.
In general these coaching needs fall into two major categories – interactions with people and effectiveness at certain tasks. Sometimes they are intertwined.
I often suggest the use of Marshall Goldsmith’s Global Leadership Assessment to identify gaps, based on input from superiors, peers, and subordinates. Using anonymous survey responses from peers and subordinates allows collection of honest and specific data. The same survey is used to calibrate changes after 6 months or more.
Many years ago, coaching was perceived as something only offered to poor performers. That is no longer the case. Today most high-potential leaders welcome the opportunity to broaden their skills and accelerate their potential for advancement. They also see the investment in them personally as a “vote of confidence.”
Let’s discuss how my experience as a coach may be relevant to a member of your leadership team.
What does your Leadership Team need?
Contact us to schedule a 30-minute phone call to discuss your goals.