The Case for Executive Coaching for Emerging Leaders

Over the course of a month, Ramona reserved several hours in her schedule to focus intentionally on what her company might look like in two or three years. Yes, the annual executive retreat was coming, and there would be no shortage of strategies, ideas, and opinions, but Ramona wanted some concentrated quiet time to scrutinize and consider the company’s trajectory and future opportunities.

Her thoughts often brought her back to her executive team — not only thinking about their strengths and weaknesses, but also the reality that some transitions and retirements may be coming, and that any new strategic directions for the company might require restructuring.

To anticipate change, improve leadership skills, and truly reimagine and evolve the company, perhaps some executive coaching was in order. But it occurred to Ramona, “Should I be thinking about coaching for the company’s current executives, or for our future executive leaders?”

The company includes a cadre of young managers and high-performers. Right now, they serve primarily as informal leaders throughout the company — in the language of social media, they are the company’s influencers. What about executive coaching for them?

Four Benefits of Executive Coaching for Emerging Leaders

Ramona is on to something powerful. Developing leadership “early” and identifying and growing emerging leaders will position her company to be more resilient, innovative, and capable of transforming itself over the next several years.

Executive coaching for younger leaders helps keep talent. Ramona knows how expensive and disruptive turnover is. And talented high-achievers always have options. What better way to retain your best young employees than by providing coaching to strengthen their leadership skills. In turn, they will see that their talent and potential is recognized and that meaningful in-house career paths and professional growth are available to them.

Executive coaching early helps avoid “bad habits.” Young high-achievers and managers in their 30’s are generally less self-reflective than their older colleagues. This may be true, in part, because their swift rise in the company and identification as “high potential” bolsters a self-perception of already knowing what they need to know to succeed. Read more about the executive coaching needs of younger versus older executives. The potential negatives of big talent and quick success — arrogance, an inability to listen to others or consider their point-of-view, low emotional intelligence, autocratic and over-bearing management styles — can be mitigated by introducing executive coaching early in their careers.

Executive coaching builds critical, healthy organizational culture. Promotions based on functional business skills such as marketing, finance, logistics, or human resources is one thing — passing on (or evolving) executive leadership skills, guiding team performance, and modeling the essence of an organization’s culture is another. A positive, coherent company culture is essential for long-term organizational effectiveness and profitability. Read more about the next generational wave of leadership.

Create a leadership group that is guiding the company from a common map. Executive coaching is typically thought of as a 1:1 activity. However, leaders in an organization should be navigating from the same map. If emerging young leaders across Ramona’s company could take part in executive coaching — and improve both their individual leadership skills and, as a group, navigate from the same map — her company would be well-positioned to innovate, grow, and prosper. Remarkable progress can be achieved by expertly combining executive coaching with group work. While the emphasis is on individual leadership development, this approach arrives at its destination using both group and one-on-one sessions. 

Arden Coaching has developed a “group and one-on-one” practice called the Arden Leadership Academy. Their program revolves around DiSC assessments, building emotional intelligence and leadership skills, providing expert feedback, and developing personal action plans. Learn more about Arden’s model for this approach to integrated individual and group coaching.

Coaching for the Next Wave of Leadership

Ramona has smartly set her company’s course, poised to invest in the transformation of younger managers and high-potential employees to executive leaders through a thoughtfully considered, proven executive coaching process. How will your company build its leadership capabilities in the coming years?

To learn more about executive coaching and leadership development for new and emerging leaders, contact Arden Coaching at [email protected] or 646.684.3777.