Are you a business owner thinking about whether coaching might improve the performance of your COO or another key executive? My answer is, “Yes,” in most cases, but only if the CEO is being coached. I’ve learned the hard way over the years that I can have a major, enduring impact with a COO or other direct report only when I am also coaching the CEO. I believe this is generally the case with true executive coaches.1
Any growth or development on the part of a subordinate that is not shared by the boss is likely to have two unwanted effects. First, the boss’s unchanged behavior will undermine and thwart the direct report’s new behavior. Second, the developing key executive will either abandon the changes or judge the boss to be the bigger problem and leave. As one blunt coach said to a prospect, “If I fix your VP without you moving in the same direction, you will become the problem.”
Stay away from inspiring stores of genius leaders such as Steve Jobs, Harold Geneen, Elon Musk, Bill Gates, etc. They are unique, lucky, and extraordinarily difficult to work with. They certainly were not copying anyone. Anyone attempting to copy them is likely to cause disasters both financial and personal.
These recommendations for management training, as with executive coaching, require the ultimate leader and influencer (you, the CEO/Owner) to learn and practice the same techniques.
1 I say true executive coaches because, these days, every consultant, trainer, and even many salespeople now call themselves coaches. That’s a topic for another post.
Before you reduce the size of your workforce with furloughs or layoffs consider reducing hours per employee. Some states are offering “Work Share” unemployment benefits. If employee hours and pay are reduced, for example, by 25%, employees may be eligible for 25% unemployment benefits. This lets the (more…)
WHO & CDC recommendations for physical distancing A/K/A social distancing do notfully protect bystanders from a sneezing person who carries a viral infection, presumably including SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
A global pandemic now seems inevitable.
You’ve no doubt heard the advice about handwashing and avoiding crowds in confined spaces: concerts, aircraft, conferences. I’d add, “Do everything you can –STARTING RIGHT NOW– to stay healthy and strong: adequate sleep, regular exercise, and good food (including weight control).”
Here’s one you may not have thought of:
The U.S. CDC recommends getting a flu vaccination.
The CDC has detailed guidelines for employers here:
I can relate to his insight from a meeting with Andrew Grove of Intel. It is what distinguishes coaching from what most consultants and advisors do, “instead of telling him what to think, I taught him how to think—and then he reached what I felt was the correct decision on his own.”
I also agree strongly with this, “Management is the most noble of professions if it’s practiced well. No other occupation offers as many ways to help others learn and grow, take responsibility and be recognized for achievement, and contribute to the success of a team.”
I can’t agree, however, that people become, “unhappy, divorced, and alienated from their children. [because they] implemented that strategy.” Individuals do not have total control over outcomes. He should remember the admonition, “If you want to make God laugh tell him your plans.” Stuff happens.
I agree that, “People who are driven to excel have this unconscious propensity to underinvest in their families and overinvest in their careers—even though intimate and loving relationships with their families are the most powerful and enduring source of happiness.”
I heartily endorse his version of, Culture eats strategy for breakfast. “Culture, in compelling but unspoken ways, dictates the proven, acceptable methods by which members of the group address recurrent problems. And culture defines the priority given to different types of problems. … Families have cultures, just as companies do. Those cultures can be built consciously or evolve inadvertently. … Like employees, children build self-esteem by doing things that are hard and learning what works.”
I could quibble with his interpretations of marginal cost analysis or humility but I endorse where he goes with even those loose premises. Rationalization and opportunism are corrosive. Healthy self-esteem improves learning, respect, & cooperation.
This quote sums it all up, “Don’t worry about the level of individual prominence you have achieved; worry about the individuals you have helped become better people.”