The Evolution of Executive Coaching: Nurturing Leadership in a Rapidly Changing World

Since the early 2000’s, I have seen Executive Coaching evolve from something reserved for Executives and C-Suite individuals to a development tool extended to frontline supervisors and middle managers who also need support. LAK Group defines coaching as: “Partnering in a thought-provoking creative and adaptive process that inspires individuals to maximize their personal and professional potential, apply behavior changes, and make direct connections to business impact.” Done well, coaching is a powerful tool with numerous benefits and positive organizational impact, including:

  • Increased productivity and cost savings
  • Increased retention
  • A more effective workforce
  • Bottom-line results

The world is moving faster

The pace of change in our world is not just fast, it’s frenetic. Once upon a time, we used to do strategic plans for a 5-year period, then it was reduced down to 3-years, then 12 months, now 3-6 months. With that said, there is pressure on executives to keep transforming their thinking to keep on top of present-day realities in order to be effective and keep the bottom line buoyant. Given that the world has undergone a long period of unprecedented uncertainty and change since the beginning of 2020, leaders have become exhausted and burnt-out. The weight of the world has been upon their shoulders. They have had to set  a course in completely uncharted waters, sometimes with no compass and uncertainty of the coming storms.

Along with leaders being exhausted and burnt-out, staff also have had enough. Because of this, a trend has emerged for staff to resign or look for “greener pastures”. Generally speaking, leadership wants to retain staff not only for their intellectual property, but also because of the cost of hiring and training a new person, which leads to a loss of productivity and disruption to team dynamics and functionality. Coaching is a viable means to keep the leader accountable, ensuring he or she keeps close to staff, and ultimately, make staff feel cared for and supported.

It’s Lonely At The Top

Being at the top is a lonely job. It can be difficult to know who to trust in the organization, and although leaders often use friends informally to chat and share ideas, the use of a leadership coach as a confidant is an important asset. Leaders need someone to talk to now more than ever. The change in the workplace since early 2020 has meant that most of the old rulebook has been tossed out. Leaders have had to think on their feet, do unconventional things, be innovative, make quick decisions, change direction, and try to see what is coming around the next corner. Having a coach who is a “guide on the side” is now an important aspect of being an effective leader.

At LAK Group, our coaches pride themselves on walking in your customer’s shoes. A rigorous coach selection process, advanced programming, core principles, and coaching model aligns individual performance to the needs of an organization, which enables us to be flexible and allow for scalability. The game has changed from rewarding seniority and longevity, to understanding how to not only retain human capital, but also inspire and develop talented people to enhance high-performing teams. Leadership coaching is a new tool for understanding how to keep and grow talented staff, and LAK’s mission is to help leaders develop and retain their human advantage.