The business world is slowly waking upto the fact that just like in elite sports, there is a tremendous value to be unlocked by having an effective coach for a leader. It is not just about fixing issues but also about enabling the journey from Good to Great. Leaders across disciplines share their insights around how one should pick a coach and get the most out of such a relationship.
Role Of Coaching In Development
Vijay talks about the role of coaching at various stages of a person’s life and how as a person evolves, the coach that works with you to help you go to the next level might change. He also talks about how much can get accomplished through sheer will power using the fascinating example of Richard Williams who (with limited background in tennis) through his sheer resolve coached Serena and Venus to become world champions.
Picking a coach - Learning from Mary Kom's example
Picking a coach for a leader can be challenging. There are several variables at play and given what is at stake, it is critical to ensure that this is done thoughtfully. Viren uses the example of Mary Kom to talk about how they went about selecting Charles Atkinson to train Mary Kom. Some of the insights from the nugget are arguably highly relevant in the corporate world in the context of how leaders and companies think about their leadership development and coaching programmes.
Selecting a Coach effectively
Selecting a coach for a leader can be a reasonably ambiguous task. Prakash talks about how we could learn from the world of sport in ensuring that we get a coach who is fit for purpose.
Growing as a player and inflection points
Vishy talks about how his approach to development has changed as he has grown as a player over time. He talks about his approach to picking Coaches that get the best out of him. He also discusses the impact of technology on what it takes to be a successful player while getting the most out of the machines. He talks about the trade-off between specialization and flexibility in this context.
Effective coaching process
Devdutt talks about what leads to an effective coaching relationship. He describes the complexity of a coaching process and mentions that the onus is often on the Coachee to tap into the database of the Coach and extract the value. Several leaders see Coaching as linear relationship where there is a pre-defined process which leads to an outcome. He emphasizes that the reality is quite different from that.
Picking an effective Coach
Deepa discusses her approach to picking a Coach while training for Rio Olympics. She mentions that given the uniqueness of her body condition and the training need, the traditional coaching approaches did not work. She talks about how she worked with a biomechanics gym trainer, watched her diet and worked on her psychology as preparation for the Olympics.
Committing to a career in Music
Jayashri talks about her chance meeting with Shri Lalgudi Jayaraman and how that changed everything for her. She discusses the faith that he had in her when he asked her to learn music under his guidance and how that instilled a sense of responsibility for her to stay committed to the path.
Characteristics of great coaches
Jayashri discusses her observations of Shri Lalgudi Jayaraman and how he would unlock the potential of each of his students by tailoring his approach and finding a different set of tools for each individual. She also talks about how he would role-model standards of excellence in his practice of the art form
TAGSCoaching Mentorship Excellence
Giving feedback by listening
Arun talks about insights from Dalai Lama (who also wrote the foreword for his book) who says that Listening is the first wisdom tool and it is a pre-requisite for reflection, compassion and self-knowledge. Arun discusses why it is important to create a space for the feedback to land on the other side and listening is the path to creating that space.
The art of facilitation
Arun talks about how one must be clear about how one should think about structuring a meeting/conversation. He also suggests different formats depending on different depths to which we wish to go in the conversation. He makes the distinction between discussion, debate, deliberation and dialogue and urges us to be clear about what to use when.
Building deeper relationships
Indranil talks about how we can apply the concept of Story-listening in the context of understanding another human being. He also discusses the power of stories in a home context. He says that stories make things real. Very often we are busy communicating abstract concepts without giving our children an insight into where the opinion comes from.
More from Indranil Chakraborty
TAGSBuilding trust Coaching
Role of a coach in Work-life integration
Stew speaks about the role of two types of coaches in such journeys. Firstly, he speaks about the value of peer to peer coaching networks where you are compassionate, curious, caring and candid with each other and learn/help each of the members of the group move forward. He also speaks about the role of professional coaches in providing another perspective and in holding you accountable
TAGSCoaching Work and Life
ROI of transition support
Michael speaks about the business case for Transition Advisory support when leaders take on a new role (internal or external transition). While is it is understood that it is lonely at the top, it is worth recognizing that it is lonelier when you are settling into a new context when leaders do not have an asset of relationships to count on (yet) and don’t have meaningful feedback loops that gives them a sense of how they are doing.
Fit for purpose feedback loop
Michael speaks about the sub-optimality in feedback loops when a new leader comes into an organization. He speaks about the relevance of early conversations with the stakeholders and Day 90/120 conversations to ensure that leaders get tailored constructive feedback to ensure that they are able to course correct early in their journeys.
Coaching CEOs and Elite Athletes
Matt speaks about the similarities across and differences between how elite athletes and time starved CEOs approach training for triathlon. He makes the distinction between the individuals that check boxes and those that really use this as a springboard to thrive in their mission.
Coach Coachee relationship
Matt discusses how he stays on top of adjacent disciplines such as nutrition, sleep science, strength and conditioning and other related topics to be relevant in the work he does. He also reflects on the learning opportunities in working with the athletes and coaches that he trains at Purple Patch Fitness.
Gautam Gambhir and the straight drive
Paddy speaks about how Gautam Gambhir was once trying to perfect his straight drive. He noticed that his shots were often going square of the wicket and he wanted to correct that. Expert inputs from accomplished players who understood the technique well didn’t quite help him sort out the issue. Paddy speaks about how he guided Gautam to listen to his own body and tune into his uniqueness to find the answer.
TAGSCoaching Driving change
Role of a coach in enhancing self-awareness
Tasha speaks about the value of having an external coach speak to several of the key stakeholders to form a nuanced picture. She also points out the limitations of numeric 360 surveys and details out some of the questions she likes to ask when does her coaching work.
Sports to Business to Coaching
Alan speaks about Bill Campbell’s journey and the various transitions he has been through – from being a Football Coach to becoming a Business Executive to Leadership Coaching where he worked with several luminaries such as Steve Jobs, Founders of Google, Eric Schmidt, Sheryl Sandberg, Al Gore. He also speaks about how Bill transitioned from one canvas to another and what stayed the same across these stints.
Building trust as a Coach
Alan speaks about some of the things that Bill Campbell did to earn the trust of the leaders he worked with. This is all the more incredible as he worked simultaneously with leaders who were involved in an intense competition in the market-place. He also speaks about the fact that Bill had made his money and did this as a service. He alludes to Bill’s radical candour which is encapsulated in the phrase “I don’t take cash; I don’t take stock and I don’t take s**t”.
TAGSBuilding Trust Coaching
Coaching a Team
Alan speaks about a “Product” that Bill might have accidentally invented in the way he went about doing his work – The notion of a “Team Coach”. He speaks about how Bill would spend time getting to know the individuals and the overall team to be in a position to be of value to the collective.
Being an evangelist for courage
Alan speaks about how Bill got his Coachees to believe in themselves and how he often he had greater faith in them than they had in themselves. Alan goes onto talk about how Bill would play the role of a cheerleader in public settings to give a boost of confidence to the people he worked with.
Influencing Eric Schmidt's key transitions
Alan speaks about Bill’s role during some of his key transitions in his stellar career at Google. He speaks about the fact that despite his clarity of thought on the business front, when it came to making decisions for himself, there was an element of irrationality. Alan goes on to speak about Bill’s role in ensuring that Eric made sound choices at those crucial moments.
Choosing Coachees and link with ROI
Marshall speaks about the advice that he once got from Alan Mulally about how he needs to be thoughtful about the clients he works with. Marshall speaks about some of the criteria he uses to pick the clients he works with. 1) Courage to look in the mirror 2) Humility to admit that they can improve 3) Discipline to do the hard work.
Getting behaviours and habits to stick
Marshall speaks about the challenges in getting behaviours to stick and the need for a Coach to keep you accountable and ensure that you be at it. He speaks about how he gets somebody to call him every day to get him to ask him a few questions around areas he wants to improve and how that has helped him with behaviour change.
TAGSCoaching Excellence Habits
Opening the aperture of learning
Venerable Tenzin Priyadarshi speaks about how we sometimes limit the learning opportunities by trying to look “within the box”. He suggests us to surrender to the teacher/coach/guide/mentor and the process to derive the value from it.
Role of a Sounding Board/Coach
Bruce speaks about the role of a Coach/Sounding Board/Therapist in helping people through a transition. He speaks about how Coaches often help by participating in the process of co-narration (a term that comes from the world of social sciences).
Founder development and role of coaching
Hari and Sanjeev share their perspectives around how founders can think about improving their self-awareness. They also speak about the effectiveness of Coaching in gathering nuanced feedback and helping founders and the leadership teams scale up.
Darleen speaks about how leaders and organizations have thought about apprenticeship in these times. Rohit Kale (who leads SpencerStuart in India) speaks about how peer mentoring has been impacted in these times but also goes on to speak about the silver lining here as this provides opportunities that didn’t exist earlier for some colleagues to experience the “moment of truth”.
Decade long coaching journey
Sukhinder speaks about her decade long journey with David Lesser and speaks about the different ways in which he added value to her. She speaks about the benefit of cumulative context that David had that helped him work with Sukhinder to reconcile various pieces over time and across her distinct identities.
Working with Bill Campbell
Sukhinder speaks about her experiences working with Bill Campbell. She speaks about how he got her to be proud of her team and how he got she and her team to be proud of the “dirt underneath their fingernails” given what they were building at Google. She speaks about his unique brand of coaching which combined tough love with cheerleading.
Rajiv speaks about some of the coachees where he has been able to make a difference and speaks about the commitment of the coachee to the process. He also speaks about the pros and cons of working with people “like you”.
Value based pricing
Dorie speaks about some of the principles around indexing the Pricing to Value which can be quite nebulous when it comes to Coaching and related services.
TAGSCoaching Personal Brand
Glass half full or half empty
Ayelet speaks about how we should think about “glass half full or empty” when it comes to motivating ourselves or others around us. Do we look at the ground we have traversed or the distance ahead? She speaks about the nuance involved here and when each of the approaches might make sense for us to motivate ourselves or others around us.
Problem framing and Coaching
Thomas speaks about the power of problem framing in the context of Coaching. The way we frame a problem can have a profound implication on the path we undertake.
More from Thomas Wedell-Wedellsborg
Counterpoints to each archetypes
Raghu goes into depth about how for every Pandava Archetype, there is a Counterpoint on the Kaurava side who has similar set of skills but the difference is the orientation (dharmic vs adharmic). He also goes on to speak about how each of the Pandava archetypes has a shadow side that they need to get in touch with to be effective as a Leader (as a King in those days or as a CEO today).
More from Raghu Ananthanarayanan
Professional CEOs in Family Businesses
Tarun speaks about how Entrepreneurs think about the Principal Agency problem when it comes to recruiting CEOs. Entrepreneurs are often playing the “infinite game” with the enterprise while the leaders they hire are often there for a stint. He speaks about the distinction between how developed markets like the US deal with it versus how Indian companies often deal with it.
Driving human transformation
In my experience of having worked with leaders, I have realized that outcomes often depend on the mindset of the coachee than the skill-set of the coach.
Allowing Venting Vs Coaching
Ethan speaks about how we could be effective in helping people deal with Chatter. He suggests that while we need to play a role of empathizing and listening to allow the person to vent, we also need to consider providing some coaching or widening of their perspective so that they could move forward. He speaks about the few people that he calls Chatter Advisors that he turns to where he gets a healthy balance of listening and Sounding Board support when he experiences Chatter. He speaks about some of the characteristics that leads them to be on his Speed Dial.
How Roger picked his Coaches
Chris speaks about how Roger thought about his Coaches at various points in time and how he moved from Peter Carter to Peter Lundgren to Tony Roche to Paul Annacone to Stefan Edberg to Ivan Lubicic while having Severin Luthi as a constant in his team. He speaks about his judgment on some of these matters over his career.