Why organizations need coaches:

  • Simply – the high cost of turnover. The investment to improve the performance of a current leader is almost certainly less than the cost of replacing one (and may result in less disruption to the business as well). Ineffective leaders can also cause costly turnover in the areas they lead. It’s people who get the work done, and people don’t work for companies, they work for people.
  • You have a valuable subject matter expert who is transitioning from being an individual contributor, to leading a team – it happens all the time. Maybe they haven’t lead a team before, or had any good mentoring on leadership. You can’t afford to let them “practice” in live situations with real people.
  • You hired someone from the outside for all the right reasons (technical expertise, contacts, targeted industry experience), but they are having trouble assimilating into your team. The quicker they do, the quicker they will be able to get results.
  • In just about every engagement survey I’ve ever seen, employees talk about wanting more “development.” That statement means different things to different people and can include; training courses, tuition reimbursement, membership in professional organizations, etc. Why not throw individual coaching on that list of development options?
  • College courses, leadership books and professional seminars are great for teaching the foundational ideas and concepts. For translating that knowledge into true performance, you need someone who knows the concepts and can help an individual leader apply them using coaching and mentoring in real-time, real-world situations – a leadership coach.

…and why they should use professional leadership coaches:

  • Objective, third-party evaluations of people and situations strip away the “baggage” that internal staff may have (e.g. history, loyalties, rumors, preconceived notions, etc.).
  • Some HR professionals struggle to connect with business leaders because they lack strong business acumen and/or have never held management positions with bottom-line accountability.
  • Internal HR professionals may not have the experience or confidence to coach business leaders – especially senior executives.

Please note: Internal HR Professionals play a vital role in organizations (a self-serving statement because I was one), but complementing their skills with outside resources is essential in leadership development.