Executive Coaching: How to Make Great People Even Better


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Expert Perspective From Grahall’s OmniMedia Editorial Board

Searching for interesting articles to discuss with the Editorial Board we came across one penned by Mark Jaffe last August (Freelancing ‘Til You Drop) where Jaffe writes: “When did every living executive get diagnosed as being in critical need of coaching?…. And how did all these dysfunctional leaders manage to fool so many people for so long? How were they able to last as much as fifteen minutes given the extreme darkness that surrounds them as they stumble cluelessly through their surrealistic dream worlds?”

Well as “President of Wyatt & Jaffe, [where] Mark Jaffe has been called one of the ‘World’s 100 Most Influential Headhunters’ by BusinessWeek magazine” we wonder if he might not hold a bias against coaching.  Perhaps he is concerned if execs get coaching they will be less likely to be replaced, limiting searches.  Or maybe he is concerned that execs need for coaching reflects poorly on recruiters who are expected to offer up the most effective execs to their clients.

Regardless, let’s take a more expansive look at coaching. At the risk of being labeled as “old school” allow us to use a sports analogy to illuminate our thoughts.  Even the highest performing athletes (you pick the sport) receive continual coaching to keep them at the top of their game, so why not executives?  Don’t they deserve to be at the top of their game? Don’t shareholders and stakeholders deserve the best performing executives?  Of course!

But Jaffe’s negativity about executive coaching may have some basis (as well as bias).  As Jay Wolf, co-founder and Principle at the International Power Coaching Alliance says: “In the past, coaching has been perceived as a ‘rescue model’.  When a top executive was thought to be struggling, a coach would be brought to get the executive back on track. Too often these assignment failed because the company waited too long to bring in support for the executive or hired an inexperienced coach.”

Like coaching top athletes, executive coaching is less about fixing problems than it is about improving performance.  Wolf says: “Traditional coaching and more recently POWER COACHING, was designed to enhance executive development.  One-on-one coaching is a highly effective approach they can help executives enhance management and leadership skills in order to better achieve individual and business goals.”

For more information on Power Coaching and to sign up for free Power Coaching webinars, go to The Power Coaching Alliance.  And click here to read Jay Wolf’s article, Power Coaching.

Contact Grahall’s OmniMedia Editorial Board at edie.kingston@grahall.com

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