How IA can help with Leadership

Personally, I always like finding people who are well placed to help me on my personal and professional journey (they are inclusive to each other) – what I learn personally I like to give to the outside world.

Nearly 20 years ago when I attended my first leadership development programme “Lessons in Leadership” in the US, listening live to people like Stephen Covey, Tom Peters, Ken Blanchard and a certain Richard Branson, I have been fascinated by leadership, and the psychology of how it leads people to better performance.  I have made it my lifetime journey to continue to understand more and develop more within this area.

Approximately two years ago, I was fortunate enough to be introduced to the No.1 Leadership thinker in the world (as voted by Thinkers 50 and F.T.), Marshall Goldsmith and his large body of work in developing Leadership and Coaching models using stakeholder feedback as the basis for improved performance.  This was at a time when I had researched programmes from Universities and private providers over the course of a year to gain a coaching accreditation which helps deliver better Global Leaders at my stage of maturity as a Leadership Developer and Executive Coach, as well as given my experiences and competences.  I found it fascinating…

What I was looking for at the time could be summarised in FIVE NON-NEGOTIABLES;

  1. When I went to the USA to take over a $30M loss-making plant, although language was similar… culture was radically different.  The ability to bring people of different cultures and backgrounds on a journey of growth and transformation is exciting but difficult (especially when your first communications meeting is met with only one person “getting it”).  Add to this, seven different nationalities (and constant friction between various factions) and this is just a small flavour of the issues inherited.  Taking this forward, I believe that there are mental barriers which stop organisations scaling within the UK – I wanted to help people overcome this.  I therefore needed a programme which was strong in Global Culture!
  2. The tools used needed to be proven and effective across the international business environment. We attempt to find our own way but today there are lots of conflicting opinions of the best approach for engagement, for development, for leadership. In my experience, only the proven tools breakthrough within larger organisations and are continually used.  Big companies want to link with big brands, and the people who work within them, this can make it harder for the service sector especially in terms of training and coaching to compete and engage with these.  It had to be robustly proven within big companies, but also the flexibility to be introduced to the SME sector!
  3. For me any behavioural development and change must be measurable at each step of an individual’s progress.  This also linked well to my previous process expertise as a Lean Six Sigma Master Black-belt.  It had to be Measurable! The fact it is GUARANTEED also is a bonus!!
  4. Any leadership starts from a point of understanding yourself, your traits and the triggers (from the environment, to today’s situation, etc..) that impact you not achieving where you want to get to. It had to include understanding of Triggers, as well as Behaviours!
  5. Any development programme needs to leave behind a leader who can sustain it and hopefully improve on it within their own business.  The leader should become the coach.  It must be about the “Show how” not the “Know how”.

I found all of these and more within Marshall Goldsmith Stakeholder Centred Coaching programme.

For interest, the background to the initial research Marshall and his team conducted around Global Leaders of the Future was as follows;

18 Global Thought Leaders came together (based on research from hundreds of Fortune 500 CEOs).  They identified 15 potential competencies that could be classed as being the major ones.  These then went to 200 Organizations of 120 Multinationals to test them.  Then 300 International Business CEOs and Senior Executives On 6 Continents (North America, EU, Asia, Australia, Africa and South America) helped identify three categories of five competences in each. They then went with these to over 200 HR Executives on these continents also (who confirmed this).

Marshall’s Stakeholder Centred Coaching Programme, and Global Leaders of the Future assessment answered all my non-negotiables and delivered so much more for me.

Hopefully you may be in a place or situation where you believe that this same learning can support you in your journey.  Please do contact me if I may be of help to you.  Remember it has worked for 95% of 11,000 Senior Leaders (including myself) … why would you be any different?

by Graham Sleep

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