Becoming an Extraordinary Coach

We’re back from an invigorating week at Zenger Folkman’s international partner conference in the mountains of Utah. A highlight of the week was our certification to deliver ZF’s unique and powerful skill development system The Extraordinary Coach. Here are a few gems from The Extraordinary Coach: How the Best Leaders Help Others Grow.

“A leader who is an adept coach can greatly enhance the organization’s success; one who dabbles and doesn’t take the process seriously can cause harm.”

– Marshall Goldsmith, best-selling leadership author and executive coach. Recently recognized as the #1 leadership thinker in the world at the bi-annual Thinkers50 ceremony sponsored by the Harvard Business Review

“Coaching is the most tangible expression of the leader’s personal commitment to the development of an employee. It sends a far more powerful message than merely budgeting money to allow an employee to attend some development program.”

“All the known drivers of productivity can be increased through the leader’s coaching. Peter Drucker hypothesized that if an organization could increase employee productivity by 10 percent, the organization’s profits would double.”

“If the manager’s behavior is to provide advice and solve her employees’ problems, the systemic response from her employees is likely to include waiting to be told the right ‘answer’ by the manager and/or going to the manager for advice on problems … we will end up reinforcing this dependent system. Employees will expect managers to solve their problems and will also expect the managers to ultimately be responsible for their results (since it was the manager’s advice that they followed).”

“A manager’s mindset might be, ‘I can get more done by controlling and directing,’ whereas a coach’s mindset might be, ‘I can get more done by growing my employees and gaining their commitment.’ The mindset must precede the skill set.”

“Managers will very often describe the regular one-on-one meetings they have with employees as coaching discussions. The employees, on the other hand, report that 90 percent of the time they spend with the manager focuses on project status updates and virtually never describe that event as coaching … In our interviews with the front-line workers, they would prefer to have 50 percent of the time spent on project updates and specific performance issues, and the other half spent on issues involving their growth and career development.”