Mark Hinderliter, PhD

By Mark Hinderliter, PhD

WHEN is Executive Coaching a Good Investment?

WHEN is Executive Coaching a Good Investment? 150 150 Mark Hinderliter

There is one reason to invest in coaching – to develop the capacity of leaders who are responsible for growing the business, enhancing the brand, developing and retaining talent, and getting results.

John Maxwell, many times over a best-selling author on leadership, is spot-on when he says, “Experience is not the best teacher. Evaluated experience is the best teacher.” Effective coaching helps leaders evaluate and develop their skills in real-time to increase their capacity to lead. My wife would likely say, “Great point Captain Obvious.” OK, fair point. So maybe a better question is when should companies make the investment?  While every leader would benefit from coaching, no company has unlimited funds. These three scenarios represent the best investments in leadership coaching.

High-potential leaders. These leaders are the company’s future leaders. Coaching and developmental assignments are important parts of the succession planning process. This developmental coaching is an investment in the company’s future with a longer-term ROI. The key objective is the leader is ready when the company needs them to step-up.  I’ve personally witnessed companies waste time and money keeping underperforming leaders because the next leader wasn’t ready.

Talented leaders with a serious skill deficiency. We are all human. Even the brightest, most talented people can have a skill deficiency that is potentially derailing. You’ve seen the many examples. They can be too hard on people. Too easy on people. Don’t hold people accountable. Poor listening skills. Lone wolf / poor collaborator. Ineffective communicator. Too self-promoting. Can’t relate to a different generation. Unfortunately, these issues are often overlooked or simply tolerated until the collateral damage is too high. This is a poor business strategy that does a disservice to the leader, their teams and the business. Human Resources managers know who these leaders are and can add value by alerting senior leadership to the risks along with a solution. Coaching can be a smart investment that heads costly issues off at the pass.

Recently Promoted Senior Leaders. Think new Presidents/Vice Presidents/General Managers. Being elevated to this level brings many challenges, particularly in the first year. It is a steep learning curve with new responsibilities, new relationships to build, new customers to serve and more pressure to perform. Success in previous positions do not guarantee success in the new position. Supporting newly promoted senior leaders with effective coaching can help smooth the learning curve and minimize risk to the organization. Coaching fees are a rounding error compared to the budgets these leaders are responsible for.

Mark Hinderliter is an Executive Coach and podcast host of “Real Business in Real Time.”  He holds a Ph.D. in Organization and Management and has been a Senior Vice President for a billion-dollar global organization, a unique fusion of academic and industry experience.  He can be reached at mark@thirdwayinc.com.

Mark Hinderliter, PhD

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