Executive Coaching: Maximizing Leadership Gifts for the Long Term

By Ken Kesslin, the best coaching doesn't just produce short-term results. It helps clients develop skills for long-term transformation, continuing their growth as leaders long after the coaching relationship ends.

Sustainable and dependable behavior change requires consistent encouragement, practice, and feedback, as well as time to develop, test, and refine new behaviors.

Hope is an essential ingredient in fostering the desired behavior change in business leaders. We hope that new behaviors, strategies, and ideas will work and bring about positive change. Coaches play a unique role in offering hope to their clients.

Key change factors include motivation to change, taking action, practicing in real-world settings, receiving trusted feedback, and overcoming resistance. Executive coaching encourages and facilitates these factors, offering a unique perspective on individual and organizational behavior change, which is invaluable for leadership development.

The coaching perspective emphasizes the power, capability, and responsibility of clients. Leaders may initially blame external factors for their misfortunes, but recognizing their influence and responsibility is crucial for effective coaching. Coaches help clients access their wisdom and knowledge, fostering self-observation, self-awareness, self-responsibility, and self-mastery skills.

Coaching focuses on the WHO perspective, recognizing the unique skills and talents of leaders and how they produce results effectively. It ensures that business strategies align with the leader's abilities and characteristics.

Additionally, coaching provides hope, believing in the potential for growth and positive change. Vaclav Havel, the former Czech president, defines hope as "a feeling that life and work have meaning."

Executive coaching, when done well and with hope, is an ultimate results-oriented leadership development program. It expands potential rather than fixing damaged leaders.