My process and approach

 

Coaches are trained to listen, to observe and to customize their approach to individual client needs. They seek to elicit solutions and strategies from the client; they believe the client is naturally creative and resourceful. The coach’s job is to provide support to enhance skills, resources and creativity that the client already has.
— International Coach Federation

Clients elect to work with coaches after they have concluded they want something to change. The role of a coach is to assist a client increase her own awareness of the challenges to be faced, the changes required and how best to approach closing the gap between what she is capable of and what she is currently doing. 

My commitment, as an executive coach, is to help you, my client, articulate the objectives you wish to pursue and support you in developing specific plans to reach them. An executive coach can only act as an instrument to assist change. You, as the client must be responsible and accountable for driving and implementing the change. I work best with senior executives who are committed to improving their overall effectiveness as humans. I offer a unique set of multi-industry line management experience, global executive recruiting insight and rigorous coaching training from the world-leading Hudson Institute of Coaching. As an executive coach I draw upon more than four decades of business leadership and success in order to provide pragmatic, results-oriented counsel.

What services do I offer?

Under the umbrella of Executive Coaching my services encompass leadership development, on-boarding and sounding board.

Leadership Development

Very few people are born leaders. Most of us develop leadership skills over years as we experience various situations, roles, challenges, exposure to differing management styles and learning what works best for us. Where I can add value is by helping you improve focus and practical ability in critical areas such as:

  • aligning with organizational goals
  • understanding the difference between leading and managing
  • developing behavioural skills and leadership competencies

Competencies include broadening business acumen, managing interpersonal relationships, communication effectiveness, personal presence, team leadership and delegation plus overall personal effectiveness. This type of executive coaching is highly collaborative, requiring an intense, high-trust one-on-one relationship. My role as coach is to help you see the world with a fresh perspective as you clarify desired changes, barriers to achievement, and other issues all leading to the creation and implementation of a personal leadership development plan.

The outcome is one of increased clarity, effectiveness and satisfaction.

Onboarding Services

The first 100 days in a new role are critical and I assist executives in creating a 100-day plan. This includes prioritizing initial key activities such as situational assessment, information identification and sourcing, whom to see, questions to be asked, establishing critical relationships and determining the content and timing of critical communications with key stakeholders. Most senior human resources executives agree that moving into a new role is one of the most difficult situations all leaders confront. Most new leaders must quickly learn the minutiae of the business, build new relationships, and secure some early wins to build credibility - all of this undertaken while under close scrutiny. This can be extremely stressful.

Many organizations claim to do a good job onboarding but recent research suggest that this is not borne out by reality with as many as 40% of new executives failing within the first 18 months.* Getting off to a strong start creates a solid foundation for positive momentum to help achieve great long-term performance for both the individual and the organization.

Sounding Board Service 

Senior executives often feel isolated, even lonely, as they shoulder incredible responsibility and accountability. Many of these executives welcome the opportunity to engage in private conversation with an independent experienced, objective, agenda-free third party - someone such as me. Often, my executive coaching clients become sounding board clients as our working relationship evolves based on positive chemistry, trust and a record of achievement.

FAQ

While not exhaustive, perhaps you’ll find answers to some of the most commonly asked questions I get about coaching here. If you can’t find what you’re looking for just call me or email me at roger@rogerclarkson.ca and I will help.

How do I know I am ready for, or even need, leadership coaching?

Here are some frequent dilemmas faced by a selection of my clients in senior leadership roles. Finding actionable answers often comes through a coaching relationship. 

I have just been promoted to our executive management committee and while excited, I am a little anxious. The people on it are considerably more experienced than I. 

Do I have the requisite skills? 

How will I build effective relationships with more senior people? 

How can I earn their respect?

I have been asked to create a strategic plan for my function and I have no real strategic planning experience.

What is a strategic plan?

How do I develop the plan?

Where and how do I get the necessary information and intelligence?

With whom do I need to ally myself?

I have been appointed to a national role and must lead my function through a major transition.

How do I immerse myself in the new strategic plan?

How do I position my team and I in a centralized organizational structure?

How do I address my team’s concerns about reorganization, downsizing and new assignments?

Perhaps you’re experiencing some of the following issues. A great executive coach can help guide you to actionable answers.

I am regarded as a high potential employee. How do I prepare myself for the next big role?

I am a first-time CEO. I feel isolated and don’t know with whom to share by ideas, concerns and doubts. I don’t feel comfortable, yet, sharing these concerns with my board or members of my management team.

After the merger, I find myself struggling to adapt to a new culture.

I have just assumed management of a new team but am experiencing a real challenge engaging them.

I am having difficulty getting my management team to realize the way we need to change how we manage the company to remain competitive.

What should I consider when selecting a coach?

Business acumen - Do they have the relevant experience and skills to understand me and my organization?

Psychological training - Do they have any formal training understanding people, identifying needs and uncovering actionable insights?

Change management - Do they have experience with growth and development, identifying need for change and how to achieve it?

Personal fit - Do I feel comfortable? Do we share values? Can I trust them?

How long is an executive coaching assignment?

Most relationships last between six - 12 months and none less than three months.

Is there a confidentiality agreement between coach and client?

There must be. Absolutely yes.

What type of feedback is provided to a client’s superior and/or human resources?

Only generalities may be shared with others and only with the client’s permission.

Why is executive coaching so prevalent today?

Simply put, it is highly effective and makes financial sense. Historically, corporations have invested large sums providing employees generic training and development with little proven evidence or benefit of behavioural change. Coaching, on the other hand, is a highly customized personal leadership development service that addresses specific needs and creates specific objectives and actionable outcomes that are unique to a particular executive, company and industry.

External Links

I don't claim to have all of the answers to every question you might have. The following are sites specifically selected to help those who want more in-depth information and background regarding Executive Coaching, Leadership Development, and related issues.

Learn more about where I received my formal coaching training: http://hudsoninstitute.com

An insightful perspective on leadership development: http://www.forbes.com/sites/work-in-progress/2014/09/23/if-you-think-leadership-development-is-a-waste-of-time-you-may-be-right/

4 things to consider before hiring an executive coach: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/228189

How to choose an executive coach: http://www.forbes.com/sites/williamarruda/2014/12/22/how-to-choose-the-ideal-executive-coach-for-you/ 

Developing the capabilities of high performing leaders: https://hbr.org/2009/01/what-can-coaches-do-for-you

Are you serious about accelerating your leadership development? Contact me at roger@rogerclarkson.ca or on 416-520-0201 to arrange a complimentary coaching session.

*Forbes, February 17, 2012 New Job?  Get a Head Start Now