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Coaching for Success
by Brian Ward


Coaching is a collaborative attempt to build the capacity of the person being coached, in order to allow them to expand their worldview and take themselves and their organizations to new levels of success. This always involves personal and organizational change, and helping the person being coached to manage the transition between old and new is the coach's primary role.

The following guidelines are helpful in ensuring that coaching succeeds on both a personal and organizational level:

  • Most leadership coaching starts with helping the leader articulate a personal vision ... who they want to be and what they want to do.

  • Following on from that, the leader is then coached through the process of helping their organization articulate a vision. This starts with the board/leadership team, and is influenced by the leader's personal vision. If the organization already has a vision in place, it is reviewed in light of the leader's personal vision.

  • If there are conflicts, they are dealt with at this stage. Most apparent conflicts or inconsistencies between personal and organizational visions can be cleared up through dialogue.

  • A new vision emerges that inspires and galvanizes both the leader and the organization because it truly reflects the shared meaning they have developed together.

  • A gap analysis between the current reality and the new vision is completed, on both the personal and organizational levels. This leads to plans for personal and organizational development.

  • A review schedule is included in the plans at mutually agreed upon milestones.

  • As the reviews are conducted, corrective action is taken as necessary ... plans must remain fluid to allow for changing circumstances.

A Strategic Option

Coaching for effective leadership is a strategic option that more and more organizations are embracing. In our work with clients we emphasize the need for alignment of strategy and begins with aligning the personal visions of the leaders with the organizational vision. When the leader's personal vision and the organization's vision are aligned, major shifts begin to occur.

Coaching the Coach

In coaching leaders, particular attention is given to building their capacity to coach their own staff. This coach-the-coach or cascading approach is particularly effective where a just-in-time approach to staff and organizational development is necessary. When leaders emphasize, through their coaching, the need for alignment of their staffs' personal visions and the organizational vision, wonderful things can start to happen, not the least of which is a new found energy and vitality within and between individuals and teams. An aligned, motivated team, focused on the organization's strategic priorities, with a clear line of sight to their own personal visions, can achieve what no other group of individuals could possibly ever hope to achieve.


The Author


Brian Ward, C.H.R.P., is a principal in Affinity Consulting. He specializes in assisting leaders and their teams develop and implement quality management systems that are client focused, team directed and outcomes based. He can be contacted at .


Many more articles in Coaching in The CEO Refresher Archives
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Copyright 2002 by Brian Ward. All rights reserved.

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