• Herbert Lundström

The leadership trends of today

I run the other day into Forbes article (published Jan-30-2018), what actual leadership trends executives need to address in order be competitive, efficient and building true employee satisfaction. Okay, we are almost at the doorstep of 2019, but magnifying the content, the trends listed seem more than relevant the coming year as well. It is striking, that in a major part (if not all!), an executive would benefit enormously in hiring her- or himself an executive coach of their own. Here’s a lot of thinking work, priority-setting and development programme work ahead.

When inventing your whereabouts on each point, you most likely find, quite a few of them would need your urgent processing. Here’s where the coach comes in.

So how on earth could an executive coach assist you in being professionally better off, performing better and staying fully in control of your responsibilities?

A piece of advice. Ask your colleagues and other trusted members of your network about their coaching experience. I’m positive, their opinions by far weigh more than mine. Ask at least 5-6 peers with own personal experience of executive coaching. Thus, you generate a profound picture, what entering a coaching process could mean for you, how much time you need to invest etc. This helps you disperse doubts about the power of coaching, if you initially have some. As a bonus, it clarifies what personal expectations and fears you have working with an outsider. Those expectation you need to communicate in your hiring process of your executive coach.

Relating to my experience, the probable answers your peers will give you is, that it helps you see yourself more clearly and better understand the reasons behind your own behaviour and actions. Improved self-awareness in other words. Executives struggle a lot on their own, so you also probably love to have an outsider sparring partner to ventilate your problems or ideas with. You are challenged professionally as well as on your own assumptions of yourself, own thinking patterns as your measures. As coaches we are helping you dig into yourself and define your beliefs and tackle your challenges. As coaches we are curious creatures, so be mentally prepared for the digging.

However, I would like to open up your peers’ answers a little bit. Looking at the leadership trends at hand I find four significant aspects for you to consider thoroughly: 1. As an executive you more aware of and brushing up your own, often ingrained behavioural patterns. There is always room for improvement in self-management, meeting your staff respectfully and professionally leading by example, not only by talk. Doing this, you will definitely be better off tackling No. 1, 3 and 5 of the list of trends. 2. As well you start addressing direct personal gaps regarding knowledge and skills. Where and how should you strengthen your business knowledge and communicative leadership skills, coaching skills included? By doing this you are dealing with No. 2,3, 4 and 7 3. You ponder which leadership trends concern you most: That's only a good start for designing and executing proper approach strategies regarding those. Sooner or later they find their way on your agenda anyway. This applies particularly to No 9-12, probably also No. 14. 4. You start co-working with an outside professional executive coach, whose mission is to assist you in your evaluation of problematic matters of the trend list. There may be other issues as well, of course. My key question her is: Do you agree, you have to clarify your own standpoint beforehand as well? By building your personal, holistic picture you come up with some first ideas, even solutions, how your organization should tackle each issue, needing measures. Based on those ideas and our own, clarified ambitions, you are much better off delegating, leading and giving feedback to those in charge of the practical work.

However, I personally think, it doesn’t really matter from which of those four angles you start mangling your issues. That´s for you to decide. As professional coaches, our mission is to help you set goals, dig, clarify and challenge you on taking necessary measures. And in our own way, hold you responsible for the progress. That is so crucial a part of the process.

I’m positive the coaching process helps you find new aspects. Ne aspects on your mind-set, behaviour, leadership communication and decision making. Just look at some trends going on. Your staff members want more autonomy in their daily work, digitalization has already significant impact on business processes and competence needs, and the first millennium born, vocationally trained youngsters are already storming working life, university graduated young guns is doing it in a couple of years. A major shift in mind-set is ahead for sure. Starting now, you are better prepared…..

Worth a try, don't you think?

Herbert Lundström

Partner, Professional Coach and Senior Business Advisor

herbert.lundstrom(at)sprof. eu


PS! Interested in the whole article of Forbes? You find it here!

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