Leadership Competency - and Coaching



leading change

Successful organisations believe in their people. Hold that thought!

In a globalised economy organisations think strategically and respond to challenges in order to stay ahead of the competition. Most of the larger private sector companies look to attract the brightest and best young talent employing recruiters to find the best fit for a companies needs. In the public sector organisations identify talent through commitment to hard work and an aptitude for getting things done. Austerity measures and cuts to public funding require people to be creative and innovative in managing and delivering change.

However being bright and able isn’t going to cut the mustard. Talent has to be nurtured. Coaching and mentoring has become the “new profession” with a plethora of coaches of all types entering the market to develop the next generation of executives and leaders.

As a practicing executive coach and leadership mentor I have found that very often organisations know that they want or need to develop a person but aren’t clear about how to go about it. Recently I was asked to work with a senior manager to prepare him for a directorship. Aptitude and skill transferred into practical application had served this person well, but in preparing him to transition into a senior leadership role the organisation recognised he was lacking in leadership competencies. They had no clear plan to help him make this leap other than to source a leadership course from a training provider.

So what can a Coach hope to achieve with such a person?  It is no good working up a coaching contract with some aspirational goals unless there is a clear understanding of what competencies a leader needs to have and a way of teasing out the coachee’s core strengths and weaknesses. In other words the coach should work in a structured way with the coachee across an acceptable framework that is known and understood by all parties and signed off on by the organisation.

So what are these core leadership competencies? There is no recognised leadership list one must always work with but I have found from many years working in leadership roles that there will be an expectation by the persons at the top of an organisation that their people will be able show to leadership competency through a demonstration of  core qualities and behaviours.

I like to work with a model I have found from my days in the public sector. It consists of seven key competency areas. These are:

 Leadership skills
 Leading Change
 Organisational & Strategic Perspective
 Winning Commitment
 Analysis & Decision Making
 Creativity & Innovation
 Delivering Results

Each of these competencies will have a broader description of how they link to the aims and culture of the organisation in which the leader works. The Coach will therefore need to develop an understanding of an organisation before going in to work with a coachee. This is vital and key to understanding the optimal outcomes for both the organisation and the coachee.

Aligned to each of these competencies are behavioural characteristics that the Coach will use to recognise indicators of competency or where it is lacking. Further work will be undertaken with the coachee to then focus on the negative characteristics in order to develop self reflective commitment to building leadership  competence through the usual coaching models such as GROW.

If you would like to know more about how this can used to develop managers and leaders in your organisation please contact me at enquires@garethbryonconsultancy.co.uk




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