Have you ever heard someone say, “He (or she) is a born leader?” Or have you ever thought to yourself, “What were they thinking?” when someone got hired or promoted to lead your team or department?
As a company with over 30 years of training and coaching leaders, we have a few thoughts on such matters! Regarding “born leaders,” personality experts estimate that the typical person’s personality is approximately 60% genetic, while the other 40% of our personality comes from the environment. Even as adults, we can still be influenced by our environment.
The bottom line is that some people inherit more of a predisposition than others toward becoming effective leaders. Additionally, people who are already good leaders are more likely to improve after leadership training with a small amount of coaching. Yet, personality trait research shows that everyone has room to develop some leadership skills!
What is the best way to develop leaders – through Leadership Training or Leadership Coaching?
In the early 1980s, LaMountain & Associates focused almost exclusively on leadership training. As coaching gained popularity and credibility in the late 1980s and 1990s, we shifted our services to do more leadership coaching.
We have found that leadership coaching, in general, is the most effective way of developing leaders because it tends to have long-lasting results. In leadership coaching (as in all coaching), the coachee (and not the coach) is the expert! Leadership coaching can be done with either individuals or groups. The individual or group sets the agenda (focusing on leadership topics) for coaching sessions, and the coach facilitates the sessions.
In leadership training, expert trainer(s) usually present very beneficial information about leadership within a short period of time. However, there is often little or no follow-up to assure that participants implement leadership training concepts or that they develop better leadership skills. Without follow-up coaching, workshop participants often do not remember what they learned in training just a few weeks after training ends.
How does LaMountain & Associates’ leadership coaching work?
- Leadership coaching starts with the administration of one or more assessments – often the MBTI or Workplace Big Five personality assessment, the CDP conflict assessment, and/or an online or interview-style 360 Feedback assessment.
- After we review assessment results with the client, we help the client determine what he or she would like to focus on in leadership coaching and to develop an Individual Development Plan (IDP).
- Through the IDP process, the client, in partnership with the coach, establishes measurable goals, including target completion dates.
- The client and the coach usually meet with the client’s direct supervisor to share highlights of the assessment report(s) and the IDP and to get input and feedback from the supervisor.
- Clients usually meet with us by phone, Skype, or in-person once per week for a minimum of three months.
- Clients complete coaching “homework” assignments and practice new leadership behaviors between sessions. The coach and client have an opportunity to “work through” challenges and obstacles to the client’s progress during coaching sessions.
- The client and coach work together to decide when the client has met his or her goals and to determine when to terminate coaching services.
- When terminating coaching services, the client, coach, and supervisor often meet to discuss gains from leadership coaching and “next steps” for the clients’ leadership growth!
Our Strengths in Leadership Coaching
- We have been doing Leadership Training and Coaching for over 30 years.
- Dennis and Camille have had extensive leadership experience. Please click here to read Dennis’ bio and click here to read Camille’s bio.
- We have coached hundreds of leaders in a wide variety of organizational settings. We have seen firsthand that leaders at all levels within an organization benefit from leadership coaching.
- We have done leadership training and coaching across all the major sectors in the workplace: Private Sector (especially for manufacturing firms); Public Sector (local, state and federal); Non-Profits and Professional Organizations.
- Dennis has developed customized leadership competency models for dozens of clients. These models have been used for annual performance reviews, internally-focused 360 Feedback, succession planning, leader selection and leadership training or coaching.
- Dennis has also trained leadership coaches in several organizations.
- A sizable percentage of our leadership coaching clients have technical backgrounds (e.g., engineers, scientists, and IT professionals).
- Dozens of the leaders that we have coached have been “in the minority” as leaders in their work settings (based on their gender, race, cultural background, or other factors).
- We know what questions to ask to determine where to focus our leadership coaching.
- We know which assessments to use to help emerging leaders develop leadership skills and to help established leaders become stronger leaders.
- Since graduating from the very first Leadership Metro Richmond (LMR) class, Dennis has helped to plan and/or facilitate numerous “opening retreats” for this highly regarded leadership program.
Read Client Success Stories on our Home Page. Take a look at the list of Our Business Clients and Workplace Testimonials, as well as our personal Testimonials and see for yourself how Leadership Coaching has benefitted our clients. If you know a leader who might benefit from our coaching approach and experience, or even if you have one that you believe is “beyond hope,” let us know! We might agree with you. Or…maybe we can help this leader come to grips with the gap between current behaviors and expected behaviors!