MDs and CEOs often forget that coaching and development isn’t just for their staff, though I hear them say “it’s tough at the top and can be very lonely”. This can be because they are so focused on responding to strategic requirements and changes in corporate priorities, organisational structure, markets, personnel or technologies. No mean feat, and that’s before any personal issues are put into the picture! Working with these business leaders is immensely rewarding but demands patience, if only because their numerous demands and responsibilities make it difficult to find an hour or so a week to undertake executive coaching. Once they get involved in the process, they relish the opportunity and find it immensely rewarding to step back from the immediate pressures and concentrate on balancing themselves and freeing up their managerial and leadership skills.
And there are relative novices in these high-responsibility positions too. We are all justifiably proud to live and work in Cambridge, a place of academic excellence and exceptional entrepreneurship. We have a well-deserved reputation for innovation emanating from the University and encouragement for the launch of start-up companies. These entrepreneurs must gain personal insight as well as very practical business knowledge to motivate others and ensure their companies thrive. This is true in all lines of business, whether in cutting-edge technologies or more conventional areas, and involves a far greater degree of understanding about the different skills, characteristics and behaviours needed to be successful in management and leadership than their previous experience may have taught them.
Some of this knowledge can be learnt ‘on the job’ but it’s easy to get blinkered or out of one’s depth as a company grows and new challenges arise. Enthusiastic founders may start to flounder in spite of their specific expertise. At CLE Consulting & Training we put the spotlight on Senior Managers so they can develop the controlling aspects needed for good management and the creative abilities and visionary charisma necessary to keep leading the company onwards and upwards.
Our series of meetings with Caroline were exceptionally useful for us to get insight into the historical issues in the department. This is going to give us a common understanding and a firm base from which to build a working and productive relationship.