As associations and other non-profits compete with and are compared to corporate America, the challenge has never been greater. In today’s environment of accelerating change and increasing uncertainty, only leaders who know who they are and where they are going will succeed. Today’s leaders must do more than manage change—they must thrive on it!
Today’s successful leader combines the vision and curiosity of a dreamer with the practical building skills of an architect. A leader is goal directed—goals give an effective leader meaning and purpose and serve as a continuous source of motivation in pursuit of organizational and individual success.
To most effectively lead others, consider mastering the art of self-leadership. You’ve probably known someone who tried to lead and motivate others while failing to lead themselves. Not a good situation. Working with a coach will help you understand who you are and what gives your life value. Coaching will help you establish your life’s purpose and pursue it with confidence, skill and commitment. Know where you are going and how you are going to get there.
So what is a coach? The whole idea of having a coach may be new to you. While the idea of partnering with a coach has been a desire of corporate executives, a rapidly growing number of association executives and staff now have coaches. A coach is a professional who works with individual clients to help them achieve results and sustain life-changing behavior in their lives and careers. In an interview, I heard the great college football coach Lou Holtz say, “I never saw myself as just a coach of football. I was a coach of life.” The relationship between you and your coach is unlike any other relationship you have.
Coaches, consultants—what’s the difference? Coaches address the whole person, with an emphasis on uncovering blind spots and producing right action that leads to more fulfillment, more balance and more effective processes for living. Consultants and coaches take very different approaches.
Consultants are problem solvers. Their underlying message is, “I’m smarter than you are. I’ll tell you what’s wrong and how to fix it.” Coaches are people developers. They don’t tell their clients what to do; they ask questions. Their message is, “You’re smart. I’ll be a mirror to help you look inside yourself, so you can not only solve this problem, but maximize your potential in all areas of your life.” The goal of consulting is typically to maximize profits while the goal of coaching is to maximize potential.
Results from coaching for association staff members have included:
- Staff Retention and Engagement
- Improved Teamwork and Alignment of Goals
- Time Management
- Criteria for Effective Goal Setting
- Obstacles to Your Success & Overcoming Obstacles
- Planning with a Purpose
- Delegation and Management
- Communication and Human Relations
- Decision Making and Problem Solving
Is coaching a “perk?” Yes. More and more executives and boards of directors are investing in coaching as a “perk” for their professional staff. Some coaches offer both one-and-one and team/group coaching. Both methods work well with association staff. My clients report an increase in staff morale and engagement, improved life balance, better alignment of goals and increased success.