Chapter 9: Executive Coaching: A Strategy for Effective Change Management
From the Book: The Refractive Thinker®: Vol. III: Change Management


In the 2008 Kress research study Executive coaching was defined as a leadership development strategy individualized, experiential and intended to improve a leader’s skills so they can more effectively achieve organizational goals. Executive coaching has been implemented by organizations as a leadership development strategy that enhances skills and knowledge related to self-awareness improving individual performance.
Leaders are aware that internal and external changes are the state of business today. Change is inevitable and people and business will resist for as long as possible for fear of the unknown or simply wanting to maintain the status quo. Change is not only resisted within the organizational structure but also in leadership development strategies. There is a demand for a new leadership approach, enhanced leadership skills, and a cause for the growing interest in executive coaching.
The leadership training and development personnel within organizations have realized the effectiveness of executive coaching and its success in enhancing leadership skills, and they have replaced traditional leadership development and training programs with executive coaching programs (Hernez-Broome & Hughes, 2004; Hutton, 2003; Zenger & Stinnett, 2006). Executive coaching is a leadership development strategy that helps cultivate necessary skills not easily learned during formal training programs.
Organizations need leaders who are able to adjust to change rapidly and effectively (Chen, 2006). Future leaders need to have the ability to work through the process of change while making improvements within their industry (Zenger & Stinnett, 2006). Organizational leaders who embrace the need for a change in traditional leadership development methods will become more effective.
It is paramount that organizations have effective change management strategies. The strategies can only effectively be implement by leaders who have developed skills and demonstrate leadership behaviors that respect the diversity of the organizational culture. Classroom based leadership development does not provide the real-time learning and development necessary to meet the demands of the fast paced business world. Self-awareness is essential to effective leadership and future leaders need to have a high level of self-awareness in order to lead effectively.
Executive coaching is a leadership strategy utilized by organizational leaders to close performance gaps and advance leadership skills more rapidly using real-time leadership development methods. Executive coaching is an individualized approach maximizing personal performance. Executive coaching has helped leaders achieve measurable results, influences self-awareness and reflection sustaining leaders changed behaviors.
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