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Posts tagged ‘What is a coach’

Leadership Is Difficult: 8 Lessons For New Leaders

Leadership is hard. Being a new leader is even more difficult.

About half of those hired into a leadership position fail. Reasons for this colossal failure rate are many. Sometimes the issues are organizational in nature, such as a lack of leadership training,  feedback, mentoring, or a poor hiring processes or dysfunctional culture. Others are caused by personality attributes ill-suited to leadership including arrogance, control issues, insensitivity and selfishness.

“The greatest leader is not necessarily

But most of the time, the reason for leadership turnover are subtle and spring from a lack of organizational- and self-awareness, as well as the needs of your employees.

The following are leadership lessons I wish someone shared with me 20 years ago before learning them the hard way.

Two Under-appreciated New Leader Issues

First, many new leaders do not know how leadership performance is measured. Front-line staff (and some managers) performance is based largely on “doing” activities such as sales, the number of news releases written or videos produced. New leaders who remain in a “doing” mindset (rather than leading) prevent their team and their organization from reaching its potential.

Leaders are graded on a matrix of factors such as the performance and satisfaction of their team members, political proficiency, emotional intelligence, effective communication and many other “soft” skills.

A second key lesson was: the only person whose behavior I can control is mine. It is a powerful myth that a new title means your every wish will be carried out without any additional effort. Effective leaders communicate objectives, motivate their team to action and direct progress without over or undermanaging. Leaders unable to figure this out will become frustrated and angry that their team members are not mind readers, and end up overmanaging.

6 Additional Tips For New Leaders  

Self-awareness.  A mentor, coach or therapist (or any combination of the three) is a must for new leaders to help build self-awareness. In order to lead others, you must know yourself, what makes you tick, you blind spots, what drives your best and worst behaviors, and how you appear to others.

See the big picture.  Cultivate an understanding how you and your team fit into the organization’s mission, vision, values and business outcomes.

It’s Not About You. If you can’t get the best from your team, you will never reach your potential as a leader.

It’s All About You. All eyes are on you at all times. Leaders must walk their talk. Those who don’t will never be fully trusted by their teams, peers and their own one-up.

Listen. Resist the pressure to jump to solutions when there is a problem. Listen to your team and let them create or co-create new, better ways to do their work.

Remove obstacles.  Poor leaders are an obstacle. The best leaders remove them whenever possible to unleash performance and build trust.

Gregory Alford, MS. Psy., is founder of Accelerated Coaching & Consulting LLC, and specializes in business, leadership and life coaching and Marcom consulting.

Introverts And The Corner Office

It doesn’t seem fair, at least to many introverts, that extroverts enjoy a significant edge when it comes to hiring and promotions.

In my Friday blog, I shared findings from researchers who use the Five Factor Model (FFM, also called The Big 5) to study which dimensions of personality are linked to workplace success. Conscientiousness and extroversion are far and away the two dimensions most correlated to leadership.

The virtues of extroversion have been written about ad nauseam. So I will turn the tables and focus on introversion.

Introverts, Do Not PanicIntroverts are more effective leaders of

First, do not panic or believe you cannot snag a promotion or succeed in a leadership position – you can. Introverts comprise between 30 to 50 percent of the US population. Many are excellent leaders.

Second, extroversion and introversion are personality dimensions measured on a continuum, and most people land near the middle. Almost everyone is a mixture of the two.

Finally, introverts have secret weapons. When others talk, introverts listen (deeply), which often lead to thoughtful observations, and powerful questions. Because introverts are more likely to think before they speak, their feet rarely need to be dislodged from their mouths. These are all great leadership behaviors.

(To take a free Big Five assessment, click here)

Small Steps You Can Take Today

For those, including introverts, who want to boost their visibility at work, the following tips may help you.

  1. Write down, or better yet share with someone, what your short- and long-term goals are related to becoming more visible at work.
  2. Pick a small group of co-workers you do not regularly interact with, and join in a discussion. This can be done at lunchtime in the cafeteria, or by serving on a committee (Yes, I heard your exasperated sigh).
  3. Ask to make a presentation (or co-present) and highlight department project updates or accomplishments.
  4. Focus on those times when you successfully asked for a date, made light conversation with someone you just met, or spoke in public. Bask in the positive feelings (even if it was relief after it was over) of those accomplishments.
  5. Schedule down time after completing an activity that takes you out of your comfort zone, and assess what worked.

As more people get to know who you are, your sphere of influence grows. This will  help put you in the conversation for new roles and responsibilities.

That’s it. Step into some new situations you have some control over. In time you will be prepared to take larger steps, and move your leadership journey forward.

Gregory Alford, MS. Psy., is founder of Accelerated Coaching & Consulting, LLC., and specializes in business, leadership and life coaching. 

The Accelerated Coaching Program

A Coach Can Help You Change Your Life

Leadership, business and life coaches combine many of the best concepts from management theory, psychology, philosophy, sports and spirituality to facilitate positive life changes. Although there is some similarity, coaching is not therapy, mentoring or consulting. It is a strengths-based approach that empowers you to use your energy and insights to propel your life to new heights.

The Accelerated Coaching program requires you be open to change, complete agreed up action items between sessions, and be prepared to gain greater self-awareness. Over the course of our sessions, we will partner on tapping into your inner strength so you can become a better and more focused business leader, have more energy for your home life, and one the road to a a happier, more fulfilling life.

My Promises To My Clients 

Coaching sessions are values-based, goal-oriented and focus on today and the future.  My belief is everyone has within themselves the answers to increase their happiness, and personal and professional effectiveness. To uncover those answers and find a path to success, I promise to:

  • Be a partner who truly listens, asks questions, and challenge your assumptions to help you lasting change
  • Help you build supportive structures and people into your life
  • Help you set goals and priorities
  • Guide you toward greater self-awareness and sense of purpose
  • Treat our sessions in confidence
  • Share methods and techniques that can increase business and life performance that can be used long after the coaching relationship ends

The goals and outcomes of working with me are up to you. Common goals include:

  • Enhance your leadership skills
  • Balance your work/life balance
  • Better apply your energy to enhance productivity
  • Learn what behaviors work/don’t work
  • Increase work/life satisfaction
  • Enhance self-confidence and personal power

Coaches such as myself who are trained in programs approved by the Internal Coach Federation have a variety of coaching tools to help you create a more fulfilling and rewarding personal and professional life.

The primary service is coaching for business owners, corporate leaders and the general public with a focus on short-term, Accelerated programs. The Accelerated Coaching approach focuses on aligning values and actions, communication, conflict management, team building, and creativity.

Coaching Packages

I accept clients locally and globally. Sessions are in English at a mutually agreed upon time. Most sessions are conducted via telephone or via Skype.  I also offer face-to-face coaching sessions for those in the Naperville, Illinois, area.

You can choose the amount and type of coaching that will best fit into your life.

  •  As part of the Accelerated Coaching Program (ACP), you will receive four (4) fifty (50) minute coaching sessions by telephone, and a written progress sheet following each session via email. These sessions are structured to enhance your self -awareness and put you on the path to improve your personal and professional excellence so you can achieve your dreams. It is easiest if our sessions are conducted at the same time each week.  If you’re in the US, I will call you at no extra charge. International clients will need a Skype account. Cost: $899.
  • Each month of the Standard Coaching Program (SCP), you will receive three (3) fifty (50) minute coaching sessions by telephone, and a written progress sheet following each session via email. This program provides time for a “deep dive” to find and clarify your goals, dreams and desires for your life. The fourth week in each month will be used for personal reflection and recharging. It is easiest if our sessions are conducted at the same time each week.  If you’re in the US or Canada, I will call you at no extra charge. International clients need a Skype account. Cost: $600 per month, or $1,500 for a 12 week program.
  • Also offered is my package that consists of one (1) fifty (50) minute coaching session by telephone, and a session progress sheet. Also included are two (2) email “check in and encouragement” sessions each month. These e-mails include feedback, questions, insight and encouragement. They also include updates concerning your progress.  This program is ideal for those “Road Warriors” who have unpredictable schedules, and those who prefer written communication. Cost: $400 per month.

We can also create a custom package the works for you. Contact me for information.

The Power of Acknowledgment

The Power of Acknowledgment

 By Gregory Alford, MS. Psy.

One of our deepest needs is to be acknowledged. Unfortunately, it’s a skill few people have. As a result, we don’t acknowledge others, or ourselves, very often. This is our loss. But it is a skill that can be learned!

When you acknowledge, you draw attention to something wonderful about a person. When done appropriately, it strengthens relationships and builds trust. It can be verbal, or written, and is often most appreciated when done publicly (especially at work).

Acknowledgment is…

  • Heartfelt
  • Occurs after action (ideally immediately)
  • Highlights good deeds
  • Encouragement

Recall a time when you received sincere acknowledgment and notice how good it still makes you feel. Now, recall when you completed a project there was no acknowledgment. Big difference – isn’t it? This is why behaviors we regularly acknowledge generally increase over time.

Self-Acknowledgement is also vital

Since so many people are unskilled acknowledging others, there are times when the kindest thing you can do is congratulate yourself.  This can help avoid disappointment, frustration or even anger that might follow times when your contributions or accomplishments go unrecognized.

Take a deep breath, let go of negative feelings and acknowledge yourself, out loud, several times if you want to! Then, acknowledge those who supported you. Top it off with a celebration of your choice.

So, your challenge today and everyday is to catch someone in the act of doing good and acknowledge them. You will discover it makes everyone’s day!


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