Coaching For Executives
Sometimes there is no substitute for dedicated interactive support. In my work with individuals, my focus is simply this: to help them make a stand-out, career-transforming impact on their organization. I’ve helped:
- New Chief Executives to translate strategy into action.
- Senior executives to move ahead on strategic decisions, key promotions, handling dissent among their senior team, reducing high employee turnover and influencing difficult people.
- Newly appointed leaders to turn around struggling departments.
- Workaholics to achieve more life balance while maintaining or improving performance.
- Individual entrepreneurs to refine, plan for and achieve their goals.
We are all individuals, and one-to-one consulting relationships are unique, so my approach is flexible. Some of the roles I play are supporter, devil’s advocate, provocateur, performance coach, confidential sounding-board and collaborator.
Coaching engagements usually start with a call from a senior executive or individual entrepreneur – sometimes they are calling on their own behalf, or they may have one of their direct reports in mind. Typically the person needs help with specific issue: maybe a transition, or maybe a slump. Other times, they are looking to raise the bar on their performance. In all cases, the feeling is that there is more potential waiting to be released.
During the call, I get an overview of the situation and its importance to the wider business. I also want to learn about the coacher’s willingness to engage in coaching, and about any approaches that have been pursued previously. If I believe there could be a good match, I speaks individually to the coachee and the coachee’s boss – often face-to-face, but otherwise over Skype. This stage is crucial – all parties have to feel comfortable that they can work together, and be prepared to agree ground rules about commitments, confidentiality and so on.
At this stage the parties also agree a set of objectives and measures for the engagement, enabling me to make a written proposal, typically offering a range of options.
Once I’m hired, I meet the coachee to reaffirm the objectives and get started. Unlike other coaches, I don’t rely on a formula or standard template. Because of my background, I am able to call upon an extremely wide range of interventions. Rapid progress is ensured by a feedback-driven cycle from session to session that goes like this: appraise the situation in light of goals, generate and select alternatives for action, plan to act, take action, reflect on feedback, and repeat.
I will communicate with the coachee through a combination of media: email, Skype, phone and face-to-face as appropriate. Where necessary, I will go and get feedback on the client’s behalf, using for example, 360 interviews, talking to colleagues, suppliers, customers or other key people. I may also provide personal observations of the client in their presentations, meetings and other interactions.
The emphasis is on new behaviours, since it is these that will bring new results. Throughout, I am looking for the coachee to exceed their expectations of themselves and others, to think bigger and achieve more.
"Andrew displays this rare mix of confidence, humanity, subject knowledge and wonderful dexterity in his coaching. His insightful approach and focus on achieving results are impressive. Highly recommendable consultant if you are looking for a true professional."
John Handley“I have known Andy for many years and as a consultant, coach and mentor he has the rare ability to mix the theory, intellectual rigour and practicality into a real value added offering to the businesses and individuals he works with.”
Choosing a coach is about as personal a business decision as it is possible to imagine – for the client and the coach. We will need therefore to make a mutual decision, and some of the factors will probably be intangible. At the same time, here are some aspects of my background which impact my approach, style and results:
- An extremely wide range of experience advising leaders both within their organizations and on executive development and post-graduate management programmes at leading business schools like Warwick and Aston.
- Consulting and coaching with executives in multinationals on three continents.
- Former Director of the Psychology and Management Programme at Aston Business School.
- Longstanding advisor to the award-winning Birmingham Future Mentoring Scheme.
- Mentor for the start-up accelerator Entrepreneurial Spark (supported by Nat West).
- Consistently highly-rated faculty-member for the Aston Centre for Executive Development.
- Experience in developing internal coaching and consulting capabilities for a wide variety of corporate clients.
Sometimes my role includes being more ambitious on my client’s behalf than they think they ought to be – typically with pleasantly surprising results for them!