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Beyond Leadership

119 EpisodesProduced by Mark KalinWebsite

Beyond Leadership is a podcast that connects the business world with academia and provides a platform for entrepreneurs, leaders, managers, students, and everyone willing to learn and share their best practices and life stories about leadership. Going Beyond.Founder and owner: Mark Kalin

4:59

Tip of the Week 07 - Contemporary Leaders in the Role of Coaches

Today, rapid, constant, and disruptive changes are the norm, and what succeeded in the past is no longer a guide what will succeed in the future. Twenty-first-century managers simply don’t (and can’t) have all the right answers. To cope with this new reality, companies are moving away from traditional command-and-control practices and toward something different: a model in which managers give support and guidance rather than instructions, and employees learn how to adapt to constantly changing environments in ways that unleash fresh energy, innovation, and commitment. The role of the manager, in short, is becoming that of a coach. This is a dramatic and fundamental shift.

To get managers really thinking about the nature of coaching, and specifically how to do it better in the context of a learning organization, researchers provide the 2x2 matrix as a simple but useful tool. One axis shows the information, advice, or expertise that a coach puts in to the relationship with the person being coached; the other shows the motivational energy that a coach pulls out by unlocking that person’s own insights and solutions. Therefore, the 2x2 matrix emphasizes the different styles of coaching.

Our ability to transform a company into a genuine learning organization depends on making coaching an organizational capacity that fits integrally within that company’s culture. To do so, researchers suggest a cultural transformation that involves the following steps:

· Articulate the “why.”Managers and professionals are busy people. If you want them to embrace coaching as not just a personal skill but also a source of cultural strength, you’ll have to make clear why it’s valuable for the business and their own success.

· Model the behavior. If you want the people you work with to embrace coaching, you first need to embrace it yourself. Modeling is powerful because it shows that a leader walks the talk and it builds momentum.

· Build capability throughout the organization. If you want to get the transformation all the way through the organization, your biggest challenge is to reboot your people managers.

· Remove the barriers. As part of the shift to a learning culture, employees have to abandon precision questioning in favour of a more coaching-oriented approach that involves asking questions such as “What are you trying to do?” “What’s working?” “What’s not working?” and “How can we help?”. However, old habits die hard. Only after organizations are able to remove significant barriers to change, employees start to understand that a change is well under way.

What are the benefits of a leader as a coach? In your opinion, is coaching as a discipline or profession gaining in importance and recognition? Did you ever wanted to have a coach to help you with your professional and personal growth?


Ibarra, H. & Scoular, A. (2019). The Leader as Coach. Harvard Business Review, 97(6), 110-119.


*Slovenian Research Agency, Program P5-0364 – The Impact of Corporate Governance, Organizational Learning, and Knowledge Management on Modern Organization, School of Economics and Business, University of Ljubljana.

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