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A Corporate Coaching Tree Of Your Own

October 2020
Nancy Jernigan, Ph.D., LPC
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Leadership development in the new normal

Building strong leadership qualities in your executive team takes intentionality, time, and a deep conviction. I have talked to many CEO and C-Suite leaders who say they want to develop a strong leadership development process, yet the urgency of the moment and board financial pressures seem to take precedence. Developing a process in your organization in order to multiply strong leaders is no easy task. Leadership development processes and departments have risen in importance and visibility over the past 10 years.

CEOs and senior leaders put considerable thought into how they plan to build your leadership team. In football, there’s something called “the coaching tree.” If you are not a huge NFL fan, let me briefly describe the concept. Some NFL coaches are known for developing and multiplying other effective coaches, thus developing an impressive coaching tree legacy. Coaches who have a so-called coaching tree are known for how they have influenced other successful coaches. In other words, their legacy extends farther than the teams they have led.

Have you thought about your need to develop a corporate coaching tree? Some leading owners of organizations have already done this by multiplying other great corporate leaders. Entrepreneurial CEOs and leaders in particular are poised to multiply these types of leaders.

The pressure of leading a corporate team in today’s pandemic culture may not afford you the luxury of a lot of extra time, yet the most effective leaders are indeed taking their high-priced time to strategically develop leaders in their C-suite that will someday be considered a part of their coaching tree.

CEOs who take the time needed to multiply leaders by training their next line of authority usually concentrate on a handful of reproducible skills and abilities. These skills include inspiring strong character, sharing knowledge, igniting innovative thinking, providing tools and resources for excellence, integrating corporate values, and encouraging personal and professional growth.

As you intentionally take the time to build your leadership team, you may also see that your line of authority follows suit and equips their teams with these same abilities. This coaching concept of equipping leaders to lead others is not something that every business leader can grasp or has the innate ability to replicate. It takes concentrated effort.

Multiplying leaders who save companies, navigate leaders, and equip others to build strong and successful companies would be a profound legacy. Building, training, and developing top leaders – whether in person or virtually – brings significant added value to your business and will pay off in the long run. Think about playing the long game and develop your executive team in ways that reproduce other strong leaders in your organization.

It is imperative to put into place a strong leadership development process now that includes developing the leaders in your coaching tree. Just like the leading NFL coaches, wouldn’t it be quite a world class legacy if you were to reproduce leaders in this way?

Who is in your corporate coaching tree?

About the Author:

Nancy Jernigan, Ph.D., is a Director at the Stanton Chase Los Angeles office.


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