Work-Life Balance is for the HR wimps

Work-Life Balance is for the HR wimps.

Here are three lessons from my successful coaching clients on how to really master it:

1) Passion First:
When you’re in love with your work, 2am might just be your healthy prime time.
Go for it.

2) Own Your Role:
Burnout isn’t about too much work; it’s about too little control over your decisions and results.
Seize your power.

3) Colour outside the lines:
People with interests and commitments outside work find it much easier to put work aside.
Paint your own canvas.

Unlocking the Boardroom: How Coaching transforms you for the C-Suite

Unlocking the boardroom isn’t just talent — it’s whole shifts in mindset. Discover the changes you’ll need to adopt to get into the C-Suite

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In today’s corporate world, talent alone won’t get you a seat in the C-Suite.

But here’s the real issue: neither will experience!

We shouldn’t be shocked at this. The landscape of leadership is changing, and clinging to old paradigms is a good way to get left behind.

It’s not just about what we know or who we know — it’s about how we think and adapt.

The best boardroom seats are reserved for those who embrace what’s needed: Transformative shifts in mindset and approach.

Want to know what it takes?

Here are the essential changes that all directors and chief officers should be working towards (with the help of their executive coach, of course) for that all-important first c-suite place in the boardroom:

From Expert to Inquiry

  • Shift from having to know everything to being part of the team that exercises mutual inquiry – asking yourselves the hard questions.

From What to Who

  • Change from knowing what needs to be done, to knowing the people who make things happen.

From Achievement to Purpose

  • Good managers do things right. C-suite board leaders make sure only the right things are being purposefully done.

From Power to Presence

  • Your responsibilities will now extend beyond your own department. You’ll need to go from exercising power and authority to cultivating presence and influence.

From Sales to Strategy

  • Even if you were never responsible for selling, you now need to make sure your whole organisation is strategically positioned to compete and be attractive in its marketplace.

From Everything to Risk/Opportunity

  • It’s no longer possible to be on top of everything. Shift from a digital mindset of managing it all to an analogue dashboard of risk and opportunity.

From Individual Contributor to Collaborator

  • Transition from being a sole achiever to harnessing the collective strengths and insights of your team, fostering a culture of collaboration and shared success.

From Short-Term to Long-Term Thinking

  • Move beyond immediate results and quick wins. As a C-suite leader, your gaze should be set on sustainable growth and crafting a legacy of long-term value.

From Reactive to Proactive

  • Instead of merely responding to the challenges that come your way, anticipate them. Lead with foresight, ensuring your organisation is always two steps ahead.

Research Highlight: The Impact of Coaching on Team Performance

Discover how coaching can transform your team! Recent research reveals it significantly boosts performance, productivity, and communication.

Some interesting academic research on the impact of coaching techniques on team performance.

I know I’m a convert, but the findings of this research really do make a strong argument for using coaching techniques to significantly boost a team’s productivity and satisfaction.

Here’s my summary and the link to the actual research study is at the end.

The study, conducted by Aldrin & Utama, revealed that the application of coaching techniques significantly improved team performance.

The team performance score (a composite measure of the quality of work, efficiency of task completion, and level of collaboration and communication within a team) was used to quantify this improvement.

Before the introduction of coaching, the average team performance score was 58.67. After coaching was implemented, the score rose to an impressive 68.53.

This shows the transformative power of coaching in a team setting, leading to:

  • higher quality work
  • improved efficiency, and
  • enhanced collaboration and communication.

Effective communication is a critical component of successful teamwork, and coaching techniques can help break down barriers, create a sense of belonging, and foster a deep empathic understanding among team members.

Coaching, as the study explains, is about building relationships that foster personal and professional growth. It’s a process that encourages individuals to find solutions to their problems through increased self-awareness, with the support of a coach.

In a team setting, coaching can help to:

  • streamline learning
  • improve job satisfaction
  • enhance interpersonal relationships, and
  • develop leadership and management skills.

Moreover, the study found that coaching techniques can enhance respect for others and provide solutions to problems.

However, it’s important to remember that the effectiveness of coaching techniques depends on their practical application in daily work.

I think that the findings of this study are a powerful reminder of the potential that lies within a teams. By implementing coaching techniques, you can unlock this potential, improving team performance and satisfaction, and driving success.

Click here to see the research paper itself.

What’s your experience been? Please use the ‘click to tweet box below, or just click here to tweet me .

How have you used coaching techniques to improve your team's performance and satisfaction at work? Click To Tweet

Leadership Development Strategies for Success at Work: A Step-by-Step Guide

Unlock your leadership potential with my step-by-step guide. From self-assessment to continuous learning, discover my keys to your success at work.

Leadership development strategies are crucial for executive success.

They equip leaders with the necessary skills and knowledge to guide their teams effectively, drive organisational growth, and adapt to changing business landscapes.

Without leadership development, executives risk stagnation, decreased team performance, and ultimately, a decline in organisational success.

Here are the key steps to take

Step 1: Self-Assessment

Self-assessment is the foundation of leadership development.

It involves a critical evaluation of one’s strengths and weaknesses. This introspection helps identify areas for improvement.

  • An executive might use tools like 360-degree feedback or personality assessments to gain a comprehensive understanding of their leadership style and areas that need improvement.

Step 2: Setting Leadership Goals

Goal setting is a pivotal step and the GROW model is a good one to use when setting out on the developmental journey.

The GROW model involves setting a Goal, understanding the current Reality, exploring Options, and determining the Will to achieve the goal.

  • An executive aiming to improve their communication skills might set a specific goal to deliver clear and concise team briefings (Goal), acknowledge their current tendency to provide too much information (Reality), explore options like communication workshops or coaching (Options), and commit to practicing concise communication in daily meetings (Will).

Step 3: Seeking Feedback

Feedback is a valuable resource for leadership development.

It provides insights into how others perceive your leadership style and effectiveness. Constructive feedback can guide your development process.

  • An executive might implement a regular feedback system, such as anonymous surveys or open feedback sessions, to gain insights into their team’s perception of their leadership style and identify areas for improvement.

Step 4: Investigating Development Opportunities

Exploring leadership development opportunities supported by your organisation is crucial.

These programs, along with other opportunities like secondments and volunteering, provide practical leadership experience.

  • An executive might participate in a company-sponsored leadership workshop or seek a secondment opportunity in a different department, or even to a supplier or third-sector organisation, to gain a broader perspective and enhance their leadership skills.

Step 5: Raising Awareness of Others

Understanding others is a key aspect of emotional intelligence in leadership.

This involves recognizing others’ motivations and values, which can enhance team dynamics and effectiveness.

  • An executive might conduct regular one-on-one meetings with team members to better understand their motivations, career aspirations, and values, and then tailor their leadership approach to better align with these insights.

Step 6: Implementing Coaching and Mentoring

Coaching and mentoring play a significant role in leadership development.

These relationships provide personalized guidance and feedback, enhancing your leadership skills.

  • An executive might engage a professional coach to refine their communication skills, and also mentor a junior employee themselves. Which not only provides a fresh perspective but also helps in developing their leadership skills through teaching.

Step 7: Practising Leadership Skills

Practice is essential for honing leadership skills.

New skills and behaviours should be practised in a safe environment to encourage growth and development.

  • An executive might practice their decision-making skills by taking the lead in smaller projects before taking on larger, organisation-wide initiatives.

Step 8: Reflecting on Progress

Self-reflection can be an information-rich part of leadership development.

It involves reviewing your progress, learning from experiences, and making necessary adjustments.

  • After a major project, an executive might conduct a reflective session, analysing the project’s successes, challenges, and their personal performance, to identify lessons learned and plan for future improvements.

Step 9: Continuous Learning

Leadership development is a journey of continuous learning rather than a destination.

Staying updated with the latest leadership trends and theories can provide new insights and strategies.

  • An executive might commit to reading a new leadership book each month, subscribing to relevant industry podcasts, or attending annual leadership seminars to stay abreast of new developments in leadership theory.

The journey of leadership development is a continuous and rewarding process.

Each step you take not only brings you closer to becoming a more effective leader but also contributes to the success of your team and organisation.

The key to executive success lies in continuous learning, adaptation, and the courage to step out of your comfort zone. Embrace this journey with an open mind and a committed heart, and watch as you transform not just yourself, but your entire organisation.

Let me know what your top leadership development tips are? And what do you most want to learn about, as a leader? Click To Tweet

Top 5 Insights Gained from Executive Coaching Experiences

Discover 5 key insights from executive coaching. Boost skills, navigate challenges, and unlock your potential

In the fast-paced world of work, the journey to leadership can often feel like a solitary climb.

But what if you had a guide to help navigate the challenges, enhance your skills, and unlock your full potential?

This is where executive coaching steps in. Drawing from the experiences of several clients, I’ve compiled a list of the top 5 insights gained from their coaching journeys.

These insights highlight just what’s possible with the right partnership. So, whether you’re an established leader or an aspiring one, read on to discover how to shine a light on your own path to success.

1. Balancing Work and Personal Life is Crucial
One of the most valuable insights is the importance of work-life balance. The right kind of balance is different for everyone, but the pressures of a high-ranking job can often blur the lines between professional and personal life. Executive coaching helped to create ways to manage time effectively, ensuring that clients can perform at their best at work while also spending quality time with their families.

2. Navigating Office Politics with Grace
Office politics can be a challenging aspect of any job, especially in complex organisational structures. Executive coaching provides tools and strategies to navigate these challenges with grace and confidence.

This not only helps in maintaining a positive work culture but also in achieving professional goals with less struggle and conflict.

3. Leadership is More Than Just Managing
Leadership is not just about managing a team or getting tasks done. It’s about inspiring and motivating people and setting the strategic direction. Leading by example, and creating a culture of integrity and team-driven performance. Coaching helped in understanding the nuances of effective leadership and in building stronger, more cohesive teams.

4. Embracing Change and Seeking Growth
One of the biggest fears for many people was stagnation or even missing the boat entirely. Executive coaching instilled the importance of embracing change and seeking continuous growth, both professionally and personally. This mindset has been instrumental in driving innovation, staying ahead of industry trends and helping everybody – people and organisations – to reach their potential.

5. Understanding and Leveraging Strengths
Executive coaching has provided insights into understanding and leveraging personal strengths. Recognising these strengths and how to use them effectively has been key in enhancing performance, increasing efficiency …

… and having a significant impact in boosting people’s confidence.

Executive coaching is a powerful tool for personal and professional development. These insights are just a few examples of the impact it can have. Whether you’re a seasoned executive or just starting your leadership journey, executive coaching can provide valuable strategies and insights to help you reach your full potential.

Let me know what you've found useful from your own experiences of coaching? Please tweet me Click To Tweet


An orchestral conductor holds a baton above some sheet music

27 Executive Coaching Tips: A Cheat Sheet for Enhancing Your Leadership Skills

Elevate your leadership skills with these 27 quick and effective executive coaching tips. Boost your team’s morale and productivity today

Leadership is like conducting a symphony. It’s about bringing together different instruments (team members) to create a harmonious performance. Here are 27 quick tips to help you conduct your leadership symphony:

  1. Embrace Learning: Stay open to new ideas.
  2. Lead by Example: Actions speak louder than words.
  3. Communicate Clearly: Clarity builds trust.
  4. Delegate Wisely: Empower your team.
  5. Give Constructive Feedback: Encourage growth.
  6. Listen Actively: Show your team they’re heard.
  7. Foster Positivity: Be the beacon of optimism in your office.
  8. Embrace Change: Turn it into opportunities.
  9. Promote Teamwork: Celebrate collective achievements.
  10. Invest in Self-Care: You can’t pour from an empty cup.
  11. Set Clear Goals: Give your team a clear direction.
  12. Show Empathy: Understand your team’s perspective.
  13. Be Decisive: Make informed decisions promptly.
  14. Stay Humble: Remember, we all have plenty to learn and everyone has something to teach you.
  15. Be Consistent: Consistency builds trust.
  16. Encourage Innovation: Foster a culture of creativity.
  17. Show Appreciation: Recognise your team’s efforts.
  18. Stay Resilient: Get knocked down seven times – get up eight.
  19. Practice Patience: Good things take time.
  20. Be Transparent: Honesty also fosters trust.
  21. Stay Adaptable: Be ready to change direction (and change your mind) when necessary.
  22. Promote Balance: Good work-life balance boosts creativity as well as productivity.
  23. Eyes on the Prize: Stay focused on the outcomes you want.
  24. Encourage Autonomy: Trust your team’s abilities and intentions.
  25. Stay Organised: Boost focus and efficiency with well-structured workflow.
  26. Promote Continuous Improvement: Strive for better, always.
  27. Be Approachable: Let your team know they can come to you.

Leadership isn’t about being perfect. It’s about striving for improvement, one step at a time.

Share your own tip – what’s helped your leadership the most? @ me on twitter

When Asking, Telling and Suggesting Still Don’t Get Results

Deciding what to do when someone persistently doesn’t deliver at work can actually be really difficult!

That’s because:

  • We start wondering if it’s something wrong with our own management or leadership style;
  • It’s hard to tell if we’re being too soft and laid-back, or the opposite – if our annoyance and frustration is leaking out too strongly;
  • It’s exhausting!
  • And if you ask Human Resources about the company’s “Performance Management Process”, it begins to feel like you’ve already failed somewhere (and you worry that HR might think so too).

A short programme of one-to-one or team coaching can help get over that by:

  • Creating a safe space for individuals to express, and then start moving beyond, any frustrations;
  • Discovering whether the problem is:
    1. An interpersonal one – some people are simply not getting on;
    2. Structural – there are processes that don’t function properly, or conflicting requirements that block progress;
    3. Competence-based – there are skills, abilities or techniques that need to be acquired; or
    4. Confidence-based – self-belief, motivation or self-limiting habits might be getting in the way.
  • Developing more effective (and fulfilling) ways of approaching things all round.

If you’d like to know more about this approach, have someone else who is (or are yourself) in this kind of situation at work, please click here to get in touch.