Why every leader needs a coach?

Get leaders out of their own heads By holding high-level conversations, coaches guide leaders to simplicity, lifting them out of the fog. They ask the right questions to raise awareness and help managers see their challenges with new eyes. Most leadership books and training programs focus on how leaders can achieve more, do more, better, faster and with dramatic results. We become obsessed with continuous improvement at an ever-increasing rate, leading to increased stress levels for leaders and their followers and a deterioration in relationships.

Mindfulness, as a leadership practice and work culture, promises to regain balance and improve health. Coaches, by working with leaders, can be a great catalyst to increase their self-awareness and self-management and help bring a calm leadership style to the workplace. First, as a leader, having a coach gives you the opportunity to have a nourished and mutually beneficial exchange. However, in a survey of 200 chief executives, board directors and other senior executives about how they receive and view leadership advice, the Stanford Graduate School of Business found that two-thirds of chief executives do not receive leadership guidance or advice from outside sources.

Employees will quickly realize this and, despite the good intentions of the leaders, they will be unable to inspire or empower their teams to achieve the performance they seek. One of these keys, and perhaps the first, is the ability to set clear objectives that are consistent with the values of the leader and the vision of the company. Coaching can be the fastest way for leaders and managers to manage complexity and improve their communication, collaboration and coaching skills for the future. I know that sometimes leaders don't think or focus too much on their development or on their direct reports, unless they're in a coaching conversation.

When they commit to this level of leadership development with the full support of their organization, leadership training can be transformative. For example, after six months of leadership training, the leaders of the software company UserTesting saw a 32 percent improvement in their executive presence and a 21 percent increase in their ability to lead high-performing teams. Working in leadership means carefully analyzing your capabilities and acting automatically to be more intentional, have a clear focus and make good decisions. When leaders recognize and leverage this diversity of ideas, they can better promote successful long-term business results.

Employees who receive technology-based leadership training have a space to talk about ways to take charge of their organizational impact and learn how to better interact with their managers. Talented leaders no longer have to rely on “anecdotal” evidence to demonstrate the ROI of leadership training. Leaders at software development consultancy Pivotol Labs saw a 173 percent improvement in their interpersonal skills, and 91 percent fully agreed that coaching improved their ability to achieve business goals. A 2004 study by Right Management Consultants found that 86% of companies used trainers in their leadership development programs.

Just like in professional sports, corporate leaders can get a boost and be even better if they dedicate time to their craft with executive coaching.