Leader, Coach

Does a leader really have to be a coach?

It used to be so easy. You wanted something done, so you simply ordered your underlings to have it on your desk by 5pm. Problem solved. Alas, office life isn’t quite so straightforward in the 21st century. Now it’s all first names and employee engagement and teamwork exercises, where a manager isn’t a commanding officer any more, but a leader, and where a leader is apparently also a coach.

Coaching at work sounds like some ghastly fad, a step up from being the office cheerleader, which is unfortunate. All it really means is helping people get the best out of themselves, which has of course been an essential part of good leadership since time immemorial.

The emphasis on leadership as coaching is fairly recent, but there are good reasons for that. Flatter structures, remote working and less a deferential culture all play a role. ‘The command and control approach is just not suitable because of the way in which teams come together now and the way people work,’ says Nick Shaw, an occupational psychologist and managing director of CEB’s UK talent assessment and HR business. ‘Our research shows that leaders have teams that are about 50% larger than they were six years ago.’
Read more at Management Today