What Is Leadership Coaching?
As you should know already, all forms of coaching share the same fundamentals and basics. Which is why, coaching any niche is the same in its core essence.
However, how you coach and what your clients need and want greatly varies depending on your niche and ideal clients.
So, what is leadership coaching and how does it differentiate from other forms of coaching?
Let's break down some differences with the most popular coaching niches right now...
Life coaching is centered around individual development and growth.
Life coaches help clients get to personal goals like achieving work-life balance, improving their relationship with loved ones, or experiencing more happiness and fulfillment in their everyday life.
Business coaching is focused on creating results in a business or entrepreneurial environment.
Business coaches help clients work with strategies and techniques to achieve goals like creating multiple revenue streams, cultivating growth and expansion, or hitting specific monthly and yearly income goals. Business coaches usually work with teams and managers.
Leadership coaching is a whole other ball game.
It's about working with high achievers and leaders -- from CEO's of international corporations to ambitious entrepreneurs -- to bring lasting positive, impactful change on their internal and external world, and help them achieve even higher levels of success.
Leadership coaches help their clients experience heightened motivation, creativity, and inspiration.
A leadership coach works with clients to maximize performance and increase their leadership skills in the workplace, but their actionable guidance, advice and support regularly transforms the leader's personal life in a positive way.
Leadership coaching also stands out from all other types of coaching in one very significant way...
A leadership coach creates a powerful ripple effect in the entire organization.
I've seen this happen first-hand with the results I've helped to create for my high-achieving clients and leaders.
When a client starts to hit exponential levels of professional growth and development, the effect spreads all the way out to everyone else in the organization or team.
This makes sense when you think about it...
A happy, effective, powerful and focused leader equals a happy, effective, powerful and focused team.
Something else you need to know as you explore leadership coaching...
There is a massive need for coaches who can work with top performers and this need is growing.
The business and professional world of the 21st century is nothing like the one before.
This is a world of Artificial Intelligence, non-stop news alerts, and systemic economic changes that happen in days or even hours.
This is a world of "Instagram and Facebook" fame that can turn an unknown name into a global phenomenon in seconds.
It's the age of instant success...
And even quicker failure.
This is a time of unprecedented change and an increasingly unpredictable future.
Now more than ever, leaders and CEOs need coaches who can help them navigate past the obstacles and challenges of the business world.
What I'm saying is this...
The market is open wide and the right clients are out there, waiting.
You couldn't have picked a better time to become a leadership coach.
Now that you know the definition of leadership coaching, take a few minutes to write your own.
This is a simple activity that'll get you to think about your role as a leadership coach and to open you up to deeper insights and ideas around what that means to you.
Use these questions as a guideline:
What is leadership coaching for me?
Why do I want to coach and impact leaders and change makers?
What do I want to be known for in the leadership coaching space?
How do I want to help leaders and what kind of results do I want to create for them?
What It Takes To Coach Leaders
One of the things I hear gifted coaches say all the time is...
"Ajit, I can't coach leaders because I'm not as successful as they are."
There's a strong belief in coaching circles and it goes something like this: If you want to be an awesome leadership coach, if you want to coach top performers and high achievers...
You have to be stronger, better, faster, smarter and wealthier than them.
This is total B.S.!
Leadership coaches do not need to be great leaders, they need to be great coaches. Coaching is their job. Not leading.
This might seem obvious but so many great coaches - people who would make brilliant leadership coaches - mix things up and give up on their dream.
I don't want that to happen to you.
A good friend of mine, best-selling author and master leadership coach Michael Neill talks about the key thing you need to know about being a leadership coach.
He tells the story of a client of his who is a lieutenant in the army. Michael asked the lieutenant, "Who is the best leader you've ever had?"
And the Lieutenant replied that it was someone who was below him in rank, a sergeant, who had an amazing ability to "lead up" with his higher officers and "lead down" with those under his command.
This sergeant was gifted at creating a genuine connection with people. He could motivate and inspire them to be their best whether they were above or below him in rank.
Michael explains that this is the skill that leadership coaches need...
To know that they can "coach up" and "coach down" at any time.
To know that their job is to be the best coach they can be.
Not to be the best leader. Or the best performer. Or the highest achiever.
The job is to be the best coach and to overcome that feeling of doubt, intimidation and overwhelm that comes up when super successful people are in the room.
There's a strategy you can use to make this happen.
It's a simple but incredibly powerful mindset shift.
First thing to keep in mind...
It doesn't matter who your clients are -- top CEOs, world-class entrepreneurs, big name celebrities and influencers, legendary sports personalities - they just want one thing...
To become better than they already are.
They want to rise higher and reach for more.
This is a basic need for all leaders and high achievers.
It's like the air they breathe.
And you can help them get there when you show up fully and effectively as a leadership coach...
When you shift into the mindset of service and coach from the heart and not the mind.
You need to forget about saying and doing the right things as a coach. Or trying to use every single tool and technique in the book to keep your sessions "interesting."
You need to forget about impressing the client and focus on helping them get more from their work, their lives, and from themselves.
When you shift your focus and attention away from what the client thinks of you and you start to think about how you can help them...
Doubts and fears fall away, and all that's left is the thing you love to do most...
This activity will help you practice coaching from the heart and not the mind.
Take 10 minutes. Find a quiet place.
Think of a dream client that you'd love to work with as a leadership coach. This could be a high achiever in any industry - a celebrity, a high-profile CEO, or an rockstar entrepreneur.
Now imagine this person sitting in front of you. Imagine you're
their coach. Imagine they've come to you for insights and guidance on how to become better than they are.
In your mind, consciously shift from "I need to do a good job and impress them" to "Wow, I'm so grateful to be here. How can I help my client? What can I do to create a transformation here?"
Get a piece of paper and a pen and write down your answers. You can also create an audio recording or video on your smartphone if that's more comfortable for you.
Watch the video below to get inspired with 5 powerful coaching questions you can ask leaders and immediately start an insightful conversation.