Climbing the corporate ladder or leading a small business is challenging for anyone with a vision of greatness. but it can be especially challenging for women leaders. Thus, it’s important to recognize those challenges and how a leadership coach (also known as an executive coach) can help you overcome simple mistakes to clear your path to success.
Mistake 1: Not Realizing that Leadership Development is Never-ending
Leadership development is an ongoing process. Consider engaging in development activities at regular intervals during your career (whether in corporate America or a small business owner)
As a woman leader, sometimes you will simply need to check yourself. Are you up on the latest leadership trends? Have you evaluated your level of emotional intelligence lately? Are you satisfied with your level of career achievement?
A leadership coach can provide you with perspective and assistance in these areas and many others. Perspective may come in the form of strategic questions, a review of your values or various assessments. Leadership coaching may come in the form of thought collaboration, information, education, and accountability.
Mistake 2: Lack of Mentorship
A generally accepted and recommended method of learning the corporate ropes and moving to higher levels of leadership is to work with a mentor. Typically, mentor and mentee have some commonality on which to base the initial request for mentoring. Gender or race are often starting points. However, as Women Leaders advance, the likelihood of finding another Woman leader in a leadership role to serve as mentor diminishes significantly.
In this case, seeking a leadership coach outside the organization is powerful as you are free to choose a coach without having to adhere to corporate politics or be a victim of the good old boy system. You will be in control of identifying and interviewing coaches, as well as determining who will be a good fit for you. Remember, your professional development is your responsibility.
Mistake 3: Not Keeping Your Eye on the Prize
Women in leadership experience, on a daily basis, distractions related to their gender and sometimes, the color of their skin. These distractions come in the form of insensitive comments, implied lack of trust, policies that create inconveniences for women.
These distractions build up overtime resulting in negative performance, decreased enjoyment of your work or organization, and forced premature consideration of other employment options. A leadership coach can help you keep focused on the corporate or small business strategy by developing strategies to address, reduce or cope with these types of distractions.
Mistake 4: Inability to Toot Your Horn in the Marketplace
At one time having a leadership coach or executive coach was considered taboo as it often signaled performance problems. The negative perception of having a coach is changing. Now having a leadership coach is thought to be a privilege, an indication that management has big plans for you. Make sure everyone knows you have big plans for yourself. A leadership coach can help you capitalize on strengths, explore areas for development, and design a plan to address both. A leadership coach helps you progress through the plan.
(c) 2012 Karlyn D. Henderson, M.A. All rights reserved worldwide.