Leading on the Frontlines with a Coach on the Sidelines

Posted by admin on Aug 10, 2018 7:20:30 AM

Both for-profit and non-profit worlds are changing more rapidly today than ever. With daily advances in technology the pace will only increase. Competition is fierce. There are more non-profit organizations scrambling for limited resources. Each management team is required to do more—with less people. Boards want better results with the same budgets and staff.

Want to stay ahead of the game and maximize your organization's success? Just look to Corporate America—they are providing CEOs and leaders with highly trained success partners called Executive Coaches. Follow the leadership of professional athletes who wouldn't think of not having a coach to enhance their performance. Tiger Woods employs a coach on the sidelines in the game of life as well as on the golf course to ensure his success.

"Due to the tight labor market and the increasing difficulty in recruiting talent, companies are focusing more closely on developing managers and executives internally through coaching and mentoring programs." That is the finding of a survey of more than 300 companies nationwide by Manchester Inc., a career management and management-consulting firm. About 6 out of 10 (59%) organizations currently offer coaching or other developmental counseling to their managers and executives, according to the survey. Another 20% of organizations said they plan to offer such coaching next year.

Executive coaching is quickly emerging as a new development strategy. Executives, managers, and business owners are hiring coaches to catalyze them to reach goals, sharpen leadership skills, keep focused, reduce stress, communicate more effectively, increase productivity and make more money.

Companies who have hired coaches report many organizational benefits: improved morale, lower turnover, increased accountability, greater performance, improved efficiency and more.

Coaches partner with individuals to listen and question, explore possibilities, establish goals and create action plans. Through the coaching model, it is the coachee who comes up with the answers—not the coach. This process ensures buy-in and empowers the individual to take responsibility for creating his or her outcome.

Here are some comments from executives about the benefits that coaching has for them:

"Coaching has provided me with a collaborating partner for me to talk with that has no agenda other than helping me to stay focused and successful. I can really articulate how I feel about the many constituents and issues that I deal with everyday."

—A Social Services Executive

"Through the self foundation work with my coach I am learning how to pace myself, giving the board and employees time to catch up and buy into my vision for the organization. In the past I would get myself in trouble by trying to do too much—too quickly."

—A Human Services Executive Director

"Coaching helps me to see the forest through the trees; it helps me to distance myself from the issues. I am able to plan a course of action instead of reacting. My staff have indicated that I have taken more interest in their opinions and I am more open so they feel comfortable to present their suggestions."

—A Foundation CEO

"I have gained insight and confidence to be able to deal with human resource and management issues. Before coaching, I would not act right away when employee problems would occur, hoping they would go away. In dealing with these issues, I have gained respect from my employees and this has created a collaborative team environment."

—An Arts Executive Director

Coaches receive specialized training at one of several coach training programs. The largest program is Coach University (http://www.coachu.com) and its sister training center Corporate Coach U, both virtual interdevelopmental training centers. Coaching has been recognized as a useful corporate development tool both for the "stars" and for those who have blind spots.

The International Coaching Federation has created two levels of certification to ensure that coaches are properly trained and well qualified. This process is similar to NSFRE's (National Society for Fund Raising Executives) certification. Coaches typically have had successful background in a related field—consulting, corporate training, sales, marketing, leadership, human resources, therapy and/or management.

For personal coaching the cost varies from $250 to $500 a month for three or four half hour sessions via the telephone or face to face. Telephone coaching proves to be highly efficient, very convenient and extremely productive allowing coaches to have clients all over the world. Most clients typically are involved initially in a coaching partnership for six months to a year.

Corporate coaching can include team building, collaborative leadership and professional development. Executive coaching occurs often as a result of the team building exercises in which one on one coaching is done with the CEO, officers, or members of the team. Executive coaching is done onsite and by telephone. Corporate fees vary according to the time spent and the number of employees.

Athletes like Tiger Woods wouldn't think of not having a coach. And savvy non-profit executives are following the lead of both athletes and the corporate world by hiring Executive Coaches to take themselves and their organizations to the next level of success.


Mary Beth Bos, CFRE, lives in Sarasota, Florida and specializes in Executive Coaching for non-profit organizations. An experienced non-profit executive and creative coalition builder for more than twenty-two years, she has lead several organizations out of financial and organizational chaos. E-mail her at mbbos@coachingvision.com for her free "Coachability Exercise" to check out whether coaching can be beneficial for you and your organization, or visit her Web site at www.coachingvision.com.


Custom Development Solutions, Inc. (CDS) is among the most sought after fundraising consulting firms specializing in the strategic planning and tactical execution of capital campaigns for non-profits throughout the United States and Canada.  If you have a fundraising question, please call CDS at 800-761-3833 or send an email to info@cdsfunds.com.

Topics: Capital Campaigns, executive coaches, non-profit management, Professional Skill Building, strategic planning

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