Professional Leadership Coaching

How do you pass along the things you have learned over 30 years of actual hands-on management and leadership, not to mention the hundreds of books and thousands of articles you have read and written? It isn’t an easy question to answer. But in struggling for an answer I’ve been thinking more and more about professional leadership coaching.

But first I tried to argue myself out of it.

Like…what about writing instead? I like to write, and so writing has been my default approach to sharing insights and ideas and concepts with others for many years. Writing allows the flexibility of tackling whatever topic is on my mind, or whatever subject I’m dealing with at the moment. And the pressure is pretty low. Even when I was writing as a contractor and getting paid, it was still more of a hobby than a career.

But writing has some drawbacks. First, no matter how “real” you try to get, you are never really dealing with the actual situation that your reader is concerned with. Every management and leadership scenario is unique, with a million nuances that make the challenge different than any other. You can’t cookie-cut solutions to management problems. And so while writing attempts to provide general guidance, it ultimately falls short on the personal front.

What about videos? These feel more life-like for sure. But ultimately I think they fall into the same category as a written article or blog post. They may allow for more feeling to flow through as the creator lets their heart show a bit more than is possible for most ordinary writers. But in the end you are talking to strangers, people you don’t know, situations you don’t fully understand, and contexts that are different from your own.

So that leads me to think about coaching. Coaching is an opportunity to talk one-on-one with others about the needs, problems, and challenges they are facing in the workplace or in their career. With coaching you get to learn more about the client, their specific challenge and all the background associated with it. And an added benefit of coaching is that you get to hear and see the results. Writing rarely offers that opportunity (though a fan letter is always a joy to receive).

But how does one even begin to think about providing coaching to others? Am I qualified? What if I simply can’t help someone solve a single problem? Then I have wasted their time and mine. Or worse, what if my coaching leads someone in a bad direction? All these sorts of doubts, and many more, flood my mind as I think about it.

Yet the thought lingers. How will I know if I don’t try? The risk of trying seems pretty low overall. I hardly think I’m going to ruin someone’s life by caring enough to talk to them about their problems. And what if…what if…this is actually something that I end up enjoying and am able to help others? The only way to know for sure, it seems to me, is to try.

I don’t really know what “trying” means yet. How do you start? Where do you begin? I’ve got a bunch of books on coaching, and have started to read them with a fresh perspective as someone who actually wants to try and be a professional leadership coach. For now, I think I need to just think and pray a bit more about this. Not for too long, but long enough to get the advice of some people who have been doing this sort of thing. We’ll see where it goes from there.

Please follow and like us:
Scroll to Top