Why More Academic and Administrative Leaders in Higher Education Are Using an Executive Coach

September 3, 2019
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Leadership development is a top priority for both academic and administrative leaders in higher education. Organizations that want to thrive in the difficult years ahead need extraordinary leaders at the helm. One way that savvy institutions are making sure this happens is to invest in Executive Coaching services for their most promising leaders.

As a veteran Executive Coach in higher education, I’m not surprised to see the interest in executive coaching growing. What I’ve noticed lately, though, is that more and more leaders are so convinced in the value of having an Executive Coach that they are personally investing in Executive Coaching services.

An “Insider’s Look” at Helping Higher Education Executives Be Stronger Leaders

I’ve been on the inside of dozens of higher educational institutions throughout my career. I’ve worked with hundreds of department chairs, academic deans, chancellors, and presidents.  I’ve seen countless leaders rise to new heights, while their colleagues’ careers remain stagnant.  I know what’s made the difference and I bring that knowledge to each leader I coach.

There are five key benefits that higher education leaders reap when working with an Executive Coach, which I will discuss shortly.

From an organizational standpoint, leaders who undergo Executive Coaching become better problem-solvers, connect more favorably with their teams, and make transitions into advanced roles more seamlessly. From a personal standpoint, professionals who invest in Executive Coaches tend to advance higher in their careers, and typically advance more quickly.

Now, let’s walk through the five key ways you’ll benefit from working with an Executive Coach.

5 Powerful Ways You Benefit from Working with an Executive Coach

  1. Enhance Your Emotional Intelligence Skills

Whether you realize it or not, your Emotional Intelligence (EI) skills are critical to your success as a leader in higher education. You must be skilled in interpersonal interaction, adept at creating team unity, and able to work through conflict with relationships in-tact.

Leaders must be both self-aware and in-tune to the emotions of others.  When you know how to do this, you’re well on your way to creating a collaborative, results-focused team.

Understanding your EI and expanding it to the max is an imperative for higher education leaders. Working with an Executive Coach is one of the best ways to see your EI soar quickly.

2. Improve Your Decision-Making and Problem-Solving Abilities

The role of a leader in higher education can be both complex and ambiguous. Being able to assess a situation, understand potential pitfalls, and come up with innovative solutions are all hallmarks of a capable leader.

When you have an Executive Coach on your side, you have someone who can challenge your thinking habits and help you explore alternatives that you may not consider without a Coach on your side. Your problem-solving abilities expand. Over time, you also become a more insightful decision-maker.

3. You Become More Self-Aware and More Focused

Research bears out that self-awareness is a core leadership competency; it also confirms that most people overestimate their true level of self-awareness. Your Executive Coach can help you become more self-aware, and self-aware people are much more effective leaders than their out-of-touch counterparts.

When you work with an Executive Coach, you will soon start to identify personal patterns and tendencies, some of which aid you as a leader and some of which sabotage your well-intended efforts. The newfound self-awareness may help you overcome obstacles you’ve been struggling with for years.

An Effective Executive Coach won’t just help you figure out what you should do but will also help you examine why you respond the way you do to different situations. Your Coach will also help you explore response alternatives that can lead to improve results.

Leaders may find themselves perplexed with a complex issue and challenged to generate viable solution options.  An Executive Coaches operates as your thought partner – guiding you to stay laser-focused on what matters most.

4. Develop a Stronger Executive Presence

In the academic world, too many leaders rely solely on their academic expertise to secure their continued career growth. The missing link is an intentional investment in developing leadership skills – which in essence is how you show up as an executive with subject matter expertise, leadership aptitude, and demonstrated ability to challenge status quo group think.

How you’re perceived by others, your Executive Presence, matters. In fact, it matters a lot. Project a credible, capable, and caring image and you’ll find people will enjoy working with you more and see you as a candidate for executive growth. Developing executive presence requires intentional focus and consistent assessment of habits and shifts in how you lead. I have an Executive Presence program developed exclusively for higher education leaders where I teach the three pillars of Executive Presence. (Contact me for more information.)

5. Professional Career Goal Setting and Planning

Leaders who set strategic career goals and establish a career plan have a substantial advantage over those who leave their career growth to chance.  Your Executive Coach will walk you through a thorough career goal-setting and planning process that includes consistent reflection and review of your progress on working towards those goals. This is a game-changer!

Even though most of the higher education leaders I work with are exceptionally talented in so many ways, I find few have taken time to figure out what they truly want in their careers. Even fewer have ever taken the time to set time-relevant goals and a plan for achieving the career advancement they desire.

One of the first things I do with each client is review what their top goals are. In my mind, I cannot excel as an Executive Coach unless I’m helping you excel in achieving your career goals.

Having an Executive Coach Yields Benefits Throughout Your Career

Spend just six months with an Executive Coach and you will be a more effective leader while also changing the trajectory of your career. Spend a year or two with an Executive Coach, and you will not only ignite your career, but you can positively change the entire trajectory of the educational institution where you lead.

If you’re curious about the many additional ways working with an Executive Coach can help make you a stronger leader, then contact me. I’ll be happy to walk you through the Executive Coaching process that I’ve used to help executives at some of the top colleges and universities on the planet hone their leadership skills, develop a winning Executive Presence, and lead  their organizations to greater heights. It would be my pleasure to do the same for you.

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