The Coachable Leader: What Future Executives Need to Know Today


The Coachable Leader speaks to executives who are serious and willing to reflect upon, refine, and possibly reconstitute their leadership practices. If you want to be one of those people, it's imperative that you remain coachable so you can gain insights on how to encourage positive behaviors and avoid executive actions that sabotage mutual success.

Use this book to seize your opportunity to become an exceptional leader. Through its clearly outlined chapters, complete with ...

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The Coachable Leader: What Future Executives Need to Know Today

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The Coachable Leader speaks to executives who are serious and willing to reflect upon, refine, and possibly reconstitute their leadership practices. If you want to be one of those people, it's imperative that you remain coachable so you can gain insights on how to encourage positive behaviors and avoid executive actions that sabotage mutual success.

Use this book to seize your opportunity to become an exceptional leader. Through its clearly outlined chapters, complete with real-life business examples and comprehensive graphics, you'll learn how to balance the seven fundamentals for effective leadership development:

• collaborative convincement,
• emotional strength,
• integrative ethics,
• provident power,
• interactive influence,
• team forbearance,
• systems discernment.

With these foundational concepts, you'll discover how to initiate a more cooperative and collaborative approach to leadership. As you seek to become a coachable leader, you'll develop skills, techniques, and tools to inspire and accomplish tangible, bottomline results.

Achieve a more balanced approach to reaching your goals with The Coachable Leader!

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781462048885
  • Publisher: iUniverse, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 2/27/2012
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.68 (d)

Read an Excerpt


What Future Executives Need to Know Today
By Peter J. Dean Molly D. Shepard Monica L. Warner

iUniverse, Inc.

Copyright © 2011 Peter J. Dean
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4620-4888-5

Chapter One

The Coachable Leader: Congratulations, You Are a Leader. But, Are You Coachable?

Arguably, many corporate executives have lost their credibility and our trust as successful leaders. Sadly, this is not the age to have doubtful leadership in our companies; the world faces economic confusion, extreme self-interest, aggressive materialism, lack of respect for human rights, and duties, and a violent utilitarianism that causes physical or financial harm to customers. Much of the blame is being put on executives. Whether it is a lack of good leadership, bad behavior, outright fraud, or just not stepping forward to take a stand for fair business, our executives have put in a lackluster performance as champions of business for society. It is critical now to reexamine comprehensively our notions about what it takes to be a successful and positive executive leader.

Current-day executives and those who hope to be successful executive leaders ought to be open to understanding the impact of their character and leadership on others. Feedback presented in the fundamental categories that constitute leadership is not easy for executives to receive, especially if the feedback suggests needed improvement of some areas, but it is essential for the following reason: as executives move up the ladder in organizations, the one thing they receive less and less of is developmental feedback about their competence, character, and positive impact as a leader. Without this multipronged feedback, executives can slip into a state of denial about their effectiveness.

An example of extreme backlash can be seen in the 2011 political uprising in Egypt that sent aggressive feedback by the masses to the leaders in that country. On a smaller scale, but no less important, executives can learn from this example that honest and continuous feedback is much more easily received by the executive than mass revolt, which for companies means losing talent and losing in the marketplace. Having witnessed the failure of leadership over and over again, in firms like Tyco, Enron, WorldCom, AIG, Lehman Brothers, and most recently BP, it is time to present feedback that helps executives move beyond the autocracy of linear decision making present in our corporate systems, where poor and sometimes disastrous results routinely emerge from narrowly focused, short-term, self-centered, and unenlightened thinking.

The Seven Fundamentals of Leader Development

In order to receive feedback in the seven fundamental categories that comprise the content of this book, one must be coachable. That is, open to truly hearing and receiving the feedback with the intent to make the relevant changes necessary to be better leaders. To act on being coachable, an executive can hire an executive coach, who will collect the feedback and fold in the knowledge of the fundamentals in leader development. Once assembled into a report, the coach will offer the feedback to the executive and put the suggestions into observable behavior. A second alternative is that an executive can learn the kind of feedback that is important from a progressive MBA curriculum designed to connect and apply the many disciplines from which leader development draws its knowledge. Finally, a third option is that executives can take direction from this book, which has been written from the perspective of the disciplines of leadership, from actual experiences of executives in programs of leader development, and from our research and practice in the field of leader-development studies.

The seven fundamental categories in which feedback is given to the executive are depicted in the visual below. It is important to note that all seven fundamentals speak to the executive directly about what he/ she has control over in his/her own practice of leadership. If all seven fundamentals are utilized to some degree in an executive's repertoire of leadership practice, then the executive's impact of leadership is more seamless, contiguous, positive, trusted, and longer lasting. In other words, executives who have been coached in all seven fundamentals have a more positive impact on others.

The Coachable Leader has been written to provide executives with proper coaching in leader development. It is a unique and comprehensive resource for learning and implementing the seven fundamental components in the practice of positive leader development. Each of the seven fundamentals—collaborative convincement, emotional strength, integrative ethics, provident power, interactive influence, team forbearance, and systems discernment—is discussed in separate chapters and represented by foundational fulcrums balancing two different forces within each fundamental (see fulcrum figure on the next page).

For example, the fundamental of collaborative convincement represents the balance of management with leadership; the fundamental of emotional strength speaks to the balance of a healthy ego with the proper use of empathy; the fundamental of integrative ethics addresses the balance between properly intended rules and good results; the fundamental of provident power unpacks the necessary balance of professional power with personal power; the fundamental of interactive influence describes the balance of feedback for the self with disclosure to others; the fundamental of team forbearance is represented in the balance of positive team behaviors for task completion and group relations; and the fundamental of systems discernment addresses the balance of perception of meaningfulness at work with work systems surrounding people at work.

The application of the knowledge contained within each fundamental is sadly lacking in today's global market. The seven fundamentals, which draw from the disciplines of psychology, sociology, political theory, philosophy, communications, systems theory, management theory, and leadership principles and practices, are designed to be a resource for those who want to develop more as a credible and legitimate leader. Also, they can be used as a coaching guide for those who seek to help themselves develop new skills and want to remain coachable about their impact. Coaching helps executives gain insights about leadership if they are courageous enough to remain coachable. Simply put, executives can use this book to seize the opportunity for their own leader development and to help in the development of other leaders.

The Promise of The Coachable Leader

Being properly coached about the seven fundamentals for positive leader development provides executives with the necessary ingredients to remain coachable about their practice of leadership. The willingness on the part of the executive to remain coachable—and again, by coachable we mean seeking out feedback from those being led in order to gauge current effectiveness and determine areas of improvement to motivate and lead—is vitally important. It is the coachable leader who is able to use the seven fundamentals to understand, empathize, analyze, engage, share, communicate, and attend to others for a balanced approach to getting work done and to bring about a climate of true collaborative leadership in organizations.

We can say with certainty that the skill of becoming and remaining coachable about the impact of your leadership is not for the faint of heart. It takes courage to be open to receiving feedback. Compliments are in order for those who can remain coachable in the difficult job of being a leader. Each executive can receive feedback through the seven fundamentals for leader behavior, or lack of leader behavior, if the executive remains coachable. If coachable, an executive can seize opportunities for leadership that exist in everyday interactions with colleagues, bosses, customers, analysts, bankers, vendors, and so forth. The Coachable Leader will bring executives many steps closer to embracing a full repertoire of leadership principles and practices. It is time for executives to step up and take a stand for bold, honest, and positive leadership by knowing the flexible framework of the seven fundamentals for leader development.

The Flexible Framework of the Seven Fundamentals

The seven fundamentals work with the tendency in life for humans to grow and develop. They are not linear or sequential as they must be when presented in a book. The framework simply identifies the seven content areas in which executives may need either fine-tuning or major overhaul over time.

Another unique aspect of this flexible framework is that in all seven areas, the challenge of working with and through people is the focus—not controlling or coercing people at work. In other words, the framework involves in an executive's leadership the needs, expectations, and intrinsic motivation of the people at work. The centerpiece of the framework, collaborative convincement, connects to all the other six areas of the model in an ever-present way. The word collaboration involves the voice of the stakeholders who have a stake in the process of decision making. The convincement part means that all parties have had a chance to convince themselves or to be convinced through dialogue with each other. Near-consensus or almost complete agreement may be challenging to achieve, but involving everyone in the process is not hard to do at all.

From collaborative convincement, the executive can go to any or all of the other six content areas as and when needed. For example, if the feedback to an executive is that he/she comes off with a big ego to others, then the executive's behavior is reviewed to see where the perception is being picked up. It is often found that a lack of empathy is a primary reason for that perception. So, the balance of ego and empathy becomes the topic of the feedback to the executive. Subsequently, the behavior of the big ego is replaced with other behaviors, and learning how to empathize and practice them is added into the executive's repertoire. Overall, this is called the emotional strength fundamental.

Another example would be if the executive receives feedback that there may some ethical lapses in the accounting of numbers. The fundamental of integrative ethics is considered to be sure that there is a balance between principled rules and well-intended consequences for the accounting practices. This has to do with people working together to be sure everything is legal and ethical.

Similarly, each of the other fundamentals can be considered in the practice of collaborative convincement. Those are: provident power, the leverage executives can positively implement to get things accomplished in their organization; interactive influence, improving productivity through on-going communicative interactions; team forbearance, the creation of a team feeling in a work environment; and systems discernment, the understanding of how employees perceive their work. Yet the centerpiece, collaborative convincement, is always at the core of this flexible framework in the interplay of fundamentals that are used and practiced in each unique leadership situation for an executive.

So, the centerpiece of collaborative convincement is the starting point. The first question can be how do I manage this situation? Followed by, how do I lead in it? What is the feedback saying to me? What is the fundamental content area connected to the feedback given? The answers lead you in the framework to the fundamental content areas that are needed for the executive to be effective.

In the chapters that follow, we describe the foundational fulcrums of the seven fundamentals that enhance flexibility of the executive's leader development repertoire and allow a leader to be and remain coachable to receive necessary feedback about his or her impact, character, and competence as a leader. The last chapter describes how executives can coach other executives to do the same.

Each chapter of the flexible framework emerges from a discipline that supports leader development, such as psychology, sociology, and so on. A visual to keep the simple goal of each chapter in shorthand is described below. Each chapter indicates a different coaching session within which one fundamental content area for feedback to executives is described. Chapter 1, "The Coachable Leader: Congratulations, You Are a Leader. But, Are You Coachable?" introduces the content of the foundational fulcrums of the seven fundamentals of leader development. Chapter 2, "Collaborative Convincement," reveals the balance necessary between the short-term focus on management with the long view of leadership. Chapter 3, "Emotional Strength," unpacks how the executive can monitor the balance between having a healthy ego and having empathy for others. Chapter 4, "Integrative Ethics," reveals a balance between principled rules and well-intended results. Chapter 5, "Provident Power," comprises a balance of professional power and personal power. Chapter 6, "Interactive Influence," includes the balance between receiving feedback about the self and disclosure of the self to others. Chapter 7, "Team Forbearance," identifies the balance of positive team behaviors and what needs to be done for task completion and group relations. Chapter 8, "Systems Discernment," shows that balance between people's perception of the meaningfulness at work with the alignment of the work systems that are intended to support their success on the job. Chapter 9, "Coaching Executive Leaders to Coach Other Executives," describes how to go about teaching other executives the elements of coaching.

The content areas that are the origins of each of the seven fundamentals (leadership studies, psychology, philosophy, political theory, communications, sociology, and systems theory) are represented below, with short statements that reflect the fundamental and ideal core character of an executive leader.

The remainder of the book contains a Quick Guide summary of the seven fundamentals, Appendix A: Management; Appendix B: Leadership; Appendix C: The Three Elements of Speaking; and Appendix D: Designing the Work System to Improve Performance. The appendices provide summaries of key research and study completed in management, leadership, speaking, and work system. The appendices are a head start for developing a personal library to support an executive's choice to embrace remaining coachable.

When executives choose to remain coachable, it is a meaningful choice, as it supports the human tendency in life to grow and develop. Piaget (1973) described it as an active mind seeking knowledge. Freud (1917) described it as the convergence of the three growth forces of instinct, morality, and reason. Jung (1964) called it the lifelong quest for meaning. Fromm (1941) called it the freedom to be productive. Rogers (1959) called it a tendency to be a fully functioning personality. Horney (1950) called it an inner force common in all human beings. Lewin (1947) referred to it as the expansion of personal life space. What prevents growth and development is to choose to be uncoachable (Dean, 2006).


Excerpted from The COACHABLE LEADER by Peter J. Dean Molly D. Shepard Monica L. Warner Copyright © 2011 by Peter J. Dean. Excerpted by permission of iUniverse, Inc.. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents


Chapter One The Coachable Leader: Congratulations, You Are a Leader But, Are You Coachable?....................1
Chapter Two Coaching Executive Leaders to Practice Collaborative Convincement: Management and Leadership....................11
Chapter Three Coaching Executive Leaders to Practice Emotional Strength: Healthy Ego and Empathy....................27
Chapter Four Coaching Executive Leaders to Practice Integrative Ethics: Principled Rules and Well-Intended Results....................41
Chapter Five Coaching Executive Leaders to Practice Provident Power: Professional Power and Personal Power....................53
Chapter Six Coaching Executive Leaders to Practice Interactive Influence: Feedback to the Self and Disclosure to Others....................75
Chapter Seven Coaching Executive Leaders to Practice Team Forbearance: Positive Team Behaviors for Task Completion and Group Relations....................111
Chapter Eight Coaching Executive Leaders to Practice Systems Discernment: People's Perception of Work and a Well-Designed Work System for Productivity....................133
Chapter Nine Coaching Executive Leaders to Coach Other Executives....................147
Quick Guide....................175
Appendix A: Management....................181
Appendix B: Leadership....................217
Appendix C: The Three Elements of Speaking....................231
Resources to Build Your Own Leadership Library....................265
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