An executive leadership coach works with managers and executives to help them enhance and expand their leadership skills. Leadership skills require creativity, but creativity is often buried beneath layers of statistical analysis, organization, numbers, and burdensome objectivity.
One of the most important tasks as an executive leadership coach is to help executives learn how to discover their inner creative self and expand their powers of creativity. In Imagine: How Creativity Works, by Jonah Lehrer, the author says that real moments of creative insight occur when the person seeking a solution stops searching for the answer and when the person is relaxed. Most people have been through this process without actually understanding it. How often have you tried to remember someone’s name, the name of a song, or something you wanted to tell someone, but just couldn’t remember it. Then, hours or days later, the answer just pops into your head. Creativity also works that way. That is why some people do their best thinking in the shower – they are not actively seeking an answer and they are very relaxed.
Be a Creative Executive Leadership Coach
Being an executive leadership coach takes some creativity. Here are some tenants of a creative coaching philosophy:
- Help your clients understand that good is good enough. Many executives are perfectionists and will not stop searching for a solution until they feel they have found a perfect solution. Sometimes a good solution is good enough, and they may find that more creative solutions come to them when they cease stressing over a merely “good” solution.
- Work with your clients who are taskmasters to begin to allow their subordinates some free time. Remember, when people are relaxed, creativity is often subconsciously engaged. A truly effective leader will understand that free time, or down time, may actually be good for the organization. As a creative executive leadership coaching expert, you can help your clients envision a work environment that offers both intense work time and relaxed down time.
- Work with your clients to trust their own down time to be productive. Not only should your executive clients take the taskmaster role back a notch with their employees, you should help them learn to trust their own down time – help them chill out! If they can truly grasp the concept that down time can be productive time, they have taken a great leap forward in the executive leadership skills.
- From a tiny acorn a mighty oak grows. Help your clients comprehend that it is not always the big idea that becomes the best idea, sometimes the smallest of steps leads to the biggest of moves. Many executives who have been highly successful fall into a rut and think that they have to reinvent the wheel every time they make a decision. The wheel does not need to be reinvented every time, sometimes it just needs a different color, or different material, or a different name. Small ideas can mean big profits. Your job as an executive leadership coach is to make your clients realize this without actually realizing you are making them realize it – get it
Being a creative coach takes…creativity. Use creative methods to help your high-powered executive clients that they need to see the forest through the trees and take a chill pill once in awhile. They might be surprised how this encourages creativity and will lead to better ideas and better profits. If their profits increase, your status as an executive leadership coach will be certified and your demand will skyrocket.
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