Coaching for Leadership

Coaching for Leadership is a collection of short articles written by various coaches that address specific ways to coach leaders around some form of transformation in their personal  and professional settings. I've highlighted just five themes that surfaced from the book I felt were worthy of further discussion.

1  |  Confirm  a  client's  readiness  for  coaching

The best coachees/clients are self-aware, understand their current reality, and have a clear picture of their preferred future. They exhibit agency/ownership toward making this dream a reality. When I think of the clients I work with, I've started asking clients more often:
  • What do you really, really want - right now?
  • May I challenge your norms, assumptions, and approaches to help you get better results?
  • Do you have the capacity (time, energy, skills, attention) to begin living into this dream now?
  • What would you need to give up, drop, or defer to fulfill this dream?
  • What does "qualifying the client" look like for a coach?
  • Who needs to convince me that they worth taking on a client?

2  |  Focus  on  helping  clients  change  their  behaviors 

I recognize that new norms, habits, and approaches are need to change the trajectory of people's lives. I've started asking clients (or myself) more often:
  • What's working for you?  What should you keep doing?
  • What could you do more frequently, to get better results? 
  • How could you improve your results by multiplying your efforts through others?
  • What are the key success factors that we need to pay attention to?
  • What's your super power?  When and where could you use it more often?
  • How would my coaching change if I only got paid for my results?
  • What does "leading well" look like for the clients I coach?

3  |  List  which  types  of  leadership  coaching  energize  you 

Do I enjoy helping leaders develop their leadership skills and capacities?
Do I enjoy helping leaders set, review, celebrate, and learn from their goals?
Do I enjoy helping leaders develop new habits and routines?
Do I enjoy helping leaders think strategically?  Think outside of the box?
Do I enjoy helping clients lead paid and volunteer teams?
Do I enjoy helping clients change the culture of their workplaces?
Do I enjoy working with clients on a short-term basis or do I prefer long-term relationships?
Do I do my best work helping clients work around their weaknesses or build on their strengths?

4  |  List  who  will  help  you  grow  as  a  coach / leader

This book sparked some new insights for me around the following questions:
  • What do I want to be different in my life?  What's ripe for reinvention?
  • Where do I need greater clarity about my preferred future?
  • In what ways could a coach help me redeploy my time, energies, skills, and other resources?
  • What's life-giving right now for me?  How can I do more of it?
  • What's life-draining right now for me?  How can I eliminate it or do less of it?
  • With whom do I wish to spend more time with in the future?  How can that become a reality?
  • Where in my life would I like to see more gratitude and generosity?
  • What have I been tolerating lately?  What is the lack of action costing me? 
  • When am I at my best with clients?  How can I create more of those moments?
  • How will my coaching help my clients dream?  Design their future?  Delegate more often?  Do what matters?
  • In what ways could I be more intentional with clients about setting norms and expectations?

5  |  Feedback is  the  foundation for  future growth 

This book helped me explore the following questions:
  • What feedback loops do I create in my coaching conversations?
  • What feedback loops do I create for long-term coaching clients?
  • What feedback loops do I need to create to consistently improve my coaching?
  • What should I be asking my clients more often to make sure I'm meeting their needs?
  • Who else can help me evaluate my coaching impact?
  • How can I, as a coach, create an "autopsies without blame" culture when it comes to evaluating people, programs, experiments, etc.?
  • What am I hearing from clients about the ways that their lives and their leadership capacities are improving?  What patterns am I seeing based on their comments?
  • What does my "follow up" process look like for current and past clients?


Good listening skills on the part of the coach, together with the ability to deliver honest feedback, are crucial to keeping the dialogue grounded in reality and fostering transformation. Good questioning is followed by inspired analysis, detailed action planning, and follow-through. Working together leaders, coaches crystallize their conversations in an action plan. As you think about the 5 themes highlighted in this blog, consider the following questions:
  1.  How would you describe leadership?   What does it mean to lead well?
  2.  How can coaches help leaders raise up new leaders, not just more followers?
  3.  How will you help the leaders you coach have greater impact in the future? 

1 Comment

Tom Pietz - November 14th, 2022 at 8:53pm

How would you describe leadership? I'm a empowering leader. I use the phrase "multiplying ministers".

As a pastor, I try to encourage people with their God given gifts, to test them out. I cheer them on and support them in any way I can. But it's their baby. Whatever they need to get started and feel confident is key. I like working with "low directive" people. They are go getters. They just need permission, cheering on, and someone to accompany them until they are ready to fly.

What does it mean to lead well? To lead well for me, is to "make, mature, and mobilize apostolic disciples for Jesus" (my D.Min. Dissertation. That each leader/church member is living to the fullest what God created them to be.

How can coaches help leaders raise up new leaders, not just more followers? "multiply yourself" equip and empower someone to do what you are/were doing and let them do it their way, not your way. This takes patience, some guidance (depending on diligence and determination and confidence of the one you are raising up). Equip someone to do what you are doing so you can do something else.

How will you help the leaders you coach have greater impact in the future? I will have them begin with the end in mind. What would it look like if you were thriving as a leader? Kickin' tail in doing what you do best? What would it look like building a team of leaders in sync and thriving synergistically together>