Articles

Coaching Peter Pan, Don Draper and The Emperor Who Wore No Clothes

I’ve lived at the hilltop of corporate life.  I’ve earned my polka dots in corporate couture.

I have broken bread with a cast of characters from Peter Pan to Don Draper to the Emperor Who Wore No Clothes. I’ve idealized Captain Kirk, applauded Optimus Prime, and philosophized with The Little Prince.

Today as an Executive Coach I’m privileged to have a backstage pass to the hero, the genie, who resides inside every leader, regardless of the outward persona.

Throughout my career, when I was free to create and build, I was a force. When I felt stifled, misplaced or unaccounted for—most of us have been in this place at some point—I lost muscle. Shedding confidence and my sense of self, I unknowingly began to squander my personal best.

I became an expensive but depreciating corporate asset. I lost my edge; my throughput declined. But I was still the same person, the same talent, abundant in possibilities.

In retrospect I’ve wondered—isn’t this where the most costly productivity gaps occur? Where capable, high priced  leaders tune down, turn sideways or stop reaching for the stars?

To me, the blasé acceptance of unrealized leadership potential is one of the biggest blind spots in corporate Canada today. It helps explain why there’s not more innovation. Executives who shrug their shoulders at the latent and thwarted talent all around them might want to reconsider.

Many of the organizations who say they want innovation may be just a little too comfortable with their left brain solutions. They ask for creativity and then balk at non-conformity. They ask for new ideas, but insist on measuring everything.  Here’s the problem: new, even great ideas don’t start out being measurable.  So some organizations stand behind the competitive eight ball, waiting for the new idea to become a best practice. Hmm. Is there a better solution?

Alpha executives have already tapped into it. Accessing the intuitive mind is today’s leading edge. Where the business mind is linear and analytical, the creative mind is intuitive and expansive. Business needs both.

The ‘Big Deal’ about Executive Coaching is that it’s unquestionably effective in getting business leaders to discover and act on their untapped potential; to regenerate. It calls upon their intuition. It engages the whole brain in new thoughts and ideas that go beyond bridging the leadership productivity gap.

Imagine what would happen if we quit trying to ‘manage’ talent and started exploring it? Adding Miracle-Gro to it?  Revolutionizing it?

Executive Coaching with a focus on developing potential can guide and inspire smart, motivated leaders on their journey toward innovation, transformation and in a few notable instances, even heroism. 

As for coaching Peter Pan, Don Draper and the Emperor Who Wore No Clothes— fortunately, today’s generation of business leaders provides far readier candidates. Still, I’d accept any challenge.

By the way, when I become almost famous as an Executive Coach, I will attribute my success largely to my equally matched left and right brain.

I invite you to watch my latest art photography video and as you look at the images, ask yourself this one question:

‘How am I unleashing the creativity, intuition and inner voice of my brightest people?’

Annie DeMilo Galleries
 
 
Ann Stanbra/Annie DeMilo
Executive Leadership Coach/Art Photographer
Merging the left and right brain for innovative business solutions
 
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Fast Companies Thinking Fast: The ROI of Integrating New Talent Faster

By its very nature, starting a new job limits performance of even the most gifted leaders. And integration timelines tend to extend for a myriad of reasons in fast companies.

For the organization, the costs of these delayed integrations quickly add up.  For the new leader, a delayed integration can result in failure to successfully launch or even worse– early turnover.

In starting a new role, a leader’s confidence and effectiveness can be undermined by excessive doubts and anxieties about their competence, acceptance within the organization and future success.

No matter how poised these new leaders may appear, they are likely undergoing some degree of internal stress.  Frequently, they feel more cautious and less self-assured than they’d like to, all the more because they haven’t yet established a network of peers to confide in.

For even seasoned leaders, coming into a new culture stirs up doubts and questions:

•    Did I make the right decision?
•    Will I fit in?
•    Who can I trust?
•    What is my boss really thinking?
•    If I say or do this, how will I look?
•    How can I make inroads here?

9 common concerns expressed by leaders in their first 180 days in a new fast company:

1.    Fitting into a different culture
2.    Establishing credibility and reputation
3.    Getting specific feedback from their leaders
4.    Managing the gap between expectations and realities
5.    Pressures to take action before feeling fully confident
6.    Knowing that their behaviours are under steady scrutiny
7.    Fear of making serious social or political errors in judgment
8.    Prioritizing and decision-making based on new cultural norms
9.    Lack of clarity around internal networks and spheres of influence

Is there a way for fast companies to keep up the pace while taking the time needed to effectively integrate new talent?

Yes. The most innovative organizations have recognized the need to move their on-boarding programs to a higher plateau: a tailored onsite Executive Coaching program aimed at shortening leader time to effectiveness.

With this type of program in place, fast companies protect and realize the return on their human capital investment by speeding up new hire integration time, fostering a culture of continuous development and increasing the likelihood of retaining their key talent.

An executive coaching program designed specifically for fast companies, provides a confidential channel for increasing the effectiveness of new leaders.  While the new leaders reap the benefit of receiving personalized attention from both their leader and a personal executive coach, the organization reaps the benefit of getting useful information on how to better retain leaders, build engagement and elevate leadership.

The fast company keeps going fast. Its new leaders keep pace–sooner.

Stephen Liptrap, Executive Vice President, Human Resources at Morneau Sobeco Income Fund, Canada’s largest HR Services Company, believes that using Executive Coaching with new leaders is a sound investment in this fast company’s future.

As Stephen explains, ‘Executive Coaching provides not only for highly productive leadership faster, it also offers just-in-time leadership learning.  Even experienced leaders are open to new ideas and support. The program is helping us retain new leaders, build loyalty and uncover organizational opportunities for intervention.’

Contact usfor a complimentary session to assess your needs, or to learn more about The Self-Directed Leader™ Programs. Or, to get going, now.