700% Leadership Coaching ROI (return on investment): more than 20 studies

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Until 25 years ago, nobody knew anything much about coaching. About 10 years ago, nobody asked anything about its real efficacy. Yesterday I got involved in a Ph.D. research of a nice friend and coach, research granted by Harvard and conducted within Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, in which my friend Tunde Erdos studies the relationship between coaching presence and its efficacy, using state of the art video-analysis software. 

Being the industry with the second highest development rate in the world, coaching deserved better than just the constant questioning of its efficiency. How can you measure, after all, the efficiency of a human conversation? Who benefits the most? The client? The coach? The organization? Client’s family?

I love statistics and figures in general but I am no fanatic. I sometimes use my intuition to decide whether or not something is for me or not: how could you measure the success probability of your marriage? It’s no mistake here: I got married to coaching the same way I got married to my wife: by falling in love, not by measuring my (future) ROI. Leap of faith!

Anyway, I got asked so many times if coaching produces any results, that I finally decided to do something about it. I created a library where you will find lots of research papers and studies. I just want to outline several of the findings below:

1. „The overwhelming majority of participants reported a long term impact of coaching, including 89% of those coached five years ago and 71% of those coached more than five years ago”

2. „Executive coaching is the managerial training and development method that contributes the most to sustained observable behavior change in executives.”

3. „Ordinary training typically increased productivity by 22%, while training combined with life coaching increased productivity by 88%”

4. „Respondents feel that coaching achieves the following desired outcomes: evidence of learning being put into practice (71%) and readily-quantifiable and positive results, often demonstrated on the company’s „bottom-line” over the long term (62%)”

5. „This third-party research study cites a 10:1 return on investment in less than one year.”

6. „Improved teamwork (8.4%), increased collaboration (8.5%), increased employee engagement (8.1%), increased retention by 7.5%”

7. „Quality of work products or services improved by 7.5%, productivity increased by 7.3%, net revenue was estimated to have increased by 6.5% and the cost of operations was estimated to have been reduced by 6.3%.”

8. „86% rated coaching as very effective; 95% are doing things differently as a result of coaching, and 95% would recommend coaching to others”

9. „Improved teamwork was cited by 58% of the leaders as having been impacted. Team member satisfaction was identified by 54% of the leaders as being impacted by what they did differently as a result of their coaching experiences. Increased productivity was cited by 31% of the leaders as a business outcome of their coaching

10. „The results – close to 700 percent return on investment (ROI)”

The 2 leadership meta-skills you can develop in one year to become your best version

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What leadership skills do you need to develop?

You will find thousands of articles on this topic. But basically, you never start from scratch, by developing all kinds of skills at once. You only need to know there are several such skills helping you get all the rest.

There’s no fixed set of leadership skills, either; instead, you may concentrate on the ones you need to reach your goals. Nowadays, the most talked about ones, are: relating to others, „we” thinking, caring for others, team playing and collaboration, interpersonal and intrapersonal intelligence, balance, continuous learning, authenticity, integrity, systems thinking and systems awareness, connecting the dots, purposeful thinking, vision.

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Beyond heroic leadership

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What is heroic leadership?

We live in a world full of ‘childish’ explicit expressions: hero based blockbusters, Santas bringing gifts, leaders running businesses and nations as (mostly) patriarchs. Our shared stories contain heroic deeds and there’s also The Hero With A Thousand Faces or Hero’s Journey. Our favorite music bands have ‘frontmen’. And so on… look around. Basically, the world serves us on the platter (no maturity here) different things, cherishing and indulging our childish sap while obstructing our psychological maturity development.

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Leadership coaching for new managers.

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I was a new manager, once, and I didn’t receive any coaching. Maybe, as a direct result, ‘my’ first team (11 people) left me entirely in the first month of working ‘together’. Out of all the possible ways a company may engage a new manager, leadership coaching is the fittest one. Let me show it!

Why new managers fail

It is assumed that around 50% of the new managers fail in their 1st year. Confusion is the main and most important reason: confusion in their mind, their hearts, and their actions. The most adaptable will thrive. In business, adaptability is learning. 

  • Heart Confusion‘: they do not deal correctly with the dilemma ‘friendship of friendliness’. Promoted as a new manager over your former teammates? Prepare for a year of exile.
  • Mind Confusion‘: ‘What do I have to do (now)?’, ‘Who’s telling me what to do?’, ‘What do I tell my reports?’ All these confusions appear as a result of the role change. And no one has time to give you the ‘whats’, the ‘hows’ and the ‘whys’. Prepare for a year of wrong decisions and afterthoughts.
  • Actions confusion‘: what got you here won’t get you there. But you do not know this so you will continue to do what you know. You will remain operational and micro-manage ‘tasks’ instead of being more strategic and lead your people. The phrase ‘someone wonderful at their job will be really good at managing others who are doing that same job’ describes a big myth. Executing mentality is pretty different from the managing mentality.

What new managers need to know

  • A new manager will have lots of meetings (more than before and than everybody else, except the other new managers); 45% of a week’s time, to be precise. The boss being absent, the team will suffer. But the boss has to know everything. So that, in the search for clarity, he gets increasingly overloaded with information.
  • A new manager will learn to say ‘I’m busy’ all the time, even if he isn’t so busy. Ego inflation comes with the new job. Ego preservation requires a great deal of energy – which will be lost for learning. Learning, on the other hand, presupposes dropping the ego, asking for feedback, speaking with authenticity to your reports and humbleness to your managers.
  • A new manager will lose former colleagues-friends and he will gain new managers-friends. He will be confused and he will suffer because of the losing but they will heal the pain with new friendships, with people of a different status, more like them. 

How new managers become great managers 

At any beginning, one has to sit, listen, ask and learn about the new job. This is learning and adaptability. Learning and adapting to real task management and people leadership.

Ask for clarity above you: do not presuppose.  This is a learning and exquisite data gathering tool for great decisions. Your decisions. And this kind of decisions lead to great task management!

Ask for feedback bellow you: do not presuppose.  This is a learning and exquisite communication tool with your team. And this kind of communication triggers great people leading!

What has leadership coaching got to do with it?

  1. At its core, coaching offers clarity. A coach offers objective feedback and asks genuine questions leading to clarity because he sits on the circumference of any of the problems having a new manager in the center. 
  2. The second reason coaching is good for the new managers is that it offers a learning space – where the leader becomes more adaptable, discerns, understands and learns the new mentality. This is the space where the new manager has the time, support and proper rhythm to make meaning from his new experiences, to reflect on and consolidate their lessons.

We offer leadership development plans co-created through coaching. We know that the need and learning stamina for leadership development is greatest in the new managers. We believe that by developing great personalities and strong individuals from the beginning of their managerial careers, this world’s future becomes brighter.