Why Businesses Want Leaders who Coach

Young, inspired talent and digital change are positively turning the business world on its head. There’s also a growing call for more collaborative and engaging leadership styles. This evolution is why more businesses want leaders who coach and speak directly to the needs of today’s rising stars and their dynamic environments. Is your leadership ready to answer the call?

Welcome to a rapidly evolving workplace.

Over the last 15 years, there’s been a significant shift at the office. It’s an exciting time, and for many the changes have inspired adaptive ways of thinking and modern leadership styles. But as exciting as it is for some, others have begun to worry, as their employees become disengaged.

So, what exactly is changing at work? Well for starters, there’s a steady stream of Gen Zs entering the workspace adding to the already overwhelming number of millennials. As a combination, they’re expected to make up more than 75% of the workforce by 2025.

Now throw a post-covid landscape into the mix with a spotlight on mental well-being, as well as the subject of work-life balance, and you’ve got employees with very different wants and values to those that made up the bulk of the workforce 15 years ago.

Now let’s ask ourselves this… has our enthusiasm to evolve our leadership styles been as rapid as the change in our workforce? To answer that, we need to know what today’s employees are not responding well to and identify what they’re looking for in leadership.

A leadership approach that resonates.

Autocratic leadership styles that promote overly rigid uncollaborative environments, and structures that are not future-relevant are quickly falling out of favour. Transactional leadership – a reward-based approach and transformational leadership – a visionary and motivational style have both proven more popular than autocracies.

However, our workforce has become very specific in what they want, and it includes leaders that show empathy, empower through positive engagement, provide, and accept feedback, and present authentic and sometimes more vulnerable versions of themselves. Leaders who coach are in growing demand because they embody these attributes.

At its heart, the coach-oriented leadership role emphasises collaboration, fulfilment, and empowerment to develop a high-performance culture. It’s a more compassionate, self-aware, and encouraging style that allows employees an opportunity to discover the best version of themselves. But how effective could this possibly be in serious high-performance environments?

Satya Nadella, the CEO of Microsoft brought this highly engaging coaching leadership style to his struggling team when he began. His collaborative approach made a positive impact on the culture and shifted the organisation to a place where people became happier, more creative, and highly productive. Satya proved that leaders as coaches can be effective at the highest level of business.

Bring the coach out in your leaders.

Traditional leadership styles are not disappearing just yet, great leaders will wear many hats depending on their environments and goals, but there’s an increasing need for the powerful dynamic that leader as coach offers. We can respond by helping our existing leaders develop this highly effective and relevant dimension to their leadership style.

professional coaching initiative aimed at bringing out the coach in our leaders will teach them mentoring, goal setting, emotional intelligence, and professional development skills. Coaching will help leaders learn when to use their more engaging skillset and it will help them adapt to the new values and mindset shift in our employee base.

When we empower our leaders to continue making deep and meaningful connections in a changing world, then we know we’re planting the right seeds for our business to flourish far into the future.

As a leading provider with 25 years of experience coaching leaders in blue-chip companies and government, Change Partners is perfectly positioned to help you advance.

Lindelwa Jabavu is an International Executive Coach at Change Partners, dedicated to partnering with leaders and their teams to improve performance and create shared value for critical stakeholders. Contact Lindelwa at lindelwajabavu@change.co.za or on 082 369 7210 to help you achieve your leadership and performance goals.

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