Where Coaching fits in your Leadership Development Program?

by Narayan Kamath 3 minutes read

Traditionally, Leadership Development Programs put a lot of emphasis on Training. The bulk of corporate learning budgets are spent on training courses, seminars and workshops.This is of course important, as classroom/computer based learning is a fairly efficient means of acquiring knowledge. But acquisition of knowledge is not the same as learning!

In fact, if one were to go by the Center for Creative Leadership's (CCL) popular 70-20-10 model, only 10% of learning happens through courses. That means a good 90% of the learning/retention of managerial skills depends on what happens outside/after the course.

Indeed much of the learning happens on the job (70% as per CCL). One can envision how repeatedly applying the concepts learned help the learner become skilled : Plan-Do-Check-Act in action! This also sits well with the idea that mastery comes from repetition - repeated application of a skill, not repeated acquisition in courses.

But even then, a critical piece (the remaining 20%) is missed out in the typical Leadership Development Program. This is the "learning from others" piece per CCL's model. And that is where coaching fits in.

Of course there are different types of coaching. And it would be wrong to assume that one-on-one coaching is the answer to all leadership development gaps. Just as in sports, while there are typically 1 or 2 or 3 coaches training a team, the individual player learns not only /nor as much from the Coach, as from practicing together with the rest of the team. And if Leadership can be described as a contact sport (Marshall Goldsmith: Leadership is a Contact Sport), it is only to be expected that effective leadership coaching involves not just the leader & coach, but all critical stakeholders as well.

Stakeholder Centered Coaching is therefore an effective way to bridge the gap between Knowing and Performing.

Narayan Kamath

Narayan has over 26 years of functional and general management experience in small and large companies, leading small as well as large diverse teams. He has a rich and diverse experience of working and leading teams in a variety of functions including Business Development, Projects, Technology, Operations, HSE, Supply Chain and Engineering.


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