What 13 Years of Executive and Leadership Coaching Have Taught me About Setting Intentions and Achieving Satisfying Results
I used to think a leader who was intentional was simply someone with a clear vision of what they wanted (a concrete and measurable goal), and that if they took the appropriate action steps, and overcame any obstacles, they would likely achieve that goal.
It seemed like a solid success formula of thinking and doing. It’s also the model I was taught to use with my executive clients in university. When applied with rigour, this formula did work most of the time.
I learned quickly that my high functioning executive clients already knew how to do this without my help; after all, it's what led to their success in the first place. Most of the support they were seeking, however, came from the being and feeling side. They were seeking more alignment with their heart and their head.
I’ve come to learn that intention has more to do with being than with doing, and that most of us have this twisted.
When looking at the ROI of coaching, I had to ask myself:
- Were my clients fulfilled once they reached their goals?
- Did they feel successful and inspired?
- Did they make a difference in their organizations in a meaningful way?
- Were they excited and lit up about the work they did?
- Did the people they lead feel that way?
The answers were sometimes yes, but other times, not so much.
I've learned that every person will define success differently. I have also learned that when we consult our heart as well as our head in the early stages of goal setting — when we ask ourselves how we want to feel — then we'll strive for higher qualitative outcomes as well as quantitative results.
To be truly fulfilled, we need to take what's in our hearts (how we want to feel) into the creation equation as well.
Over the years, my coaching approach has evolved to include mind, body, and soul when it comes to helping my clients design new futures. I like to look into their hearts and align myself with what matters most to them. It’s important that they put their hearts at the centre of their focus too because that's where their lives have deeper meaning, where they care for their health and from where, when their cups are overflowing with all they need, they can offer limitless overflow to their work. It’s like the oxygen mask on airlines: secure your mask first so you can attend to others.
The strong leader takes care of the heart and body first, and then attends to the demands of the organization and the people they lead.
Leadership has everything to do with who we are being from a head, heart, and spirit place. Who we are being depends on how we feel. How we feel depends on our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual awareness and wellbeing. The more aware we are of who we are on all these levels, the stronger we are, and the more authentic and courageous we can show up in our leadership roles to create positive impact. This awareness gives us the ability to have the influence necessary to achieve meaningful goals that lead to a lasting imprint on people, organizations, economies and society.
So what is the intention I bring to my clients as a leadership and executive coach?
My intention is to be unconditionally accepting and supportive of your individual leadership journey. This includes your level of self-awareness, emotional intelligence, as well as personal, spiritual, and professional growth. It also includes your upbringing, values, beliefs, education, and the life and work experiences that have brought you to the place you lead from today. This is our authentic starting point.
Who you are today is how you lead now. Who you will become depends on who you are willing to be next.
Like Gandhi so famously said, if there are changes you want to see, you must learn to be the change first, then the rest will follow.
Leadership coaching is a commitment to lifelong learning, growth, and being the change you wish to see.
I believe if you are willing to consult your heart and spirit on what matters to you most, both on a personal and professional level, you have a good chance at becoming the authentic leader you were destined to be. If you set out to first create a new future from a place of being, and then add your knowledge, expertise and experience, and a solid action plan for achieving results, you will also engage the hearts, talents and strengths of those you lead.
Where your journey takes you will depend on your organizational goals and aspirations, as well as your personal leadership development goals. You are in the driver’s seat at all times. I align myself with your goals and become your strategic thinking partner, champion, and cheerleader.
I will encourage, confirm, acknowledge and celebrate your progress. I will challenge your actions and beliefs if/when necessary to fulfill my role as your accountability partner. I will be generous in sharing my knowledge, expertise, observations and experience with you. I will be a teacher, mentor, and consultant and provide you with forthright and caring feedback.
Working with me:
If fulfillment is part of your definition of success, and if leading with heart, purpose and vision and creating an inspired workforce with fully engaged employees sounds appealing to you, then I’m the right leadership coach for you.
Call me [1 (250) 658-9224] for a free 30 minute interview where we can discuss your goals and aspirations. During our session, you can ask me anything you’d like to know about coaching and working with me.
I look forward to connecting with you!