Effective Leaders Have a Coach by Cindy Stradling CSP, CPC
It’s not uncommon for young leaders to make certain to have a mentor to help guide them through some of the new challenges of leadership. As leaders mature, however, they are more likely to be mentoring others rather than having a mentor of their own. However, at any stage in leadership, it is valuable to have a mentor or coach to whom you can turn to help you develop even further.
As we get older, it may be more difficult to find a business leader who is more seasoned than we are. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t find someone who can act as a coach or resource. In many cases, this person may not be older or have more years of leadership under their belt. Instead, we may turn to a person who has a set of skills or experience that we lack to teach us what they know.
For example, many older and wiser business leaders have turned to their younger counterparts to help them learn to incorporate new technology into their everyday lives. These older leaders were wise enough to know that they didn’t have the training on everyday use of technology that was second nature to people who grew up using computers. They recognized that the best coach to help them stay on top of the waves of the future were actually those who were younger.
All of us can benefit from learning from the skills and experience of others. Even if you’ve been in business for many years, you can find someone who can teach you skills and techniques that are unfamiliar.
As you become a more mature leader, you may find that you have more specialized coaches without having an overall mentor. This may be just what you need, allowing you to pick up skills and techniques from those who are experts in their field.
It is still likely beneficial to have someone to discuss ideas and challenges with. Whether this person acts as your coach, or you simply use each other as a sounding board, you’ll find that having another perspective on the challenges you face to be beneficial as you sort out problems and look for new ways to do things.
So, don’t think you’re too old for a coach. Whether it’s an expert in a particular area who helps you learn new skills and techniques, or it’s another seasoned professional who allows you to share your concerns, everyone can benefit from the experience of another person.