Highly Coachable Leaders

Coachability offers readers invaluable strategies for becoming highly coachable leaders and outpacing the competition. Why was this an important book for you to write?

In my corporate role developing leaders, I was curious why talented and hardworking leaders fell off the career track.  My investigation of over 100 derailed leaders found a lack of coachability to be a root cause. My research continued for the past five years as an Executive Fellow teaching leadership at the University of Minnesota and in my coaching and consulting practice.  I uncovered a strong case for coachability  as well as the forces which cause a drift away from being coachable.  There isn’t much out there to help leaders understand the importance of coachability and the practical ways to maintain it. So the book is my contribution to help leaders is this overlooked yet critical aspect of leadership

What advice would you offer to individuals who may feel resistant to coaching or receiving feedback, and how can they become more open to the process? 

Welcome to the club!  Avoiding or resisting “feedback” is a natural defensive.  Yet, recognizing the importance of staying curious and open, what do we do?  I found highly coachable leaders operate in their “learning zone” with enough confidence to hear what others have to say and also enough humility to recognize they are ‘works in progress’ and not finished products.  That mindset helps and also adopting a set of strategies.  One example from the book is how professional actors learn to ‘take a note’ in rehearsal.  It’s a reframing and practice that builds a strong ‘coachability’ muscle for great performance.

What impact do you hope your book will have on readers in terms of their leadership development? 

My wish is for readers to be inspired to reclaim the coachability we had early in life and career; to try out one or two of the strategies of highly coachable leaders; and to tell others they should be more coachable.

OK, just kidding on the ‘tell others’ part.  Perhaps by being more coachable in our daily walk as leader, our role modeling can inspire others.

Could you discuss a specific example from your personal or professional life where your coachability helped you to achieve success? 

Here’s one from the book:  Years ago as a rookie plant supervisor, I had the simple task of handing out paychecks every two weeks. (This was pre-direct deposit days.) On that first payday, I decided to spice up the ritual of going from workstation to workstation passing out pay envelopes. As I met each employee, I would say such things as:

“Hey, Rick, here’s your paycheck. Did you work hard for it this week?”

“Jane, big money in this envelope for you. Try not to spend it all at once.”

I thought I would win the award as the funniest supervisor around. Instead, when I finished my rounds, I found Jim—my senior technical lead—at my little supervisor’s desk.

“Sit down,” Jim began with a half-smile. 

“You know, the buzz is that you’ll do OK as the new boss.” Jim said, “But I’ve got to tell you right now, when you pass out paychecks, shut up.”

I was shocked and embarrassed, as I thought everyone would appreciate my paycheck comedy. Jim’s sit-down with me exposed a blind spot that would have annoyed my employees every two weeks. Jim became my first truth-teller and trusted advisor. I checked in with Jim regularly to hear how I was doing. And if I forgot to ask, I would find Jim at my desk, letting me know when I needed to get back on track with the team. 

Thanks to Jim, I’ve always sought a trusted advisor in every job, especially in new organizations and tough roles.  They’ve kept me out of trouble, learning and staying coachable.

Author Links: Amazon | Website

Avoid blind spots and expand your career potential and leadership effectiveness. Regain that early-career habit: coachabilityCoachability: The Leadership Superpower combines notable research, best-practice strategies, and stories of leaders on all parts of the coachability spectrum. Author Kevin Wilde has been developing leaders for major corporations, executive MBA leadership courses, and coaching hundreds of new and experienced leaders for over thirty years. Kevin shares his insights here with you.
From this insightful and practical guide, you’ll learn:Five common faulty assumptions that cloud our thinking as we lead and what to do about them.
Compelling research and stories of highly coachable leaders’ habits—from the newly-minted manager to the seasoned senior executive.
A pragmatic framework of coachability.
Four essential practices to strengthen your coachability habit.
Seven strategies highly coachable leaders use to skillfully solicit feedback and improvement.
Professional actors can teach us as a better approach to overcome natural resistance to feedback and coaching.
How five factors stall our good intentions to improve and how “parking downhill” is one of seven enablers to move the odds back into your favor.

About Literary Titan

The Literary Titan is an organization of professional editors, writers, and professors that have a passion for the written word. We review fiction and non-fiction books in many different genres, as well as conduct author interviews, and recognize talented authors with our Literary Book Award. We are privileged to work with so many creative authors around the globe.

Posted on March 28, 2023, in Interviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.


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