Leadership Coaching Systems

Leadership coaching carries a number of basic concepts for our broader implementation:

Leaders learn in different ways and styles. While all leaders are learners, some learn better in discussions, others in reflective reading and lectures. Some prefer a teacher student model, while others benefit from the peer to peer experience. Most of us learn by leading and experience, but no one wants to make all the mistakes – it’s much better to learn from the experiences of other seasoned leaders. A stronger coaching system utilizes multiple approaches.

Coaching is very different than mentoring. Coaching tends to focus on skill sets as they relate to particular career performance. Mentoring has more to do with the broader life styles that affect fulfillment in life, like marriage enrichment or parenting skills. To find a mentor involves a unique chemistry between mentor and protégée, a particular connection, modeling an example and personal respect. Mentoring tends to be long term, while coaching is a more short term assignment. Mentors remain accessible as needed; coaches usually set times for training and team meetings. Coaching can be completed by any competent leader who has mastered a particular skill or ability and can pass along those insights to a new generation of leaders.

Coaching requires leadership assessments. The assessments help select the appropriate levels of training needed by each leader. Most leaders aren’t prepared for the level of training available via all the various seminars or presenters. However by grouping leaders in cohorts by skill levels, learning can accelerate peer to peer learning and training tracks for any leadership experiences.

Coaching systems utilize leadership assets. The personnel resources available from Toler Leadership range from author and presenter Stan Toler, to IT support personnel for webinars and online classes, to executive team coaches trained by Stan Toler and area support teams for hosting events and ongoing team meetings, as well as Jim Dorsey and the Toler Leadership office team.

Training events could launch coaching cohorts. Each of the resources developed by Toler Leadership can be available for ongoing coaching over a 12-24 month period.   One of the executive team coaches could meet regularly with the group and/or their teams to help implement the information shared. Team learning could be happening on all levels – leader to leader, team to team, peer to peer, coach to leaders, or Stan Toler to all the teams, etc.

Coaching systems are stronger with wider input. The more we build a wider base of effective input into these leaders and their teams, the stronger the results of our efforts. If there’s only one coach having all the input into one leader and a team, the perspective is much too limited. The greater the diversity and perspective from our coaching team, the richer our content and wisdom for these teams.

Emotional buying into the process becomes crucial. Whether assessments or revitalization planning, any training or coaching exercises would best be served by utilizing the key lay leadership from each of the local churches. An orientation time at the opening of each weekend schedule permits new lay members on each team to be brought up to speed on the purpose and focus of the weekend schedule. With their participation and understanding of the process, they will be sent home as cheerleaders of the process and ultimate decisions.

Coaching balances the real and perceived needs. A number of topics can fill any seminar very quickly. We will want to develop a matrix of subjects that lead into a balanced approach for leaders of corporations, non-profits and churches. With his excellent track record of providing leadership as well as writing books about leadership, Stan Toler offers a range of materials that will benefit any organization.

-Jim Dorsey, Toler Leadership International