I’ve been posting a lot on personal development, so I’m going to focus on specific leadership and leadership development issues for several posts.
I’ve had the privilege and responsibility of coaching leadership to many Columbia Business School students, both in the regular and Executive MBA programs. For the next several posts I’ll cover a few of my observations in coaching leadership in that environment — usually tips on improving business leadership, but also leadership, leadership development, and personal development in general.
The program offers each student (requires, in the EMBA case) one hour of coaching from a professional leadership coach. When I went there, we only got a written report, so I consider this coaching a great advancement for the school.
And what characterizes that environment?
- The students are highly motivated
- They have at least several years of business experience before school, often more
- Each student has taken a 360-degree feedback that they, their study group-mates, and their former work colleagues fill out
- They are all taking and studying Columbia’s core Leadership class
- They have a report of their 360-degree feedback assessment
- They have one hour
- They are busy
If you’re motivated and have some experience, much of this advice may apply to you.
You might expect one hour is not enough for meaningful coaching. On the contrary, in combination with the report, which often includes feedback from five or ten people and may have taken weeks to compile, the time constraint forces us coaches to keep a high signal-to-noise ratio (students rate us, so poor performers get weeded out). You have time for only the most important, actionable topics.
In other words, the next several posts will cover some top tips and observations from coaching some of the world’s top students of business under a time constraint.
Note that the students are generally not in business leadership positions at the time, so the coaching is often about developing themselves into leaders, as opposed to improving themselves in their positions.
(I will put links here to the tips and observations as I post them)