This week, we invite you to meet executive coach, management consultant and strategic advisor, Roth Herrlinger, who specializes in scaling effective leadership and management.
Not everyone is familiar with executive coaching. Can you explain how you empower business leaders, entrepreneurs, and executives?
At Evolution, my coaching firm, we work with our clients on three foundational dimensions: I, We and It.
- “I” is the intrapersonal dimension – it refers to self-awareness and mastery of one’s behaviors, beliefs, mindsets, emotions, and personal processes (time, calendar, prioritization, decision-making, etc.).
- “We” is the interpersonal dimension – things like communication skills, capacity to inspire trust, ability to recognize and solidify culture, etc.
- “It” is the impersonal dimension – management processes, systems, organizational strategy and execution, etc.
We also coach on three levels: Be, Do and Have.
- The “Have” level represents results, effectiveness, outcomes (over which people often have little control, due to factors like market conditions, competition, legislation, etc.).
- The “Do” level is actions, behaviors, processes.
- The “Be” level is beliefs, narratives, mental models. By going all the way down to the “Be” level, we can achieve the greatest leverage for change, resulting in a much wider set of options and potential outcomes.
The social sector is distinct from the business sector in a variety of ways – it has no stockholders, only shareholders; often times the clients are not able to advocate for their needs like customers might; and there are unique financial and structural incentives in their models. How does your coaching address these special qualities about our sector?
The social sector exists because society believes these services will be delivered more effectively by a nonprofit organization than by one which is seeking profit (in other words, a pure market economy would leave some of its stakeholders behind or deliver suboptimal services to them, so the social sector ensures they are appropriately cared for). Nonprofit leaders have most of the same responsibilities and accountabilities that for-profit leaders do, plus they have a purpose- or heart-driven mission which typically goes beyond what we find in the for-profit sector. By coaching leaders on all three dimensions and all three levels, we are able to support executives to lead and steward their organizations successfully while maintaining personal balance and fulfillment.
When do you know it is time to hire an executive coach?
As organizations grow, their leaders are inevitably faced with new challenges. Executive coaching has been proven in study after study to be the most effective way to expand leadership capacities. Whenever you’re facing a new threshold, your best ally is a coach who has been there before. Every one of Evolution’s coaches has years, if not decades, of experience as senior executives, so there’s hardly a challenge we haven’t encountered.
If someone isn’t ready to hire their own coach yet, what online or free/low cost tools do you like to suggest as they begin their journey?
Two of the keys to growth as a leader are self-awareness and self-accountability. If someone wants to grow and isn’t yet ready to hire a coach, I recommend they become very curious about themselves. Act as a neutral observer of your own behavior. Watch where you become defensive. Watch where you shine. Get curious about why you behave one way in certain circumstances and very differently in other circumstances. Create experiments that allow you to try out new behaviors. Keep a journal of all that you discover. For expanding your personal agency, I recommend watching the excellent videos by the Conscious Leadership Group, especially the ones on content vs. context, being above the line or below the line, and the drama triangle.
What is something that you have read recently that has especially resonated with you?
I recently re-read The Power of TED by David Emerald. It’s one of the best resources I know for becoming “at cause” in life rather than “at effect”. It’s “good human” training.
Often times, working with a coach can create ripple effects in other parts of your life or unexpected but nonetheless positive outcomes. Can you share an anecdote of how this happened with someone you have worked with?
Almost inevitably, as my clients begin to truly thrive as leaders, the rest of their lives begins to advance as well. Their health improves, their relationships benefit, their stress significantly decreases and they have more time for themselves. I worked with an executive a couple years ago where it was his first time managing a large group of employees. Finding his authentic leadership voice at work had huge ripple effects in every other part of his life; to this day, he tells me he is a better husband and father because of the work we did together.
If our readers are able to make one small change today, what are a few things you would recommend to them?
You know that one thing you used to love to do when you were younger – playing soccer, drawing, sitting at the piano, going for long walks in nature – that you’re not doing now because “there just isn’t time”? Your soul is longing for you to give this to yourself again. And every part of you will benefit from your making time for it. It’s the same with the thing you’ve always wanted to learn how to do, or the place you’ve always wanted to go.
Don’t wait. Start this week. Take a step towards what your soul desires, and another, and another; you’ll be amazed by how these small steps will expand your entire life.
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