Inner Circle Coaching

By Whit Mitchell, 2014

“The leading cause of death of an executive career is lack of self-awareness!”
– Sam Kinney co-founder of FreeMarkets, entrepreneur and No. 1 in his graduating class at Tuck Business School.
 
Just as self-awareness is necessary to success, implementing effective team and leadership behaviors impacts “key results” leading to superior performance for organizations. A common statement I use in my work with top leaders is, “We hire for skill; we fire (or leave) based on behaviors.” Self-awareness helps leaders understand their behaviors and adjust them to be highly effective.
 
The Inner Circle Executive Coaching Process is designed to specifically zero in on helping key executives get through the behavioral barriers that get in the way of doing high quality work that positively impacts the bottom line.
 
If you are the decision maker in your organization and see a need to dramatically increase leadership endorsement/results with one of your top people you might consider implementing my Inner Circle Coaching model.
 
Steps:
1. Identify the behaviors that are holding this leader back from achieving key results.
2. You can do this assessment by hiring an executive coach to implement a 360 survey and conduct one-on-one interviews with each of the people who work most closely with your top leader.
3. Share the results with the leader and decide upon the “plan of action” to be implemented over the next nine months.
4. Key to Change: Implement the Inner Circle process by including four to seven other peers, colleagues, boss and direct reports as part of the coaching process.
5. Get open and honest feedback every 30 days and watch changes occur within all who are involved, not just your leader.
 
Ask each of the Inner Circle Influencers this question: “If you could master one behavior that would make the biggest impact in your work with others inside and outside the organization, what would it be?” Then ask them to make these four commitments.
  1. Let go of the past with my client. 
  2. Support and encourage my client. 
  3. Be willing to give open and honest feedback every 30 days to my client.
  4. Pick a behavior to change themselves.
What separates Inner Circle Coaching from other executive coaching models is peer accountability.  Knowing that other people are pulling for you - and are holding themselves accountable - creates a cultural shift that leads to behavior change.  One of my clients was told that his opportunity for career advancement was threatened by poor listening skills.  Using the Inner Circle Coaching model, my client was able to understand the value of changing his behavior.  After nine months of working with him and his inner circle, there was cascading effect.  He became a better listener - but this one behavior improvement manifested itself in reduced stress, improved trust, greater communication among team members and clients and higher morale and increased happiness throughout his team. His team achieved # 2 for results out of 40 sales teams within the organization and achieved 108% of budget within the 9 months we worked together.

 

Whit Mitchell is part of The Complete Leader faculty and the author of Working in Sync: How Eleven Dartmouth Athletes Propelled Their College Sports Experience into Professional Excellence