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How Coaching Nurtures Future Leaders

Coaching helps future leaders develop the skills needed to manage teams and thrive in their careers.

Sam Walton, the late founder of Walmart, once said, “Outstanding leaders go out of their way to boost the self-esteem of their personnel. If people believe in themselves, it's amazing what they can accomplish.”[1] What makes an outstanding leader? Many would say it’s someone who openly communicates and carefully listens to the needs of employees and takes action to support those needs. A good leader handles wins and setbacks in a professional manner and makes everyone feel welcome and appreciated.

While most companies think they are effectively preparing up-and-coming leaders to grow teams, many fall short in reality. In fact, only 27% of employees say that their manager is helpful when it comes to career development, in contrast to 88% of executives who believe that their firms hold frequent, effective career-oriented conversations with their team members.[2]

With companies around the globe now working remotely or abiding by a hybrid workplace model, it’s more important than ever that organizations help train leaders at all levels to manage their careers more effectively. When it comes to coaching, companies that invest in the right resources and tools are bound to witness higher success rates and employee satisfaction. Here are four ways coaching can help nurture future leaders.

Align leaders to organization goals

A constantly changing work environment and shifting market conditions means leaders are facing more pressures than ever. Preparing them for what lies ahead should be a priority, but instead seven out of ten companies report that they don’t feel their leaders are able to lead their organizations into the future.[3]  “The world could change by Monday, and we’ve seen that with COVID, says Melissa Lank, Director of Executive Learning with Honeywell. “So how do leaders handle the ambiguity and still manage the key things that are going to move our work forward and still help us meet P&L objectives?”

To change that dynamic, companies must establish a critical leadership framework that helps senior executives lead with purpose, create a safe and inclusive culture, achieve greater team engagement and achieve sustainable business goals.  Part of that framework includes executive coaching that helps leaders become more productive, improving organizational ROI by nearly seven times.[4]

Strengthen necessary soft skills

More than half (56%) of today’s employers say communication skills, written and verbal, are their most valued soft skills, followed by collaboration and problem-solving, according to the global Talent Shortage Survey. Yet most companies today feel they lack the talent required to lead their organizations into a successful future.[5] That’s because many current team members and job candidates display underdeveloped soft skills, which are vital, especially for organizational leaders.

In addition to building technical skills for certain departments and individual roles, soft skills, such as creative thinking, organization, empathy, confidence, and the ability to collaborate are crucial for everyone to strengthen. Mastering these skills can help leaders nurture creativity and learnability with employees which in turn makes workers feel respected and appreciated by the organization.

Employees who feel respected by company leaders report 56% better health and well-being, 89% greater job satisfaction, and 92% higher focus levels.[6] When leaders demonstrate respect, employees are primed for success and will ultimately feel happier and healthier and perform at their best.

Normalize a culture of learning through role modelling

Coaching allows managers to lead by example, therefore encouraging team members to accelerate in their careers. By definition, a role model is someone who emulates desirable traits and is often looked up to by others. Senior executives who invest time into training and development encourage the rest of the organization to do the same.[7]

Hilina Ajakaiye, executive vice president of the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau, she still turns to role models for guidance in her career[8]. Role modeling allows leaders like Ajakaiye to create a cross-company culture that is focused on confidence, encouragement, and continual career growth and skills development.

Pave the way for a more inclusive workforce

Especially today, a diverse leadership roster is essential for companies to thrive. Women in leadership roles have made strides in the workforce over the years, but there is still a long way to go. In 2020, only 7.4% of Fortune 500 companies were led by women[9] and exacerbating the situation, the post pandemic crisis has led to nearly 3 million women losing or leaving their jobs.[10] Now, as the world progresses to a new level of post-pandemic growth, many women are still struggling to find work or battling their way to the top. That’s why empowering and investing in good leaders through coaching is crucial. The more you can equip them with the tools and processes they need, the more others are encouraged to follow in their footsteps.

Abbott Laboratories, the global medical devices and healthcare company, lives this example by ensuring that female leaders are nurtured at every level. Many of Abbott’s female senior executives began with the company, taking part in their structured Advancing Professionals Network which coaches future leaders to help them achieve maximum potential at work.[11]

Successful, well-respected, and engaging leaders can transform organizations by enriching value creation and enabling their teams to produce better results. To learn more about how your organization can leverage the growing power of talent and leadership coaching, visit RightCoach.


[2] Uncharted Territory Report, ManpowerGroup 2021

[4] Right Management Employment Data 2021

[5] Primed for Success Report, ManpowerGroup 2021

[7] Primed for Success Report, ManpowerGroup 2021