How good managers grow into great leaders with expert coaching

After untold frustration in my life and business, one day I faced myself. I realised that the people who abandoned me at my hour of need taught me to stand on my own.

I understood that the things that annoyed me taught me patience. My sources of anger taught me calmness. My fears made me claim my power.

The things I dreaded forced me to learn. As for the situations that I could not control, I learned how to let go. I was free to be effective, to drive my vision and achieve. These are complete mental shifts that few of us ever make.

Life is a game whether you look at it personally or professionally. Coaching is designed to empower professionals by explaining the rules of the game and equip us with sets of principles.

The principles are to be understood, espoused and lived every single minute of every day for victory to be realised. It is a deep process. For this reason, the coaching approach to talent development does not yield immediate transformation.

Developing people is not something a coach does. It is something that the professionals being coached choose to allow to happen during coaching. It is a process that requires long and patient effort in self-awareness.

Sustainable positive results in behaviour cannot be realised after two hours of music, fun, laughter and high-fives. If that is what appeals to you, know that the results will last as long as the roar of laughter in the room.

That is at best temporary emotional giddiness. You want to delve into the real issues that affect your organisation’s bottom line. Working with a coach is a long-term commitment. It could be weeks or months.

Top executives keep coaches for life. It is not because they depend on coaches to lead and certainly not because they love to second-guess themselves.

It is because they are intelligent enough to rise above their egos. They appreciate the value of objectivity. They embrace the crucial role that impartial constructive criticism plays in their leadership no matter how much that may sting sometimes.

Most people cannot deal with criticism and would rather die than willingly expose themselves to it, let alone pay for it. This is the reason why most people are workers, supervisors, managers, directors and CEOs but cannot be considered as leaders.

What many will never be heard saying is the fact that leadership is a place of loneliness. We have been socialised to live the comfortable, normal, usual and “acceptable lives”.

Rising above everyone to the top requires an uncommon mindset and more than a few unorthodox actions and inactions. Most people will not go there. They simply do not know how to handle it. So when you do go against the norm to achieve your potential, do not expect any company.

Others will admire you from a distance because you will inevitably achieve the goals that they write as new year resolutions.

Many will not like you without even really knowing you. Just by being bold enough to dare to do things differently and enjoy success, you make them uncomfortable.

Your achievements constantly challenge their lack of these. Unfortunately because they choose to remain in their comfort zones, you are an unwelcome constant source of intimidation just by being successful. This is exactly why you need a coach.

When you are at the top of your game, you attract admiration with the same strength that you intimidate people.

These are not the people who are going to tell you what needs to be said. They either admire you too much to point out improvement areas or they feel too low compared to you to even speak in your presence.

Ironically, they all expect you to know the right thing to do in every situation.

The truth is that you are a mere mortal. You do not know everything. You feel the weight of pulling them along. Your legs buckle under the weight sometimes but because the buck stops at you, you cannot admit ignorance or leave heavy matters on the back burner forever.

So you lead in the way that you know. Sometimes things go well and at other times they do not.

Fortunately for your organisation, you got to the top because you are a wise leader, you know that your knowledge, education and experience alone are not enough. You need others to help you see and hear things better.

You understand that when you are closely involved in your work and with your team, you are too close to perceive them objectively. So you rise above your success, ego and the prestigious title that you hold.

You request the impartial counsel of a sober, mature, trusted and experienced coach.

Seraphine Ruligirwa-Kamara is an expert on Attitude and Human Potential. | @SRuligirwa