5 Executive Leadership Coaching Tips

In the modern world of business, executive leadership often counts for as much, if not more, than job-specific skills.

It is not enough anymore to be the best at your profession; now you must also be an effective leader if you want to be successful. That’s why you see so many books, seminars, articles, and the like, all devoted to leadership and why executive leadership coaching is such a valuable asset. An entire industry has sprung up around identifying and developing strong leaders, so unfortunately it can be difficult to sift through everything and find the key lessons that really matter.

In this and the next article, we’ll look at ten executive leadership tips. It is not intended to be the “final word” on leadership, but rather a practical collection of tips to help you become a better leader in whatever it is you do.

#1 – Leaders emerge due to behavior, not job titles

Have you ever noticed that the strongest leaders are often not the people with the highest level jobs? This is because effective leadership is based in behavior, not in job title. A leader is someone who motivates, guides, encourages, and serves, no matter what job title he or she holds. If you want to become a more effective executive leader, you have to master these critical behaviors.

Look around and notice the people who are perceived as strong leaders in your environment.

What behaviors do you observe? How do they interact with others in such an effective way?

Talk with the leaders you identify and ask them for their insights, looking to them as a mentor for your own leadership development.

#2 – Leaders focus on service to others

Good leaders focus on serving the needs of others, particularly the people on their team.

They identify and meet the needs of their team members, because they know that when each member of the team has what he or she needs to succeed, success is much more likely to occur.

They may stay late at the office one day if it allows a team member to leave early to attend a child’s soccer game, or they order pizza for lunch when the team is under pressure to complete a project.

The definition of “needs”, though, is much broader than you might think.

For instance, one person may need regular contact with the leader to check progress and gather feedback, while a different person might do best when allowed to work independently.

Or, some people do their best work when there is a social aspect to the workplace, so a good leader might organize a monthly potluck lunch to create opportunities for socializing. A good leader knows how to identify and fulfill needs, even if they are unusual or different.

#3 – Leaders are accountable

You will never hear an effective leader blaming anyone or anything when something goes wrong. Good leaders know that blame and excuses are counterproductive, and they only serve to damage credibility and trust within a team.

Instead, effective leaders are accountable for events and results. They stand up and take responsibility for problems and issues, and then set about correcting them. The best leaders know that when they are accountable their whole team benefits from increased trust and respect.

#4 – Leaders go beyond what is required

Do you know anyone who regularly goes beyond the minimum requirements of whatever it is they are doing? This person is the one who remembers a team member’s birthday, offers to pitch in and help when a deadline looms, or makes the extra effort to access expertise or resources that might help resolve an issue.

Going beyond what is required is more than just doing nice things for others. It is all about looking for opportunities to foster the development of others, whether it means spending extra time with a poorly performing employee or counseling an employee who is not fully supporting other team members.

#5 – Leaders build trust

A good leader builds trust, both with others and among others. Confidential conversations stay confidential and teamwork is fostered throughout all activities. When a good leader makes a promise or agrees to consider something, he or she follows through – every time, on time. Even if the ultimate answer is “no”, the fact that the leader can be counted on to fulfill commitments fosters strong trust.

The way trust is developed is also a good indicator of a good leader. Intense seminars or retreats labeled as “team building” may be used, but more often, it is the many small things each day that build trust. It is easy to talk about trust in a two day workshop, but it is hard to follow through and live that way every single day. Those who do are among the most effective leaders you will find.


  1. First of all, wonderful article! It gave seeds to a few thoughts that I would like to post here. Teamwork is a dynamic process involving individuals with complementary backgrounds and skills, share common goals and exercise intensive effort in assessing, planning, evaluating and executing towards the common goal. However, there are significant difficulties that are common while building collaborative groups among individuals. We have to consider cultural and indivisual differences, workplace issues, social differences, education differences and gender differences. Unsolved communication issues, poor commitment from all stakeholders undermine the spirit of team. We have to also consider factors such as differences in political views. Organizations often fail to create feasible policies to govern teamwork programs, so all efforts become obsolete sooner that they can settle to become useful for any company.

  2. It is true that leaders need to be based on behavior and how they affect other people especially their colleagues. They are the ones who set a good example for others to follow. Some leaders forget this quality especially if they are on top. One must not forget that leaders need to be responsible in the actions that they make. Coaching is a good way to teach them their roles in the company and remind them that their position is vital in the workplace.

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