When you’re leading a team, every decision counts. For some executives, having a coach in your corner can mark the beginning of an extraordinary transformation in both your leadership approach and company’s trajectory.

We’ve chatted with some fantastic folks from the Powderkeg community and learned a ton about how executive coaching can totally revamp your leadership game. It’s not just about polishing up your leadership skills; it’s a whole new way of thinking about leading and making decisions.

Here’s the cool part: we’ve got some real-life tips and stories from execs who’ve been there and done that with coaching. They’re all about stepping up to challenges, really listening to their teams, and asking the smart questions.

Dive into these insights with us, and see how executive coaching can transform your approach to leadership.

Ask Great Questions to Enhance Leadership

What I’ve discovered from executive coaching is that great leaders ask great questions rather than pretend to have all the answers. Asking questions opens up paths to possibilities and invites everyone in the conversation to step into expansiveness and abundance rather than scarcity and lack. Several effective questions worth asking are: Why does this matter to you so much? Who would you / we be without that story? What else could “this” be? What do you need so that…?

Karen Mangia, President & Chief Strategy Officer at The Engineered Innovation Group

Embrace Discomfort for Leadership Growth

One important lesson I’ve learned from coaching is it’s good to be uncomfortable and to embrace that feeling. Grab those challenging times as opportunities to grow, and recognize that it’s often not about our job proficiency that’s causing the challenge. Life happens, and we can lose focus, confidence, or discipline. If you’re not showing up at your best, decision-making and leadership falters. Create daily practices for consistent performance and that energy will permeate to your team.

Joe Melton, Head of Sales at Dreamfuel

Lead by Active Listening 

Through executive coaching, I learned the value of active listening in leadership. In one instance, my team faced a project setback. Instead of dictating solutions, I applied my coaching insights: I listened intently to their perspectives and encouraged open dialogue. This fostered team-driven problem solving. The outcome was not only a successful project pivot but also a more cohesive, empowered team. Coaching reinforced that true leadership often means listening more and speaking less.

Emily Finkelstein, CEO at VentureXpert Advisors

From Confusion to Clear Vision

When my company first started, I had no idea what to do with my time.

We had a lot of ideas for the business, but none of them were coming together. We didn’t have a clear vision for where to go next, and we were having trouble agreeing on what that should be.

At first, I tried to push through and make decisions myself. But after a few months with no progress, I realized that this wasn’t working—I was too stressed out from trying to force all these different things into one cohesive whole.

That’s when I decided to take some time off and get some coaching help. She helped me realize that it’s okay to delegate responsibility sometimes! And it’s also okay to ask for help when you need it; people want your company to succeed as much as you do. With her guidance, I learned how to delegate some of my tasks so that I could focus on what really matters: creating a vision for our company and leading us toward it in an organized way that everyone could agree on.

Noel Griffith, CMO, SupplyGem

Simplifying Business Financials

Our leadership team worked with an executive coach who gave us a very simplified approach for talking about our business in terms of how cash is generated in the business. This simplification was based on the fundamental idea that all businesses end for the same reason: they run out of cash. Understanding the cash-generation function is very basic, but it’s a critical step before analyzing higher-order issues in the business.

Trevor Ewen, COO, QBench

Adaptive and Resilient Leadership

Strong leadership isn’t defined by your ability to predict the future. It’s about remaining in the present with your employees to meet their needs with confidence. Executive coaching teaches you to be empathetic and to truly hear what your subordinates are saying.

Leading with resilience isn’t about knowing what’s best at all possible times. Rather, it’s about seeing a path forward that everyone can follow with you at the helm.

Mark Varnas, Principal SQL Server DBA and Consultant, Red9

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