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Leader as Coach

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April 25, 2024
CEO, Founder & Executive Coach
3 min read
Modern leaders choose coaching over hierarchy for digital era demands. It boosts engagement, learning, performance, and agile decision-making.

Leader as Coach

In the rapidly evolving landscape of the modern workplace, the role of leaders is undergoing a significant transformation. The hierarchical, command-and-control style of leadership, which dominated the corporate world for decades, is increasingly being replaced by a more collaborative, flexible, and empowering approach.

Among the most effective paradigms emerging in this new world of work is the adoption of a coaching style by leaders. This approach aligns with the changing expectations of the workforce and addresses the complexities and challenges of today's global and digital economy.

In this article, we will explore the reasons why leaders need to adopt a coaching style to navigate the new world of work successfully.

The Shift in Workforce Expectations

The modern workforce, particularly with the integration of Millennials and Gen Z, exhibits a clear preference for jobs that provide not just a paycheck but also a sense of purpose, opportunities for personal growth, and a supportive work environment.

These younger generations crave feedback, value mentorship, and seek roles where they can make a significant impact. A coaching style of leadership meets these expectations head-on by focusing on individual development, offering constructive feedback, and encouraging employees to set and achieve their personal and professional goals.

Enhancing Employee Engagement and Retention

Employee engagement and retention have become critical issues for organisations worldwide. Disengaged employees are less productive, less profitable, and more likely to leave. A coaching style of leadership tackles this issue by creating a more engaging work environment.

Coaches support their team members, help them overcome obstacles, and celebrate their successes. This personalised attention boosts morale and job satisfaction, enhancing engagement and reducing turnover.

Nurturing a Culture of Continuous Learning

The pace of change in today’s business environment is unprecedented. Technologies evolve rapidly, consumer preferences shift, and new competitors emerge constantly.

Organisations must foster a culture of continuous learning and adaptability to stay ahead. Leaders who adopt a coaching style are well-positioned to nurture this culture. They encourage curiosity, experimentation, and reflection. By framing failures as learning opportunities, they help their teams to innovate, adapt, and grow in the face of change.

Improving Team Performance and Productivity

A coaching style of leadership directly impacts team performance and productivity. Coaches focus on developing the strengths of their team members, aligning their individual goals with organisational objectives, and fostering a sense of ownership and accountability.

This approach enhances individual performance and promotes better collaboration and teamwork. As team members feel more supported and understood, their motivation and productivity soar, driving improved outcomes for the organisation.

Facilitating Better Decision-Making

In the complex, fast-paced global market, the ability to make quick, informed decisions is crucial. Leaders who adopt a coaching style empower their employees by delegating decision-making authority and encouraging autonomy.

This empowerment fosters a sense of responsibility and confidence among team members, leading to faster and more effective decision-making processes. Moreover, by promoting a diverse and inclusive work environment, coaching leaders benefit from a wider range of perspectives, which can lead to more innovative solutions.

Enhancing Agility and Resilience

The new world of work demands agility and resilience from both organisations and individuals. A coaching style of leadership is inherently flexible, allowing leaders to adapt their approach to meet the evolving needs of their team and the external environment.

Coaches help their team members to develop resilience by encouraging them to view challenges as opportunities for growth. This mindset enables teams to bounce back from setbacks more quickly and to navigate change with greater agility.

Building Trust and Strengthening Relationships

Trust is the foundation of effective leadership. A coaching style of leadership builds trust by fostering open communication, demonstrating empathy, and showing genuine interest in the well-being and development of employees.

This approach strengthens relationships between leaders and their team members, creating a positive work environment where people feel valued and respected. High levels of trust enhance collaboration, innovation, and organisational performance.


As the world of work continues to evolve, leaders must adapt their styles to meet the changing needs of their organisations and their employees. Adopting a coaching style of leadership is not just a trend but a strategic necessity in the new world of work.

By focusing on development, empowerment, and continuous learning, coaching leaders can enhance engagement, drive performance, and navigate the complexities of the modern business environment with agility and resilience. In doing so, they contribute to the success of their organisations and make a lasting impact on the lives of their employees.

The transition to a coaching style of leadership represents a significant shift in mindset and practice, but the benefits it brings to individuals and organisations alike are undeniable and well worth the effort.