The leaders I coach influence the behavior of others. Assuming that the culture of a business or organization is the behavior of the leader, the ethical behavior of the leader is critical—not only for those within her or his realm of influence, but indeed for all those peripherally connected to her or to his place of work. Therefore, the privilege of a coach working with a leader is potentially enormous and far-reaching.
All too often, leaders face complex business or organizational challenges which, at their core, are actually ethical dilemmas. We all know the examples. When they are not seen as such, leaders may eventually choose a course of action that leads to unintended and unethical consequences.
Knowing full well that such occurrences do happen, we, as coaches who work with businesses, organizations and governments, must be continually critical and competent observers of our clients’ behaviors. We must have the unshakable courage to challenge them to see what is really going on, so as to make the right choices in the first place.
How will we effectively coach within businesses, organizations, institutions and governments? What will be our intention, our method, our behavior, our result?
With our intention—
• we will forge and leverage the strengths of our clients
• we will awaken their responsibility
• and we will catalyze the fulfillment of their service to others
With our method—
• we will focus on our clients’ agenda, not on our own
• we will understand that we are there to serve and to support
• we will be willing to share or even relinquish a relationship if it is in the best interests of our clients
• finally, we will recognize that our purpose is to provide the right questions, born of appropriate knowledge
With our behavior—
• we will listen empathetically and fully
• we will stay open and present
• we will remain adept in our critical observation
• we will exercise courage to ensure that our clients’ decisions and actions are ethically sound
• and finally, we will continually ensure that our clients’ goals are inextricably linked to the goals of the business, organization or government that they serve
With our ultimate goal, our determined result—
• clients who are authentic, fully actualized, value-based and ethical in their behaviors
• clients who actively contribute to their community and to the world at large
• and clients who leverage their strengths in a collaborative effort to deliver enduring results to their businesses, organizations and institutions