Leadership Coaching and Professional Development

What is Leadership Coaching?

leadershipcoachingMany leaders and teams find themselves in organizational environments of unprecedented shift and challenge: rapidly transforming sectors, unfamiliar measures of progress and accountability, amidst new notions of effective and authentic leadership. How do you show up for these conditions with a sense of wholeness and energy? How can you find calmness in the midst of tumult and uncertainty? How can you ensure that your leadership moves are aligned with your deepest values and commitments?


Coaching is a transformational experience. It really focused on tangible professional goals and practical applications. I felt as though I left coaching with techniques and strategies to ‘try on/out’ and was able to implement them the same day. It’s a process of self-awareness and figuring out ways to be your best self.

Principal, urban charter school in Northeast, coached by Old Sow Coaching and Consulting

Leadership coaching, designed to build and strengthen leadership skills, knowledge and more effective performance, is described by two organizational development studies in 2013 as, “the single most effective leadership development activity available to leaders.”[i] Because it is intense, personal, ongoing, and highly-focused, organizational leadership research points to the effectiveness of leadership coaching[ii] to increase leaders’ organizational fluency, emotional intelligence, creativity and leadership agility, particularly in rapidly transforming sectors like education.

Many of Old Sow Coaching and Consulting clients tell us, “coaching is the best professional development I’ve ever had.” Additionally, high performing leaders increasingly want and demand leadership coaching to enhance their overall effectiveness and leadership growth.[iii]

Coaching offers support and a listening ear, yet it goes farther because coaching seems to assume a capacity for wholeness that comes from within the client as well as within the client-coach relationship: strengths-based, direct, and action-oriented. The process of being heard, mirrored, and held accountable for behavior or attitude changes, which are mutually agreed-upon, is powerful.

Owner, educational business, West Coast, coached by Old Sow Coaching and Consulting


  • Leadership coaching supports leaders in aligning their behaviors with achieving the results that are most important to the success of their organizations.
  • Leadership coaching offers “another ear” and a set experienced eyes to leaders who may struggle with day-to-day overwhelm, and holds them accountable to results.
  • Leadership coaching challenges leaders to question the stories that guide their leadership, and to investigate alternative and more effective narratives and behaviors.
  • Based on human development research, leadership coaching is extremely effective in helping leaders and teams improve performance by focusing energy, sharpening effort and enhancing strategic thinking. Individually crafted, the scope and nature of the coaching work is designed jointly between the client and the coach, and the client and the coach holds the client accountable for achieving those results.
  • Leadership coaching can create an environment of compassion and healing in response to leadership stress, which has positive effects on teams and organizations.[iv]



[i] http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/2/da3ea73c-ee30-11e2-816e-00144feabdc0.html#axzz2l6od0tHs

[ii] Source: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-end-work-you-know-it/201208/how-pick- executive-coach

[iii] Financial Times, October 2013: https://www.evernote.com/shard/s243/sh/b66fb27e-559f-4f2e-a2d0-14f5c370b492/29e20a49fc2b7eeca705d4fbab23f37f

[iv] Boyatzis, R.E., Smith, M.L., Blaize, N (2006). Developing sustainable leaders through coaching and compassion. Academy of Management Learning and Education, 2006. Vol. 5, No 1, 8-24.