A Coaching Model Created by Sven Gade
(Leadership Coach, USA)
The analogy between business and sport is frequently used; by living it I discovered some interesting commonalities which inspired me to name my coaching model ‘The LeaderTrip’.
The streets of our cycle tours are rather s-curved and we have to cope with headwinds, rain and mountains; however we are constantly pushing forward with our destination in mind. In Leadership Coaching we also sometimes encounter challenges and progress slowly but remain always in a state of growth towards the client’s goal.
Effective coaching is built on an intimate relationship between the client and the coach; similarly my cycle tours are successful because of a trusting partnership with a friend.
I am working with my coaching clients on behavioral changes in their roles as executive leaders. Their reasons for change are many fold: some feel overwhelmed and want to get better organized, others want to make better use of their time and energy, some want to be more strategic in their business; others struggle with communication issues and dealing with conflicts; some also see defective teamwork and a lack of engagement. Often many of the above reasons are present at the same time and deeply intertwined.
The objectives of my clients however are fairly similar: they aim to be more effective as a leader, improve their collaboration with others and raise the engagement level of their teams.
My Coaching Philosophy
I believe in dreams, I believe in people and I believe in progress.
When we talk about our dreams in our lives we mean a scenario of the future which is in one or more aspects of our lives ideal. These dreams are imaginative and fascinating; most often they come with mental pictures which show us where we would love to be, giving us some sort of a vision of the future. Dreams don’t come true easily. Some research and reality checks are needed to convert them into concrete goals and balance these across the different aspects of our lives.
All people have excellence in them; they have unique talents and are passionate about something very special to them. Awareness of our behavior, personality and attitude, clarity of our values and beliefs give us confidence and enable us to unlock our full potential. The connection with the best people for us will be our inspiration and an asset while proceeding. The commitment to achieve our goals, to make life changing decisions makes us the true leaders of our own lives.
Progress connects people with their dreams. Personal progress is a natural process; it happens through learning, practice and overcoming challenges; it leads to achievement and growth. The drive to individual excellence will make this journey extremely satisfying and rewarding. We can make a difference by developing our talents into strength and softening our weaknesses if they become roadblocks on our way forward. Managing our energy on all levels – physical, mental, emotional and spiritual – is of the essence to remain in motion. Priorities have to be clear, goals need to be broken down into milestones, turned into monthly, weekly and daily action plans; routines will help to master the daily agenda.
Coaching is an inspiring, thought-provoking and self-directed learning experience. As a leadership coach I empower leaders to move to a new level and make the changes in their life that they really want. I support them to define their purpose, develop their mission and clarify their goals, to increase their self-awareness and to achieve the results that are important for their personal success.
My Coaching Model
A coaching model is a framework / process which serves as a basis for a coaching assignment. My coaching model is named LeaderTrip to picture a coaching client substantially progressing on the road of his/her life. It expresses my own experience in multiple professional projects and on bicycle tours which brought me from one point to another as part of a longer journey.
On the LeaderTrip my clients experience together with me five consecutive phases: Commit, Explore, Focus, Move, Achieve. Sometimes it will be necessary to step back to the previous phase for a while before going ahead again, just like on an s-curved bicycle tour.
The start of the LeaderTrip with a client is always very similar, the client pursues a goal and intents to ‘cycle’ with me. In the AGREE phase or latest in the EXPLORE phase we will find out about the ‘fitness’ of the client and adjust the ‘pace’ so that it just feels comfortable for him/her. That includes also spending less or more time in each of the phases.
First we ‘agree on the destination of the trip and assemble the team’. The LeaderTrip activities are:
- Connect and enter the relationship with the business- and coaching client, confirm roles
- Clarify and document expected outcome which the client wants to achieve from coaching, short-, mid-, long-term; meet individually with business- and coaching client
- Ensure expectations are realistic and aligned with the client’s organization
- Explain my commitment as a coach, my coaching model, avoid confusion with training, consulting, counseling, confirm confidentiality, communicate policies and procedures of my coaching practice
- Define how to measure success of coaching, determine SMART goals (latest in EXPLORE phase)
- Agree on stakeholder involvement (anyone who is impacted by the outcome of the coaching)
- Find out if client and coach match
- Compile time schedule for coaching assignment, agree with client on frequency and duration of coaching sessions and overall duration of assignment
- Identify the type of reporting which will be required, agree on information which will be shared with business client, preferably ask coaching client to report progress / results to business client
- Sign coaching agreement, incl. fees, monthly invoicing, payment terms, recipient of invoice (sponsor, coaching client)
Expected outcome: Client and coach have relationship established, Common understanding of measurable goal and coaching approach gained
In the second phase we ‘study the possibilities – geographies, equipment and fitness’. The LeaderTrip activities are:
- Investigate client’s reason for action, share examples and diagnose the potential problems
- Review the latest 360 feedback and results of other instruments if available and actual, gather relevant data about performance, productivity, work-habits, etc.
- Collect voices of the stakeholders or team members on issues and performance (pre-coaching assessment)
- Understand the strategy, culture, policies and practices of client’s organization (organizational competence)
- Observe client practical work environment, ‘a day in the client’s life’
- Select additional competence assessment instruments to be deployed for a better understanding of the As Is Situation, e.g. personality style analysis (Myer Briggs), DiSC, learning style analysis (Honey and Mumford) etc.
- Discover client’s values and beliefs, identify the personal, professional and organizational motivators
- Understand client’s dreams, develop or confirm client’s vision and goals, visualize the desired future
- Self-assess clients strength and passions, compare with external data
- Review progress with business client and compare with
Expected outcome: Client experience individual potential, Vision clarified (in connection with organizational strategy), Client’s self-confidence increased
The third phase is about ‘route-planning, exercising and packing the bags’. The LeaderTrip activities are
- Elicit client’s perspective of his / her challenges and opportunities, link causes to effects
- Identify important areas of growth and development
- Determine behaviors to start, stop or adjust and detect competencies (skills, knowledge) to gain
- Ensure that measures are consistent with coaching client’s values / beliefs and support guiding strategies of the business client
- Prepare client to change behavior, rehearse new solutions in role play
- Guide to resources for development: courses, books, articles, websites, blogs, etc.
- Determine and prioritize actions, consolidate them into a win plan
- Identify potential concerns and prepare client for adverse reaction, maintain motivation before starting actions
- Agree on win-plan and determine relevant stakeholders to be involved in MOVE phase
- Review progress with business client and compare with
Expected outcome: Client’s win plan developed, Decision on individual changes made, Client energized for progress
In the fourth phase the client ‘cycles adjust to weather conditions and we check the pace’. The LeaderTrip activities are:
- Introduce rituals / structure in daily practices which will support self-management
- Client takes accountability for actions
- Implement quick wins and create positive interventions
- Activate stakeholders to support client
- Establish journal, self-monitor compliance with new behavior and effectiveness
- Rate options for decisions to make and determine preferences
- Reflect on achievements and how success occurred
- Track execution of action items and review overall progress against SMART goals
- Correct win-plan if necessary
- Review progress with business client and compare with:
Expected outcome: Client increased leadership effectiveness, Self-management and relationship management improved, Client’s coaching goal reached
Finally the client ‘arrives at the destination of the trip’. The LeaderTrip activities are:
- Client reflects on the accomplishments through the coaching and documents them
- Post coaching evaluation by stakeholders
- Calculation of impact
- Ensure sustainability, introduce support structure to continue the learning after the coaching assignment
- Celebrate success
- Review progress with business client and compare with:
Expected outcome: Client demonstrates measurable results from change of specific leadership behaviors
It is my role as coach during the coaching process to:
- Create an atmosphere of comfort
- Provide structure
- Help clients to focus on their presence and behavior
- Listen, really listen also to what client doesn't say (and don't think about the next question)
- Observe the client's physical, cognitive, emotional, spiritual state
- Ask powerful questions and respect the silence
- Unveil the answers within the client
- Paraphrase (and summarize)
- Give a different perspective, at times based on my experiences
- Expanding clients views (beyond their perceived limitations)
- Co-create possibilities
- Give honest feedback
- Brainstorm ideas
- Challenge gently
- Keep the client moving forward (live in a state of positive action)
- Identify changes made by the client
- Acknowledge progress
As a result of the coaching engagement my clients change specific leadership behaviors through better self-management and relationship management and are more effective as leaders. They reflect on the accomplishments through the coaching and document them in a feedback form. The improvements are measured by predefined performance indicators and / or ongoing feedback from stakeholders. This leads to a sense of fulfillment for the client as well as a better opportunity to advance in his/her career. The client also clarifies his/her vision and goals in connection with the organizational strategy.
As a side effect the client’s team and his/her stakeholders usually experience a higher satisfaction in their working relationship with the client which also drives the effectiveness of the organization.
I am building my coaching practice on more than 30 years as a corporate leader in multiple roles, primarily in the logistics industry. In this time I lived in four different countries across two continents and was able to gain a wide range of experiences in functions, such as business analytics, project / program-management, consulting, process improvement, supply chain operations and account management. I progressed in my career by learning from my mentors, my teams, my business partners and not least from my failures.
Over many years as a global leader I have had the opportunity to work with employees from many countries and various cultures and to develop relationships with partners in all parts of the world. My empathy for people helped me not only to identify talents and develop leaders but also to motivate teams for a common goal.
I think I am at my best when I deliver substantial business results by building high performing teams. Success has come from listening to people, effectively connecting and empowering them to focus and deliver. Personally I drove the necessary change with realistic optimism and persistence.
As a leadership coach I draw on passion for cycling. In the last 20 years I’ve spend a week every summer together with a friend on a cycle tour across Europe. So far we’ve followed river Elbe from Hamburg to its source in the Czech Republic, the Atlantic coast from Cuxhaven, northern Germany to Gibraltar. Currently we’re biking across Europe from Glasgow in the northwest to Istanbul in the southeast.
On these adventures and escapes from daily life we have traveled until now 6,000 miles to see 13 different countries. Over the years we’ve followed some principles of leadership, which are also applicable in business and other aspects of life.