There is rarely a preapproved, prepackaged
solution that is capable of solving an organization’s operational or developmental problems; and any executive leadership
coaching or development consulting program must begin with a detailed analysis of the organization’s unique characteristics
or situation. Management coaching or developmental programs must also include participant input at their inception to
be most effective; and those that overlook or ignor this vital element typically have a very short operational shelf life.
What executive leadership coaching or a consultant
can offer is another pair of sharp managerial eyes and a fresh perspective. And though possibly naïve, the more aggressive
management consultant will repeatedly ask why things are being done in a certain way, or suggest new ways of doing things
in an effort to improve operating proficiency and profitability. As achieving substantially improved results always
requires that something be done differently; and for Leaders to achieve substantially improved results through their Subordinates
always requires that they make strategic changes or in some way augment their own supervisory behavior.
It has been my experience that the greater
majority of organizations that suffer from some form of bottom-line anemia do not usually lack the technical expertise needed
to succeed; but rather the directional, organizational, and motivational skills needed to inspire their workers to achieve
greater economic heights. It is these skills that an experienced leadership development consultant should bring
to the supervisory table in greater abundance. Though a management development consultant should be able to recognize
when additional technical assistance is needed, the most common experience is that those actually doing the job can accurately
define the problem; and that one of the brighter bulbs in the organizational chandelier often has a suggestion that if properly
implemented can the lead the way to greater operatiional prosperity. It is the leadership consultant’s ability
to bring these fundamental forces together that justifies his or her consulting fee.
However, no management consultant carries a
magic wand, or can provide pain-free rehabilitative fiscal therapy, or can come up with such a simple leadership development
program to solve to the organization’s problems that no one will have to do anything differently. If this were
possible then someone on the organization’s payroll register would have already resolved the problem; as it is rare
that the entire supervisory hierarchy is so incompetent as not to be able to effectively deal with its most straightforward
or routine problems. It is also just as rare for any one leadership consultant or management consulting firm to be able
to provide all the answers; and most likely, the final leadership development solution to an organization’s chronic
issues will be a combination of several strategic initiatives undertaken over a substantial time period regardless of the
management development program implemented or the boundless expertise of the leadership consultants engaged.
Like Sherlock Holmes "it has long been an axiom
of mine that the little things are infinitely the most important" (A Case of Identity, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, English
Author, 1859-1930) and can often play a key role in any major operational breakthrough or executive leadership development
program. As quite accurately the operational “devil is [truly] in the details.” Thus, it is indispensable
that senior executives and Leaders at all levels keep their eyes, ears, and most importantly their minds open at all times.
And considering the fact that all great conflagrations are the result of one very tiny spark, it is truly the wise Leader
who pays sufficient homage to the full breadth of details relating to his or her supervisory responsibilities. For it
is often one seemingly simple idea that makes all the difference in the world to the organization’s future bottom line.
"In the interest of conquering more distant horizons ©."
H. Garrett Hayward