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Can coaching help transform the leadership crisis?

Despite leadership being one of the most studied, talked about, written and read topics, we still don’t get it right most of the time. From community through corporate to country level, failures in performance can reliably be tracked to the frailties of leaders. In our VUCA (Volatile Uncertain Complex Ambiguous) world of today, which demands exceptional agility and adaptability, leaders, especially those forged in rigid, authoritarian moulds, are floundering as never before.

Executive Leadership Coach and Trainer, Sally-Ann Burgess, who works with leaders throughout Africa, says, “Today, globally and particularly in Africa, we have a deep leadership crisis. Individuals often find themselves in leadership positions without any formal training, no succession plans and very little opportunity for up-skilling.  Real change requires courage to step out of our comfort zones, to be different and to ask the uncomfortable questions.  In order to do this leaders and managers need to make radical changes in the way they operate that can challenge their core beliefs and behaviour.”

The frenetic pace of life and work; the pervasiveness of disruption and the toll that this all takes on our physical and mental well-being, all highlight the need for supporting leaders in becoming more self-aware and more capable of making sustainable personal changes. Traditional models of leadership are increasingly ineffective, and today’s leaders are being challenged to improve their capacities for teamwork, honest communication, authentic relationships and fostering empowering, flexible and innovative workplaces. Worldwide, and in South Africa, executive coaching, like other areas of the industry, is experiencing significant growth. Across all sectors of society there is increasing awareness that we need more effective leadership and that coaching is a viable strategy to develop this.

“In my executive coaching experience, it is a genuine privilege to work with leaders and have an impact,” says Sally-Ann who will be presenting a talk on ‘Leadership coaching in Africa’ at the SACAP Durban Campus on the 12th of March. “I am always humbled in coaching sessions by the opportunities to be trusted in supporting leaders such as managers, entrepreneurs and public sector officials on what is a very personal and courageous journey to develop themselves holistically.” For aspiring coaches, the executive arena offers them unique and exciting challenges in developing their own self-awareness and levels of consciousness. As Sally-Ann points out: “As a coach of leaders, you have to step up. You are only going to be trusted and effective if you walk the talk yourself.”

The increased awareness that coaching for high performance, whether that be for athletes or leaders, is contributing to a worldwide growth of the coaching industry. Already well established on their Cape Town and Johannesburg campus, SACAP now brings high quality coaching education to Durban for the first time. Lee-Ann Drummond, Head of Coaching at SACAP, says: “We are launching the Coach Practitioner programme, a part-time, five-month short learning programme designed to support Durban working professionals enter the growing coaching industry, whether that’s as life coaches, niche coaches or coaches at executive level.”

In her presentation at the SACAP Durban campus, Sally-Ann Burgess will be sharing her experiences, thoughts and her perspectives on the Consciousness Leadership Model, which is a methodology that she loves and uses as a leadership coach. The talk is free and open to all working professionals, managers and leaders who may be interested in accredited coach practitioner education programmes.

In its coaching education, SACAP brings a unique psychological lens to coaching as in applied psychology and believes that in order to work effectively with others, one needs to understand and apply psychological principles within the scope of practice as a coach.


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