Ep 98 // Transformative Coaching for Intentional Leaders

Ep 98

Executive and leadership coaching, at its core, is about creating ease for you as a high-achieving leader. It's about supporting you in leveraging your innate personality so you can learn how to prioritize and maximize your time as well as the time of your team and stakeholders. 

In this episode, Akua talks about her coaching program and how one-on-one coaching can be transformational for leaders at any stage of their career. Learn how Akua helps clients become sustainably strategic, learn how to ask for help, and set boundaries so that they can build stronger teams and achieve personal and professional goals.

If you're interested in hearing real-world examples of how Akua's coaching helps intentional leaders, listen in as she shares two case studies highlighting her coaching approach and methodology. 

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What's Covered in this Episode About Transformative Coaching

  • Identify the difference between tactical and strategic leadership and how being strategic allows you to delegate so you can focus on the future.
  • Akua talks about the types of leaders she supports, including leaders transitioning into new roles, emerging leaders, and first-time founders and executives.
  • Learn about the three stages of leadership: thriving, buoyant, and transformative, and how leaders are constantly cycling through them as they evolve as leaders.
  • Get real-world examples of the transformation 1:1 coaching provides as Akua shares case studies of leaders she's worked with, including one reluctant to have tough conversations and another who was building a new department and needed to gain more support from her team.¬†
  • If you've enjoyed the Open Door Conversations podcast, please¬†leave a review.

Quotes from this Episode of Open Door Conversations

  • "You may even have a great team to support you. But what you need is an outside set of eyes, looking in an outside perspective can shift everything." - Akua Nyame-Mensah
  • "We are constantly evolving day to day. And that's one of the reasons why I really wanted to focus my coaching on supporting leaders from being reactive to reflective." - Akua Nyame-Mensah
  • "It's really all about supporting leaders with leveraging their innate personality, so that they can learn how to prioritise and maximise their time and their stakeholders or their time and their team, because we can't do it alone." - Akua Nyame-Mensah

Mentioned in Transformative Coaching for Intentional Leaders

Get to Know the Host of the Open Door Conversations Podcast

Learn more about your host, Akua Nyame-Mensah.

Akua is a certified executive and leadership coach, recognized learning and organizational development facilitator, speaker, and former startup executive. 

Since 2018, she has had the opportunity to partner with amazing organizations, from high-growth startups to multinational brands all around the world, to maximize people, performance, and profit.  Outside of her coaching and corporate speaking engagements, she is a regular mentor, coach, and judge for various entrepreneurship-focused organizations.

Stay in touch with Akua Nyame-Mensah, Leadership & Culture Advisor:

  • Read about Akua‚Äôs services if you‚Äôd like to learn more about how you can hire her to help you strengthen your organization‚Äôs culture.

  • Complete her contact form to jump on a call.

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Here’s the transcript for episode 98 about Transformative Coaching for Intentional Leaders

NOTE: Please excuse any errors in this transcript; it was created using an AI tool. Akua Nyame-Mensah 0:00 You don't have to work harder to achieve goals and experience the results you've been working so diligently towards you have done everything right. You've invested in your leadership, you have surrounded yourself with incredible mentors. You may even have a great team to support you. But what you need is an outside set of eyes, looking in an outside perspective can shift everything. Together, we can work to take you to where you want to be. Hello, and welcome to the open door conversations podcast. My name is a Korea yami Mensa I also respond to Aqua and Akua. I'm a certified executive and leadership coach recognised learning and organisational development facilitator, speaker and former startup executive. And I am so excited because this year I'm celebrating five years of working for myself five years of supporting leaders. And I am so grateful because I've had the opportunity to partner with amazing organisations, from hydro startups to multinational brands all around the world, and 2022 alone, I serve over 600 Yes, over 600 leaders around the world. And in this podcast, you will have the opportunity to learn my three step leadership framework. I actually break it down in Episode 71. I use this framework with my high achieving and entrepreneurial minded clients that are juggling a million responsibilities so they can easily build wealth. This three step framework is going to teach you how to leverage your innate personality to learn how to prioritise and maximise not just your time, but also your money, you don't have to work harder or turn into someone else. To get more done. Let's tune into this week's episode. Hello, and welcome to this week's open door conversations podcast episode. As always, I'm incredibly excited to jump into today's topic. And we're going to be talking all about the transformative power of one on one coaching. And I'm gonna be sharing some case studies and some client reflections of those who have been so graciously open to working with me. If you haven't yet, please take a listen to my previous episode, where I talk about why my clients work with me. It will give you a nice, I think introduction into what I do, why I do it, and the values and approaches I take towards my work. And if you are interested in learning a little bit more about my approach and my framework. I'm really excited because my website was just redone. I think it looks incredible. And I would love for you to visit. So I would encourage you to take my free leadership assessment, it takes only five minutes. And I promise you, those five minutes will be well spent. Because by going through the assessment, you will be forced to reflect on what your next steps are. Anyone who takes the assessment will have the opportunity to jump on next steps call with me. And you will be left with incredibly actionable resources that you can implement in use immediately. So if that's something of interest, I would recommend that you jump to my website, I will make sure all those links are in my show notes. Let's get to setting the stage. I know firsthand how transformative getting the right support can be. And this is one of the reasons why I feel like coaching is such an incredible way to support emerging and leaders in transition. If anything, we are technically always in transition. We don't always realise it. We're not always willing to acknowledge it. But we are constantly evolving day to day. And that's one of the reasons why I really wanted to focus my coaching on supporting leaders from being reactive to reflective for some of you listening to this, you might feel like but hey, I just need to do things I just need to deliver, I just need to perform. But one of the things that leaders I think that are effective and that are able to grow, that are promoted that are able to build things I've never been able to build before. One of the things they learn one of the things they come to really cherish and really leverage is the importance of creating space in their personal and professional lives. And that's the reason why I named my executive and leadership coaching programme from reactive to reflective coaching for intentional high achievers seeking ease. I know it's a bit of a mouthful. I don't talk about the full name everywhere. I just simply abbreviate to executive and leadership coaching. But that's honestly what it's all about. It's really all about supporting leaders with leveraging their innate personality, so that they can learn how to prioritise and maximise their time and their stakeholders or their time and their team, because we can't do it alone. And we shouldn't do it alone. When I talk about my programme and the impact it has, a lot of times I'm using words, such as reactive or tactical. And it's really important to recognise that as we move through the ranks as we build things for ourselves, as our teams expand and our businesses expand, it's really important that we're able to become even more focused on our strengths. And what I like to describe as even more strategic. Listen to this, you might be asking, what's the difference between being tactical and strategic? For my perspective, tactical is simply checking things off the to do list, while strategic is really reflecting on whether or not that thing should be on your to do list and whether or not it needs to be done now. So strategy and being strategic really is that one step above. And people who are strategic really recognise that there are things they can definitely remove from their checklist, things that they can delegate to others on their checklists. And their checklist is simply the very specific things that only they can do, and that they do well. So it's about stop, write about stopping about reflecting, and not just focusing on checking things off your To Do lists, but really being able to transition into being able to prioritise having the time and space to engage with others make the most of the stakeholders within your environment and your circle to delegate. And most importantly, for many of us create time to plan for the future where it doesn't feel like it's anxiety ridden, it doesn't feel bad or weird, you have the space to actually do it. My work with leaders starts with an initial engagement to sort of set the groundwork for ongoing coaching. Typically, I start off with a minimum of six sessions with my clients. And when I'm asked, What are the types of leaders or who do you support, this is typically who I mentioned, I talk about emerging leaders, I talk about first time founders and executives, I also tend to mention individual contributors who are transitioning into people leadership positions. And there's a key distinction there between, of course, individual contributors. And being a people leader. I also talk about supporting and have supported leaders transitioning into expanded roles, for example, leaders for going from country manager to more regional MD roles. And that's something that I experienced to a certain extent, when I was working full time leaders who are taking over a new team or business or going through a merger, something that I also experienced as well. And finally, teams. So I also do team coaching as well, that incorporates both the one on one components and some group components. And so leadership teams that are looking to increase cohesion, and get better outcomes faster. So hopefully, that lays the groundwork and gives you a better idea of what it kind of looks like to work with me really setting the stage there. Ultimately, the most important piece is building a strong coaching relationship and establishing trust. And there's many ways in which I do it. And it starts off with sharing an agreement and making sure that whoever I'm coaching and my coachee, or if you're listening to this, you are on the same page about what coaching is, what coaching isn't, and what our confidentiality looks like as well. Let's talk a little bit about the journey of transformation, what my clients go through, and what I've also gone through as someone who's gotten a lot of coaching and a lot of support, both while being a full time employee to a certain extent. And now as a business owner, when I typically am talking about the type of support I provide to my clients, I'm typically typically talking about three stages that are as it relates to leadership. And a key thing here that I talk about in relation to leadership is that we can be in any one of these stages at any point in time, it doesn't matter how much experience we have, it doesn't matter how many skills we have, we can always end up in one of these stages simply because there are both internal and external conditions that can impact us. And we are not just one thing, right? We're evolving, things around us are evolving. And it's really important that we're able to cultivate our awareness to know where we are within those stages. And so we go through these stages constantly. And I actually think that it's a better way to really reflect on leadership, and it's a cycle. It's really a system. And so I'm typically talking about three stages. And this is something that you'll also see if you take a look at my coaching approach or coaching methodology on my website. So the first stage I talk about, but it's not necessarily the initial stage and it's also not necessarily the best stage either. What I typically talk about first is the thriving stage. And this is where we tend to have the capacity to engage with others because we tend to be pretty good emotionally, physically and mentally. So it's a lot easier to do things beyond ourselves. The other stage that I then tend to talk about a lot is the buoyant stage. And this is where it's really important that you're able to sort of tap in and continue to cultivate your awareness to get really clear on the additional resources that might be internal or external that you need, the last stage that I tend to talk about. And probably the stage where you can have the most possible growth is the transformative stage. And this really is when it might be time to rethink or recalibrate your expectations. And once again, those can be both internal and external expectations. So a lot of times clients, especially if they're referred to me, can initially face some resistance. And for some people, the resistance is simply that they don't feel like they deserve to have the opportunity to invest in themselves this much, they don't feel like they should have the space to reflect this much. And I think that that's such an interesting phenomenon. Because ultimately, we need that space, we all deserve to have that space, to try on new ideas, to think through things to be able to have a space where someone can support us in a non non judgmental way. There also can of course, be resistance related to performance, people not necessarily feeling like they have anything that they can work on. And that's really where that cultivating awareness piece can be incredibly impactful, especially if we're supporting someone or especially if I'm supporting someone who have cultivated their awareness through doing verbal 360 interviews, where they're actually hearing from their stakeholders, whether their colleagues, their employees, and maybe someone who is investing in them or someone who works with them closely. And that's really where, through my guidance with my support, and of course, their own interest and openness to growth, where they'll start to experience breakthrough moments and really have that personal growth. The next thing I wanted to jump into is talk a little bit about some of the case studies and some of the reflections from my clients, I will say about 99% of the work I do is confidential. But I have finally very excited about this with the support of someone who has helped me put together my copy my website, I have finally put together a few case studies to give those who are interested in my work and opportunity to have a better understanding of the impact and value of my support. So you can take a look at it on my website, I will make sure I link them in the show notes. But I wanted to of course highlight some specific challenges, some of the things that we did in terms of strategies as well. And some of the things that worked really well for some of my clients. These, of course, are not their real names, but in terms of the journey that they've gone on. And some of the tools and techniques that we've used, these are things that I do use day to day, and think that it's incredibly important to share with those of you maybe that might be interested, once again, in my support, or might find yourself in this situation, some of the things that I've shared might be helpful to you. So the first is, please meet George and he's a transformative leader. So once again, if you want to know what transformative is and what that sort of incorporates, you can definitely take my assessment to learn a little bit more. But the high level summary is that George has a transformative leader who is reluctant to help his startup reach the next level, he needs to step up, make some tough personnel decisions, and continue learning about his adopted region. So picture this, what would you do if you had an amazing product that could transform a region, but you did not have the team or contexts to make it work, right. And if that's something that resonates with you, you might want to take a little closer look at this case study. But you know, George, and this is a founder of a tech startup moved to another part of the world and was hiring employees. He felt were not always working as hard as he was. He felt that his employees were not motivated or living up to their potential. He constantly felt like he was firefighting, and that he was doing things that his managers should be tackling. He also was avoiding difficult conversations. And this was having an impact on the product. And finally, he felt like he was missing things in his personal life. He was dedicated to building a successful startup, but also wanted to make sure that he had time for the things that he loved. The first thing that we did together was really focused on increasing his awareness. And the way we did that was actually by using a 360 interview approach. So we interviewed some of his important stakeholders, and conducted these interviews with his team members. So we got an idea of how he was perceived. And he also got some insight into maybe what he could do differently. These results helped him focus on his strengths and gave him the confidence to have difficult conversations. Another thing that we did together was roleplay. And really talk through and walk through various scenarios and how they would make him feel and what he felt would be necessary to do within his business. A key part of what George wanted to do was to create space in his schedule to have better conversations and secure more fundraising money. And that's something that we were able to do together. He was able to fundraise. He was able to find the Write people to join his team. And ultimately, he was able to create enough space to ensure that he also had a personal life. Why did he decide to work with me, it took him a while to find the right coach. But once he chatted with me, he felt that we really connected, he felt like he found someone in me, who understand it not just how to operate a company, but also understood the different levels of a company as well. And that I provided a lot of really practical support, and suggestions. He also felt that because I worked in many different countries and had an understanding of this case, the African context would be very helpful as well. So that is just one case study that I wanted to share. So that was my client, George, hopefully, you got an idea of what we worked on. And what also worked for us, I wanted to share one more case study. And once again, you can read all of these case studies on my website, in addition to some other case studies related to some of the other work that I do as well. But in this case, I'd love for you to meet Chloe. So Chloe is also a transformative leader dealing with internal and external reluctance. She was selected to build a new important department, but not everyone is supporting her, she needs to learn how to get all their stakeholders on her side, while also recruiting, hiring and training a new team. Imagine this, right? Imagine what it would feel like to fail in quotes at your first leadership attempt, you are given an opportunity to build a new team for a new part of the business. And your first hire was unfortunately not the best fit. And so it sometimes feels like your boss doesn't trust you do you try again are you just do you decide to stay an individual contributor with no people responsibilities. So this is hopefully setting the stage for this next case study. And I would love to maybe jump to why she decided to work with me. And then we'll talk a little bit about what we worked on together. So she felt drawn to my energy, and felt that because I had a different perspective, and different level of sensitivity, it'd be very helpful for her to have conversations with me, she also felt like by working with me, should we get additional tools in her toolbox that she could use even after our one on one sessions. Finally, she felt that by talking to me, she could be open and honest and really explore some of the things that she was struggling with, so that she could improve and be the best leader she could be for this organisation. Once again, when working with this client that we are calling Chloe, we really started with focusing on herself awareness. And if you take a look at my three step process that I use with my leaders, this is always the first space. So we focus on cultivating your self awareness, having difficult conversations, and probably most importantly, setting boundaries. And the first thing that she did was really create space to reflect and write out her strengths, gaps, and how she plan to share this information with others. And this is such an important skill for leaders to learn, recognising that we can't mind read, the people we work with also can't mind read. So we need to be very explicit with sharing our preferences, the ways in which we tend to show up and the ways in which we might also come across, she used all this insight to help her get very intentional and confident about how she wanted to lead. And by working with me, she built a strategy and felt prepared to not only support but also guide her next employees, she's now been able to grow her team. And she knows how to protect her time and say no right to things within the business. So she's around to cook dinner for her family. So as you can see, they're both business or professional as well as personal impacts to you know, working with a coach or having my support. And that's the way in which I also enjoy supporting my clients as well. Recognising that they are whole people, it's not just about the work, and that the work can also impact their private lives and their private lives can also impact their work as well. So I hope that you have a better idea of the type of support that I provide that some of these reflections in case studies also give you a taste of what I can do as a coach. And I'd love to maybe wrap up by just summarising some main insights that I hope that you take away. The first is I hope that you take away what it's like to work with me that I've really set the stage for that and you have an idea of the types of challenges that the leaders I work with, might deal with and recognise that I work with leaders at all levels. The second thing I hope is that I've given you an idea of the transformation of the point A the point b how a lot of leaders that come to me tend to be more reactive and are able to end up a lot more strategic, more importantly sustainably strategic and have the tools and resources and know how to ask for the resources to set the boundaries so that they are more reflective as well. Last but not least, I shared some case studies and reflections from clients. You are welcome to dive a little bit deeper into these because they are also on my website. The key thing as it relates to talking about coaching is that recognising that each coaching relationship, each coaching conversation is incredibly different. And that's why I think it's such an effective way to support leaders with change, I really encourage you to consider the potential impact of one on one coaching on your own personal and professional growth. And if you are interested or have any questions, or want to explore a coaching relationship, I'd love to encourage you to reach out there's a link in the show notes to my leadership assessment. And so if you want to jump on a call with me take the super quick assessment. Once again, it only takes about five minutes. So we can jump on a productive next steps call to see if we're a good fit. And if you want to refer or suggest my work to another leader, and once again, I work with leaders at all levels, please visit my work with me page. I will also leave that in the show notes as well. I have resources I have draft letters, I also have some really great guidelines that individuals can keep in mind if they want to ask their organisation to support them with coaching, or if they want to refer my work to others. There's also a lot of really great resources out there both on my website and on the you know, on the interwebs about the value of coaching in general. As always, thank you so much for taking the time to listen. Stay safe, and stay safe. Thank you so much for listening to this week's episode, please share this episode with someone who can benefit from its contents. If you found this episode helpful, I want to ask you to leave a review. This makes it easier for other people to find my podcast and also allows me to bring on even bigger guests, and even more fascinating stories. Thank you so much for listening again. Stay safe and stay sane .


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