Nicola Pye, The Leadership Coach & People Person, explains why coaching is one of the fastest growing sectors, due to the need for essential support for leaders during these challenging times. 

When you are leading in a world so incomprehensible that VUCA is redundant, you need a whole cheese board of advisors not just one sounding board.

The list of issues that CEOs are dealing with is getting longer and longer; I suspect economic uncertainty, talent management, digital transformation, supply chain, geo-political worries, productivity, sustainability, cyber threats are just some of the things that would feature. Challenging times.

So challenging that, apparently VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous) no longer cuts it as a way to explain our difficulties grasping and controlling the world around us. Since 2020, the world is evolving so rapidly we now need BANI (Brittle, Anxious, Non-Linear and Incomprehensible).With all that, is it any wonder that leaders are feeling weighed down under the pressure?

Ask any CEO how they are doing and I’m sure you can hear the ever so faint sigh, or see the shoulders sag. Despite this pressure, I’ve noticed something with the CEOs and leaders that I work with. Those that have greater resilience, bounceback and confidence in their decision-making all seem to have one thing in common: They are getting lots of great advice from lots of great people.

I think it explains why Coaching is one of the fastest growing sectors. CEOs and leaders are being intentional about who they need in their squad and willing to pay for confidence in their confidants.

But, these leaders with great resilience, they don’t have just one sounding board, they have created themselves a sumptuous cheese board of advisors. Different advisors for different needs.

I can see now, with the clarity of having left a global leadership role to set up as an entrepreneur, the same is true for me. “Words matter”, “what have you got to lose”, “value, respect, trust, starts with you” are all phrases often on the tip of my tongue, not my words though, I smile as I think of the advisors, mentors, sounding boards who’ve said them to me.

A delicious mix of the right advice at the right time.  Who features on your cheeseboard, is going to be largely down to personal preference. Perhaps you’d choose:

The Gouda Guru – they offer a calm and supportive presence, gently guiding you through challenges with a mellow approach, they’ve got your back.

The Stoic Stilton, their feedback may be strong, but it leaves a lasting impression, encouraging you to think outside the box.

The Cheddar Challenger is someone who brings a seasoned perspective to the table. They offer straightforward and robust advice, helping you mature your ideas.

The Swiss Strategist helps you see the bigger picture, navigating through the holes in your thinking to create a more robust and well-rounded approach.

Whatever their taste, style, or even smell (!?) when choosing your cheese board of advisors my top tips are:

  • Ensure that trust is a given, no second chances on this one, particularly when strategic secrets are at stake.
  • It’s not like looking in the mirror, or listening to an echo chamber, you want your advisors to be diverse in every way and think differently to you.
  • Value and values, no matter how great their advice is it’s not going to work if they are advising you to do something that conflicts with who you are.

Think about who you’ve got on your board. Do you need to add a new advisor or two to your shopping list?

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