Leadership Development and Executive Coaching

Researchers and scholars have long recognized that we can learn to be leaders by developing a set of skills and executive competencies that enable leaders to lead. Recognizing this, the Smith EMBA program devotes significant time and resources to mastery and leadership development. The Smith Leadership Development and Executive Coaching Program gives Smith EMBA students the relevant, real-world management and interpersonal skills required to succeed at the executive level.

The leadership development program is customized for you, synthesizing a wealth of data from three key program activities:

  • Executive Assessment Process
  • Executive Coaching
  • Multi-source Feedback

During your first week in the program, you’ll be introduced to executive assessment activities. Here’s where a baseline of strengths and developmental opportunities is established for you from insight gained from a rich assortment of assessments. This data is used to help pair you with an executive coach – a coach who will work closely with you throughout the program to refine your skills and leadership style to help you become the executive leader you dream of being.

Early on, you and your coach will develop your own leadership development plan, a customized road map with actionable steps and measurable benchmarks to help you continuously evolve and grow. This plan is further informed by assessments throughout the program as well as 360-degree feedback from your co-workers, managers and direct reports. The assessments, the multisource feedback, your coach and your plan are the key elements that drive your growth as a leader.

That is one reason we say the Smith EMBA program is ongoing, holistic, unique, relevant and results-driven.

The Executive Assessment Process

As its name implies, the Executive Assessment Process is all about discovering and understanding the level of your executive skills and competencies as you enter the Smith EMBA program. The Leadership Development and Executive Coaching Program is driven by results. The Executive Assessment Process focuses on robust and established assessments to discover a baseline for measuring your progress as a leader during the program.

Conducted during early on in the program, the Executive Assessment Process involves a process where you take a variety of assessments to help identify capacities, such as your personality type, your listening tendencies, your assertiveness in a group, and your critical thinking skills. You’ll be asked to assume various leadership roles to help determine how you would handle certain situations, all with the intention of helping your executive coach begin to understand how you communicate, motivate, and direct others. During these exercises, skilled reviewers will evaluate and reflect on your behavior across a spectrum of executive competencies, and so that the coaching you receive is fact based and relevant to actual behavior in a group.

The objective of these assessments is to create your customized Leadership Development Plan with actionable steps and measurable benchmarks to help you continuously evolve as a leader.

Executive Coaching

The Smith EMBA program provides one-on-one executive coaching as an essential part of its teaching mission. In fact, it’s one of only a handful of MBA programs to provide ongoing executive coaching to its students directly within its program, and for good reason. Your Smith executive coach represents a critical relationship in your executive development, one that’s properly outside the boundary and constraints of the traditional teacher-student relationship. Confidant, mentor, motivator, and advisor, your executive coach’s mission is to help you grow as a leader. With your coach’s help, you can acquire and grow in the competencies important for you to lead at the next level.

Accordingly, your coach monitors your activity throughout the program, checking in with you to learn how you’re progressing and where you may need help. For example, suppose your assessments reveal you have a problem delegating authority. Your coach may work with you to identify an opportunity for you to practice delegating during one of the many team activities you will encounter in courses and/or in one of the Action Learning Projects. Throughout the program, your coach will help you by recognizing opportunities for growth and showing you how to get there.

Multi-Source Feedback

Seeing ourselves as others see us is the age-old prescription for increased self-awareness and personal improvement. It’s also a very good way to develop your executive leadership skills.

In the Smith EMBA program, we take this concept to the highest level with a 360-degree, multi-source assessment of your job performance and leadership skills. Unlike the traditional downward feedback, in which only managers or supervisors assess job performance, multi-source performance feedback provides a comprehensive look at your interaction with multiple people at various levels of your organization. These are the people in the best position to observe your behavior on the job—your co-workers, managers, customers, direct reports, and finally, you. Using this multi-source approach, you’ll get a crucial picture of yourself and your actions, and a rare opportunity – to see yourself as others see you. Working with your coach, you’ll learn to leverage your leadership strengths and identify areas for improvement.

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