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Can Leaders Bring in Outside Help?
Bringing in outside experts can benefit organizations above specific project contributions. Agile talent brings fresh perspectives, skills, and experiences coupled with the specific knowledge that makes these benefits highly relevant. To get the most out of their relationships with outside experts, leaders can explore the coaching and mentoring potential of these setups.
Acting from positions of strength and authority, some leaders may be reluctant to bring in outside help to handle problems organizations can’t tackle on their own. For such authoritarian leaders, asking for help is the equivalent of admitting weakness.
Intelligent leaders know they don’t ask for help because they’re weak. They do so because they want to remain strong. They want organizations to succeed regardless of their personal ambitions and leadership images. Leadership coaching is the perfect example of outside help. An executive coaching specialist provides outside expertise to transform leadership and through it, organizational culture.
Seeking help is not a weakness.
When leaders look for help, they admit they don’t have all the answers. They show vulnerability and mental fortitude as they seek outside expertise.
The Value of Agile Talent
Freelancers who contribute expertise an organization doesn’t have to solve a specific problem and work for the company temporarily are what HR experts call agile talent.
Hiring such agile talent allows leaders to reroute the internal resources of companies and acquire new skills from outside experts. Agile talent can also mentor the full-time employees of the organization, giving people a peek into effective problem-solving from a unique perspective.
Agile Talents Are Entrepreneurial
Experienced freelancers can be excellent mentors by definition. Being a successful freelancer requires individuals to:
- Be actively involved in building businesses
- Develop strategies to attract and keep clients
- Create and maintain solid and meaningful relationships with clients
- Create a service offering that gains traction in their markets
As they develop into experts capable of lending organizations outside help, freelancers go through several evolutionary stages.
- The learner stage is when freelancers establish work ethics, learn the ins and outs of their businesses, and build reputations.
- The contributor stage sees agile talents assume ownership of their work and begin to make differences.
- During the mentor stage, freelancers begin coaching while delivering contributions through others as project managers or employee developers.
- The strategist stage has freelancers setting proper directions and making crucial decisions.
Agile talent must be entrepreneurial. By being that, they master mindsets that full-time employees can’t. How can an organization take advantage of outside resources to mentor employees?
Setting Up Ad-Hoc Coaching Relationships
If you bring on a business coaching expert to solve specific issues in your organization, you can’t use this coach to help develop employees.
An executive coach is a different matter. A leadership coach focuses on mentorship and aims to help you create an organizational culture built upon a coaching mindset. Even under different circumstances, leaders may expect outside experts to teach and mentor them and employees. Such informal coaching relationships deliver tremendous value for individual leaders and organizations.
Creating Opportunities for Formal and Informal Knowledge Sharing
When you get outside experts onboard to help your organization with specific issues, you do so to secure the benefits of their knowledge and experience. The exchange of knowledge should not stop at the project contribution. Leaders and managers can open formal and informal knowledge-sharing channels to expand the benefits of cooperation.
Outside experts have fresh perspectives, experiences, and knowledge.
An informal lunch or a formal post-action assessment can work well to this end.
Asking Experts for Meaningful Developmental Feedback
Outside experts view your organization, employees, and leadership from a uniquely objective perspective. Due to their expertise, agile talents can provide insightful and brutally honest feedback that can prompt leaders to rethink fundamental aspects of their organizations and cultures.
Many organizations find value in outside experts. To increase the returns of agile talent investments, leaders should consider the coaching and mentorship benefits freelancers can deliver.
Agile talent works with different networks and sees an industry through different eyes. Their input and mentorship can deliver value that exceeds their specific project contributions.