Jul 16, 2018 | Leadership

This week’s post was written by my friend and Center for Executive Excellence Senior Executive Consultant, Michael Coffey. Michael actually trained me in how to be a more effective leader before Center for Executive Excellence was founded. There are few people who I trust with delivering results for our clients than Michael. He balances humor and humility with listening and learning to help our clients grow themselves and their team. – Sheri Nasim

Most managers are good technicians. They focus on the pragmatic planning and organizing to get the hands-on work accomplished through their teams.

Yet, many managers have deficiencies in “soft skills” – how to communicate, listen and empathize with those around them. There are important differences between managing and leading people. Leading others effectively requires a mastery of the soft skills necessary to inspire people to work at their full potential and take part in something bigger than themselves.

A symptom of a typical manager is that they take a “task with consequences” approach to their work versus inspiring their team to work for a greater cause. Coaching managers away from the “task with consequences” approach and toward a “boss as coach” model helps bridge the soft skills gap and create alignment. It’s an approach that goes beyond the “what” and “how” and toward the “why” to help team members discover how their individual values and professional goals align.

Here are 10 goals for managers to work toward building their “boss as coach” soft skills:

1.    Articulate the organization’s vision, purpose, direction, strategies, major goals and actions.

2.    Involve/include team members to acquire understanding, connection, commitment, passion and ownership.

3.    Align team member goals, actions and expectations with those of the organization.

4.    Remove barriers and provide resources.

5.    Follow up and hold people accountable.

6.    Promote feedback, input and idea-sharing from team members.

7.    Challenge and inspire team members to stretch for greatness.

8.    Develop and grow people through meaningful work.

9.    Increase work/career satisfaction and personal fulfillment.

10.  Create a positive, productive community of team members who volunteer their best and fulfill their potential.

When the vision, mission and culture of an organization are in alignment with the individual’s values and professional goals, employees are more committed to the organization, more productive, and happier at their job.


Question: As a leader, how do you align individual goals to the organization’s big picture goals?


Michael J. Coffey, MA is a Senior Executive Consultant for Center for Executive Excellence who brings over 22 years of hands-on experience as a senior leader, certified executive coach, team facilitator, strategic organizational and talent development consultant, trainer, and entrepreneur.

Michael’s approach focuses on double-loop learning as you pursue leadership mastery, organizational and cultural transformation. Michael has authored numerous enterprise-wide leadership training programs, focusing on values alignment, servant leadership, managing people, and leading strategically.


Driven by the premise that excellence is the result of aligning people, purpose and performance, Center for Executive Excellence facilitates training in leading self, leading teams and leading organizations. To learn more, subscribe to receive CEE News!



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