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8 reasons why I coach #2 leadership

This Autumn sees Victoria Smith-Murphy and I launch the 2iC Leadership development experience into fast growing entrepreneurial businesses. We're really curious to see what response it gets; and how it will hopefully build and develop over the coming year.

As it's a bit nerve-wracking doing something new, I've been reflecting on my top reasons for why I love coaching the #2 position & what's behind the development of the offer (good coaching tip - when self-doubt creeps in... always remind yourself why you're doing something!)

Top 8 reasons

  1. Receptivity: The potential for personal transformation is so ripe! I find leaders in this place are often just waiting for someone to help them unlock the key to their uniqueness & full impact & presence.

  2. Ripple Effect: Because the #2 position spans the business, navigating and translating between the top and those at the bottom, they have huge influence. So when they change & shift behaviours, it has an amazing ripple effect for the whole business/team.

  3. Overlooked: The #2 position is a 'middle' position & often overlooked for coaching. In a corporate, cash gets prioritised for the Execs, but in small businesses, cash goes towards skills development e.g. go work out 'how to' do something. I believe there are too many courses telling you 'how to' do stuff. It feels more relevant to develop personal practices that enable you to keep learning, flexing and adapting. Coaching does this.

  4. Be Different: Executive Coaching is a big & busy pond to swim in. For a while I thought that I'd know I was successful when I got to coach Executives because they have more cash to pay for coaching & that's what the 'best' coaches do. However, I like to be different, spot opportunities & to do things which haven't be done by others before.

  5. Support: I believe every TOP leader needs an even more brilliant #2. Someone who can tell them how it is, give great feedback and help bring them back down to earth.

  6. Not in Charge: What makes the #2 position tough is that they are not in charge. They have to adapt to what is going on around them. I like coaching individuals on how to resource themselves to adapt and flex to whatever is going on.

  7. Personal: I've spent a lot of time in my career in #2 positions & I know what it feels like. How to manage the seemingly impossible task of keeping everything afloat when the landscape suddenly shifts. How to manage the boss who never seems very clear or always thinking about what more, what else... can't they see we have enough! I get it, I know it's tough.

  8. Proven: 90% of my coaching clients have been in 'middle' positions. I know I can make a difference to individuals and businesses as a coach.

A bit more about 2iC Leadership

Find us on LinkedIn groups at: 2iC Leadership

The overview of the 6 month programme can be found here.

The best way to find out more and to see if it might be for you, is to give me a call. Signing up for this is not like signing up to any course, it's more like signing up for coaching.

We want to check that the fit is right for everyone. This is a transformational programme and we want everyone to get the most from it, so talking about what it entails and checking in on readiness and commitment is key. We're planning to run several programmes a year, so if the first Pioneer programme in 2019 is not right for you, there will be future opportunities.

What does 2iC mean?

It's shorthand for Second-In-Command, and in searching the web, is a term mostly used in the military and education systems. It doesn't seem to be used much in business, although, I think intuitively a lot of people know that's exactly what they are... the #2 in charge.

Why a peer group development experience?

I've worked in business of different sizes during my career & one of the best development experiences I had was at Sainsbury's on the Leadership Development Programme. What made it great was joining other leaders at the same stages as their careers as me. We faced the same struggles, albeit we had different styles, strengths, learning edges, there was commonality. In a small business, you don't have this luxury, to network, learn and share with others who are at your stage. And whilst you may have friends who are in similar work situations, it can be like the blind leading the blind and/or just not a priority when you want to be having fun and not talking work.

When you learn with a group of peers like you, it amplifies the learning. You see what has value not just for you, but also for others. It develops your wider relationship skills for giving feedback, supporting and challenging. The group size will be limited to 10 people to create and intimate space.

What's influenced the programme content?

We took into consideration all the coaching issues we have heard from 2iC's and talked to founders of small businesses to hear what they need from their #2, & then we've taken into account how fast growth impacts the situation. Each module focuses on a specific area and will be experiential. The aim is to support an increase in awareness, catalysing experimentation, activating reflection and consolidating into impact.

Why a Giraffe?

Victoria and I like to delve into more mystical ways of supporting ourselves and our coaching clients.

In my pack of Animal Oracle cards, Giraffe wisdom is 'Foresight'. Whilst it's easy to get your nose stuck into the ground, reacting and doing everything that needs to be done, and being brilliant at that, there is also a need to lift that head and stretch to see what's in store for the future. I love the symbolism of supporting leaders in the #2 position to lengthen their range and become giraffe like in leadership, being able to have the nose to the ground and munch the leaves at the top, scanning the horizon for opportunities.

Get in touch by email and we can schedule some chat time. I look forward to hearing from you.

All the best


#2 #2iCLeadership #Coaching

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