Rajeev, the young, dynamic leader of a rapidly growing NGO serving several countries across Asia and Africa, was brilliant, curious, and had an infectious desire to conquer seemingly impossible challenges. Rajeev’s passion led him to take on a critical global challenge to improve agricultural productivity and health and wellness in remote villages in some of the poorest parts of the world.
In a few short years, Rajeev had built an organization headquartered in India, with operations and field staff across India and several African countries. Amid this rapid growth, Rajeev recognized an emerging leadership challenge: how to create and sustain a culture of learning, continuous improvement, and alignment with the organizational mission across a rapidly growing and geographically dispersed leadership team.
The Boda approach
In conversations with The Boda Group, Rajeev decided to introduce a set of proven relationship and communication skills to create a shared leadership approach that would keep his burgeoning leadership team connected and productive. He believed that coaching should be at the heart of their culture, how they related to each other, and how the interacted with their many diverse stakeholders in the thousands of villages they served.
The organization’s annual leadership retreat immersed the top 30 leaders in the Coaching Approach for Leaders program. Over the course of three days, the team learned to use proven coaching concepts, skills, and techniques to improve their leadership effectiveness.
Before the retreat, the leaders reflected on specific areas of their leadership and completed pre-work. During the three days, they learned and practiced all thirteen elements of the Coaching Approach for Leaders model, which is based on neuroscience and grounded in research. Some of the skills included Asking Helpful Questions and Practicing Awareness. The practice sessions always focused on real problems and opportunities, not role-plays. This gave the leaders the opportunity to practice their coaching skills and get insightful coaching on their own leadership challenges. Participants said the sessions were stimulating, challenging, and fun.
The three-day retreat was followed by monthly small-group learning calls over the next six months. The leaders worked on specific relationships and situations where they thought a coaching approach would be helpful, shared learning and obstacles with their colleagues, and committed to completing assignments before the next call.
Among the dozens of languages that Rajeev’s colleagues and clients speak, the concepts and tools of coaching became a new, shared language and approach for how to effectively engage, support, and develop others. Whether helping a team member with a challenging problem, exploring an exciting opportunity with a colleague, or working to understand the concern of a client, the mindsets and skills the participants in A Coaching Approach for Leaders learned have formed the foundation for how they relate to and work with one another.
Rajeev’s organization has continued to succeed and grow, rapidly extending its reach and impact across Asia and Africa.