The Boardroom Beat #1

Real challenges, real solutions, real life; This monthly column will address questions that emerge from the Boardroom. GALA’s members lead organizations that lead other organizations to succeed globally. To do so, GALA leaders “learn, share, and inspire one another.” That requires stretching…. continually.

The Boardroom Beat is designed to celebrate curiosity.

The leadership learning “exercise” that we will do together will combine work on flexibility, strength, endurance, and rest. To this column I deliver an undying love affair with the G11n industry plus thousands of hours spent coaching and consulting outside of it. My two decades as an industry insider culminated in a memorable season serving on the GALA Board and facilitating the GALA CEO Forum. It’s great to be back.

The Monthly format is Q&A&Q:

  • Question from a member or GALA staff
  • Answer based on experience, case study, best practice, or innovation
  • Question(s) back to push customized thinking

The extra Q is a “coach reflex.” Coaching in purest form is Socratic. The “Answer” is the beginning of understanding. Probing assumptions and perspectives while questioning the question is how growing continues.

Question: What is the difference between a coach and a consultant? Which do you recommend?

Answer: You pay a consultant for what they know. You pay a coach to help you realize what you know and act on it.
A Senior Ops Manager at Dropbox said this about coaching on my LinkedIN: "Similar to the magic of seeing a great psychologist/counselor, you leave each session having found your own answers, unsure how the facilitator did so well to lead you directly there, simply by asking the right questions.”

Ten years ago I launched a business consultant model based on industry and CEO experience. Transitioning over time to a hybrid with progressively more coaching was organic based on my personal philosophies and wiring. I then formalized that direction with coaching training and certifications. Because I am pragmatic I still offer a hybrid service. If a client will act on a solid recommendation I can make in 5 minutes they appreciate the ROI, because the self-journey to the same plan would have spanned more time and more sessions. Both consulting and coaching are valuable. Access to domain specific areas of expertise via consultancy is more important than ever before in competitive arenas. Which will benefit your organization more depends on you and what you are solving or creating. 

Questions: Why are you hiring a coach or a consultant? Which approach appeals to you? Why? Do you consult or coach your reports? Why? Will your organization be better served if you speed up or slow down your decisions? What’s next?

Share the Leadership Question that is on your mind. Let’s explore today’s Boardroom challenges together.