Guide Coaching Women to Lead (Essential Coaching Skills and Knowledge)

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Chapter 9: What is the global picture? Lessons from coaching women to lead around the world If the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence, could we learn something from how women are coached to lead in other countries? Also, when we are coaching women from different backgrounds and cultures, should we pay specific attention to aspects of their culture and perspective on leadership? This chapter takes us on a three-country trip and then back to the UK: we examine the social background as well as coaching practices in the USA, Norway and the Middle East and draw comparisons with the UK.

We highlight differences in the context of the universal experiences that women go through on their way to the top. Chapter Conclusions We started off with a potentially controversial question: Do we need to consider specific and different coaching for women? You can go straight to this chapter and find out the answer, or enjoy the journey and read the book first!

We also consider what else women need to flourish in a corporate environment, and what benefits employers can expect when they reach the tipping point in terms of grooming women leaders in the right quantity and quality. We also look at the role that men have to play in making it all happen. Our conclusions extend beyond coaching, looking at organisation design and the bigger picture of Talent Management. Finally we suggest new areas for research and practice.

Show me. This book aims to debunk many myths about women and leadership; it is largely about showing through commissioned and external research why and how coaching can have a huge impact. In practice, this started some time ago. The actual proportion of people in employment toward the end of the official retiring age in most countries has dropped dramatically since According to the OECD, fewer than 60 per cent of 50—64 year olds are working compared to 76 per cent of 24—49 year olds. Specifically, only 47 per cent of Americans aged 60—64 are working in This drops to 38 per cent in the UK, 32 per cent in Germany and an amazing 14 per cent in France.

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This is due to a number of hard-to-reverse factors such as early retirement provisions by industry, or severe pension and tax penalties if you wish to continue working. So many of our existing leaders will soon be gone and, put simply, we did not make enough babies 30 years ago to replace them. We will demonstrate that they are literally walking towards a Leadership Cliff.

Engaging more women into senior leadership ranks is one of the ways to solve a long-term problem. We call this Surviving the Leadership Cliff. It is therefore good business practice to help women to reach the top. We call this Building the Leadership-Rich Corporation. We also look at the actual typical life cycle of women in management positions and propose key points of loss or gain where companies can take action, such as coaching, which will have a significant effect on the attraction and retention of women with a corresponding effect on financial performance.

In other words, we make the case for the return on coaching investment when supporting emerging women leaders. We are using coaching to Manage the Leadership Pipeline. This book uses the corporation as a generic descriptor for large businesses and comparable public sector or not-forprofit organisations.

We treat owner-managed businesses and other forms of occupation as alternatives to the corporate model.

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To a large extent, the Leadership Cliff is a corporate problem concerned with attracting and retaining quality leaders in a traditional employment setting. Surviving the Leadership Cliff Demographics and economic growth The beauty about demographics is that you can see them coming from a long way away. The first alarm concerning management and demographics was raised in in the McKinsey Quarterly the famous War for Talent article; Chambers, Foulon, Handfield-Jones, Hankin and Michaels, ; and see Michaels, Handfield-Jones and Axelrod, for followup publication.

If we make the rough assumption that one person per hundred in the 30—44 age bracket assumes some sort of leadership position, then the world will be short of 2 million leaders by Although localised immigration is possible, this can be very transient — witness the large influx and subsequent outflow of Polish workers in the UK in the last 10 years for example.

There is a long-term correlation between GDP growth and employment needs: if the economy grows by 10 per cent in real terms, you will need 10 per cent more workers and consumers to produce and absorb the change.

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This holds true around the world, even when taking productivity gains into account. When using long time series we smooth out distortions of local economic crises — we have analysed 18 years of data.

We wanted to know if there would be enough of them around. Even relatively high-birth-rate countries such as France will come up short.

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Figures 2. Any hope of importing leadership from Asia along with the usual manufacturing goods should be dashed: Japan is ageing almost terminally and will be short of almost 10 million people in the 30—44 age bracket. The big shock however comes from China: with the one-child policy working its way through the ranks, the country will be short of a staggering million people!

Oddly enough the country that started the Baby Boomer retirement scare, the USA, will fare fairly well, at least over — The positive gap thins out to 2. Other high immigration countries such as Canada and Australia show a good balance between projected supply and expected demand over the forecast period.

But demographics are only one component of the Leadership Cliff. There is evidence that they are failing on both counts and things are getting worse. Survey after survey confirms what we suspected: most employees are sleepwalking to work. A number of other factors are complicating the picture and creating local imbalances between supply and demand for leaders, at least in a localised fashion.

Let us examine some of them. Some companies will continue as family businesses or close down but many will be bought out and consolidated into larger companies, increasing demand for leaders in a corporate environment. This is true in Germany, Italy and Switzerland for example.

Emergence of the transnational corporation to replace the multinational corporation Technology and globalisation of supply chains now allow large multinationals to be redesigned along global centres of competence: IBM has announced for example that their whole manufacturing function was moving to China, including all senior management. This new organisational mode will shift demand for leaders to new countries where they will have to fight for talent with established family businesses e.

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South-to-north and east-to-west mergers and acquisitions activity There has been a remarkable change of direction in European mergers and acquisitions over the past 10 years — who would have thought for example that Spain and Russia would be key players in the acquisition of major infrastructure players, traditionally the turf of national champions? Human nature is such that owners tend to prefer senior managers of the same nationality as that of the home base.

This puts a premium on leaders who are multilingual and prepared to travel, further putting pressure on supply. This is already starting in household goods China and cars India for example.