Leadership Coaching Program Description

 "Doing the Work that Matters"

"Leadership and decision-making in the 21st century is a dynamic and emerging field.  As we increasingly learn that the management wisdom of the past no longer fully serves the complexity and ever-changing landscape of the future, one powerful element stands out as essential for successful leadership - the ability to understand, communicate and live from our values.” 

Ken Otter, Director of Leadership Studies

The Saint Mary’s College Leadership Center has crafted a new Leadership Coaching Program to meet the shifting conditions in our hectic lives.  The world is changing rapidly--so rapidly that it is hard for most of us to keep up with the constant activity, let alone sift through to discern the elements that constitute our most important priorities.  As Phyliss Korkki of the New York Times put it, simply “maintaining focus may well be one of the biggest daily challenges that workers will face this year, now that smartphones and tablets have become ubiquitous.”  Between meetings, last minute unexpected crises and day-to-day administrative upkeep, most of us find ourselves swimming upstream on a regular basis.  The pressures of the 21st century can leave us, and those we work with, uninspired, stressed out and in a frequent state of anxiety that is costly, unfulfilling and unproductive.  While juggling modern life, what happens to collaboration, creativity and focus?

That’s where Leadership Coaching comes in.  We know there is a way to work that is grounded in deep clarity of values that drive our actions and behaviors to what is most important for each of us.  We know there is a way to maximize time and money spent and pay attention to what’s important.

We have brought our values orientation to leadership with hundreds of people over the past 10 years.  Informed by theory and research in values development, and in partnership with Values Technology, our leadership coaching programs provide practical information and processes on how to live from our highest values on a daily basis.  Getting to this way of working often requires new learning, new attention, new challenges and a new level of support.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is coaching and why does it matter?  Surgeon and New Yorker author Atul Gawande (2011) explains, “Coaching in pro sports… holds that, no matter how well prepared people are in their formative years, few can achieve and maintain their best performance on their own.”  In the field of leadership performance, we increasingly see top performers - availing themselves of coaching.  Gawande goes on to say, “Coaching done well may be the most effective intervention designed for human performance.”  Saint Mary’s Leadership Coaching Program makes coaching, which can cost tens of thousands of dollars per year, accessible to more professional levels.  The program also helps participants better support one another's leadership development thanks to the learning community created and the peer support provided during the 3-month period.

Why coaching through the Saint Mary’s College Leadership Center?  Saint Mary’s has been providing education and transformative learning to adults for more than 35 years, helping working professionals bring their gifts to the world and maximize their impact.  Saint Mary’s has been teaching leadership and values throughout the twelve-year history of our MA in Leadership program.  During this time, we have come to understand that values and leadership are inextricably linked.  We have developed a coaching program that starts with a personal values assessment and moves into an articulation of goals, and then a practice-learning group, which fosters accountability, collective momentum and creativity.

How does the Leadership Coaching Program work?  The new Leadership Coaching Program offers a simple, cost-effective method for helping you, and/or those you work with, prioritize the important things and stay focused on them over time.  During a 3-month process, we offer several activities to help participants notice what is in the way of getting their most important work done, identify the larger patterns or issues going on, and unleash creative ways to move forward.  To support working professionals much of the work is done remotely.  Two in-person evening sessions enhance the strong emphasis on relationship support throughout the process.  Here is how it works:

Step One:  Assessing Values Priorities and Goals

Brian Hall, Founder and President of Values Technology, writes, “values are the ideals that give significance to our lives, that are reflected through the priorities that we choose and that we act on consistently and repeatedly.”  Through both a one-hour online survey assessment (based upon decades of research that relates to values and human development—the Hall-Tonna Values Survey) and an initial 90-minute individualized coaching call with our faculty, who are accredited Hall-Tonna values coaches, we help clients to identify their priority values that relate to their whole life, professional and personal.  In addition, we help people take note and make sense of the relationship between these two domains.  

 Step Two:  Designing Focus Goals

Next, we work together to identify 3 primary goals to focus on over a subsequent 3-month period.  These goals result from an integration of the values noted in the assessment above and the organizational goals that may be laid out for an individual by their supervisor, families or themselves.

Step Three:  Participating in a Practice Group

Over the ensuing 3 months, individuals take this new awareness and inspiration of their top tier values and develop better ways of working by participating in a practice group.  This group may be made up of some individuals in their organization, or others that are from a wide range of other fields and disciplines.  The members of this practice group support each other to:  reach their respective goals, stay accountable to small steps that are articulated each week, and offer solutions and insights to problems and challenges that emerge along the way.  This practice group is facilitated by Saint Mary’s Leadership Faculty, who will interject, challenge and support members as they seek to make important adjustments.

Based upon the practice group’s make-up and geography, the bi-weekly sessions may be held in person, by phone or by Skype.  Each person will also be paired with a peer-coaching partner within the practice group.  These pairs will build momentum and touch base with one another every other week when the practice group is not meeting.

Step Four:  Completion and Next Steps

Each person will also have an individual follow-up coaching call with their original values coach before the end of the 3 month period.  Practice groups and pairs can then decide if they will choose to continue working together beyond the 3-month time frame.  In this way, each practice group has the opportunity to continue learning about how they bring their leadership to the world long after the coaching and practice sessions are completed.  

To Apply: If you are interested in this leadership coaching program, click on the link below!

You may also contact the Saint Mary’s College Leadership Center for more details at [email protected]

Tuition Cost is:  $1,275 for corporate, government and business participants and $975 for alumni, members of the Saint Mary's Community and those working in non-profit organizations (some partial scholarships available, please inquire with Louise below).  Discounts are also available for organizational partners who bring three or more people to the program.  Registration and payment is expected by March 1, 2013.  Please reserve your place now.  For more information contact us at [email protected]

Refund Policy:  full refund if requested by 2/21/2013, 80% refund if requested by 3/1/2013 and 60% refund if requested by 4/1/2013 (after the program has begun).

Location:  The two in-person opening and closing sessions will be conducted in a downtown, BART-accessible, easy access location, not at the Saint Mary’s campus.  The remainder of the sessions will be held via phone, skype or online.

Registration and payment for the March 2013 program.