“Genius is joyous, healthy, holistic, creative, generative, life enhancing and affirmative. It is being ‘unstuck’, it is to inhabit your own authority and autonomy, self-actualising. Genius is a provocation: it is a choice available to each and every on of us.”Myles Downey
On Tuesday 5 April 2022, Liz and I were delighted to host a session with Myles Downey to celebrate the 5th birthday of Catalyst 14. We were joined by over 150 of our alumni and clients where we learned together and reflected upon the art of leadership coaching.
During this session, Myles shared a number of thought-provoking ideas around Leader Performance Coaching, with the emphasis on ‘leader’ and not ‘leadership’ — to use Myles’ words, “to focus on the individual sitting in front of me.”
A number of approaches really captured the imagination of the coaches attending the event; in particular the idea of genius. That genius does not belong to the few, rather that it resides in all of us – a key question we can ask is “what is your unique genius as a leader?”
As coaches, we are working with our clients to help them realise what their genius is, and how that can be used to create impact in their world.
“Genius is the embodiment of your unique potential. It’s what you make of what you were born with.”Myles Downey
Myles also invited us to think about how we can support our coachees to create experiments for themselves as a way of trying out new ways of behaving, new approaches, or new possibilities. When we frame it in this way, it often removes the sense of pressure, or needing to get it right. If the experiments don’t work, our coachees can simply create new ones.
Finally, Myles also shared his thinking around the three core elements that he believes coaches need to focus on to support leaders — identity, inspiration and mindset — with learning underpinning all of these.
Myles proposed that understanding these enables coaches to challenge more effectively when working with leaders to impact their performance.
- Identity — we all have many identities, and these change as we make our way through life, enabling Leaders to explore how their identity connects them to beliefs they hold about themselves, and reveals what is helping and what is getting in the way.
- Inspiration – Myles framed this as another way to think about motivation. That we each have a bundle of different motivations that shift and change at different stages of life. It is important to help leaders to connect to these and, in particular, to identify what motivation is purpose-led.
- Mindset – our mindset determines how we act and respond to people and situations. Our mindset is a collection of “habits of mind”. Exploring what aspects of a Leader’s mindset helps and what gets in the way will support a change in the whole system.
To access the full Masterclass on Leader Performance Coaching, please see the video below (make sure you subscribe to our channel on YouTube for all our latest coaching videos).
The supporting slides for the masterclass can be viewed or downloaded below.