Continuing my never-ending series of short interviews with interesting people related to the employment law space, I recently sat down for breakfast with Eileen Springer, the CEO of Central Park Executive Coaching. After 25+ years in Human Resources, Eileen is now coaching C-suite executives and senior leaders in corporations and services firms, as well as early-in-career associates. Her Coaching assignments include on-boarding coaching, transition coaching, performance coaching and leadership coaching.
Eileen was most recently the Senior Vice President of Talent Acquisition and Development at Compass Group, NA; the sixth largest employer in the world. And prior to that, she worked for Pitney Bowes and Citibank, where she held a variety of roles as Vice President of Human Resources. She knows the business-world inside and out and I hope you enjoy reading the interview as much as I enjoyed the conversation. My sincere thanks to Eileen for her time and wisdom.
1. So Eileen – what IS Executive Coaching nowadays?
Simply stated, executive coaching is coaching people to arrive at their own solutions so that they are committed to the outcome. Executive coaches are contracted as needed to facilitate the success of employees who are preparing for their next role, who are part of a high-potential development program, who require performance coaching or need support as part of their on-boarding to a new role. The needs vary, but it is most commonly an investment reserved for highly valued talent.
In my practice, I am seeing an increase in small to mid-size companies who partner with me to coach their newly promoted managers, who are managing people for the first time. With the scarcity of talent in the workforce these days, high-growth companies cannot afford to wait to promote the best talent. They are promoting the best talent to management quickly, and providing the support of a coach to ensure success with their leadership development.
2. I realize companies may find utility in an executive coach. What about individuals? What are situations when an individual ought to consider one?
Career and executive coaching are becoming much more prevalent as an individual investment. Professionals are turning to coaching in higher and higher numbers. Career advancement often requires having a plan, especially at the more senior levels. Often a professional will face a pivotal moment in their career when they realize that what they did to get to where they are, is not what is required to get to the next level. It’s at that juncture when I typically receive a call.
Executives are operating in an increasingly complex environment, where they may rely heavily on experts in finance, legal, marketing, technology, etc., and need to balance many priorities in short periods of time. Managing teams, boards, meeting deadlines and staying competitive can lead to stress and feelings of loss of control. Pressures of corporate life, regardless of level, can impact people differently. Some professionals thrive in fast-pace challenging environments, while others find it unsatisfying. These are examples of when individuals look for executive coaches – they may want to reach important goals and advance, or they may want less stress and better balance. Whatever the reason, when individuals are motivated to work toward change, they find support and a thought partner with a coach who is focused on their individual agenda.