Years ago, leadership was considered a fixed, innate quality: either you had it, or you didn’t. And if you didn’t, well, you were out of luck.

Today, we know that great leaders aren’t born—they’re made. It’s a truth that neuroscientists have proven beyond a doubt.

But here’s the ten-million-dollar question: how do we cultivate great leadership? 

There is so much choice in our market today, so it’s difficult to know the best options. And all of us are trained to look at ROI, but quantifying the “R” is a challenge, so often people look at just the cost. Is reading a Harvard Business Review article enough? Can you learn it in a manual, a seminar or a series of videos from LinkedIn Learning? 

We’ve spoken to dozens of people who have attended leadership conferences or seminars. Without exception, these have effectively no impact on leadership behavior, even in the short run. They just don’t support people’s need for personal awareness, both internal and external, and the development of a plan for meaningful change. 

This feedback is not surprising given the reality of how our brain functions. The truth is, the only way to foster meaningful leadership growth is to:

  • Come to your own conclusions about the behaviors you need to change 
  • Be actively involved in assimilating what you learn
  • Engage in creating your plan for change.

Neurologists call this neuroplasticity—the brain’s ability to form and reorganize synaptic connections especially in response to learning, to drive new, more effective behaviors.

One-on-one leadership coaching, which considers the whole person, helps leaders become aware of behavioral change, and mobilize, plan, and assimilate that change. Gestalt-infused coaching and emotional intelligence planning represent best practices for this approach.

They support the growth and development goals of leaders and their organizations by facilitating deep self-exploration and a great degree of FOCUS: 

  • Focus on awareness of yourself
  • Focus on others, or how you engage with others
  • Focus on expanding awareness of your range of available choices
  • Focus on broad awareness of your ecosystem

This is the proven approach that Mach10 Career & Leadership employs with leaders at any level and in a wide variety of industries. Learn more about our leadership coaching here.