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Makarand Khatavkar

The author is a Group Head (Human Resources) for Kotak Mahindra Bank

Leadership Transformation in a VUCA World

Disruptive changes in business, society and nations are possibly the strongest themes of our times. Today’s VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous) world is turbulent, unpredictable, fragile and most importantly disruptive. The crucial capability expected from leaders is to manage raplexity (rapid change with enhanced complexity).

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Research in leadership development shows, that old prescriptive ways of developing leaders based on preset competencies do not equip them to address adaptive business challenges. This calls for a greater focus on building “capacity” for leaders through individual transformation and change.

During the last decade, coaching has emerged as a transformation tool of choice to deal with adaptive challenges and disruptive changes. Timothy Gallwey, author and coach says, “Coaching is unlocking a person’s potential to maximise their own performance. It is helping them learn rather than teaching them”. According to him, a coach needs to help a ‘coachee’ to identify interferences (internal and external) that come in the way of accomplishing full potential. Interferences could include self-limiting beliefs, fears, assumptions etc. 

Coaching is not merely a problem fixing technique, but a powerful tool to enable individual transformation to accomplish one’s leadership potential. The INSEAD Global Leadership Centre believes that leadership coaching is more of an art of discovery rather than a technology of delivery. Coaching is not something that you do to people but entails joint accountability, exploration and partnership.

Consequently, the bottom-line is - the effectiveness of coaching is decided by ‘coachees’. Their commitment to transformation, ownership for outcomes and acting on feedback will decide the breakthroughs they are seeking. Nonetheless, the potential for transformation is infinite.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house


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