Leaders who coach

Although it may seem obvious that a company which motivates its employees will enable them to give the best of themselves, it would appear that few companies really take this on board.

There are as many types of boss as there are of people: some are controlling, others let collaborators do anything they like, some are perfectionists, others paternalists, others results-oriented, delegators, etc.

What is clear is that that a business organization that motivates its employees makes them more productive and capable of getting the best out of themselves. If that is so, why are directors not remunerated in accordance with how well they are able to motivate their employees? Do they actually know what it is that motivates them?

Salary is certainly a major source of motivation, but it is by no means the only one, because a company that cannot offer its employees a future will lose them sooner or later. When I say future, I’m talking about their careers, development, learning, and compensation for effort in terms of remuneration and/or time.

A few months ago one of my coachees commented that in their company, every time somebody left, they brought someone from outside in to take their place – in other words internal promotion simply did not exist there. This sends employees a message that they are not good enough for internal promotion.


The coachee in question felt frustrated and their self-esteem was really affected. An employee in this state is not going to give the best of themselves because first, they don’t think they can, and second, because they will lack commitment.

An executive-coach seeks to ensure that each member of their team does their work in the best way possible, and that the result of the team’s work is greater than the sum of the work of each of the its individual members. In order to achieve this, they must put themselves in the shoes of their people, in order to see what motivates them, in order to build a committed team. They will let people take decisions, celebrate achievements, and analyze what went wrong when things are not so successful. They will trust them. They will help them to get to know themselves better so that they can apply their talent to their work. They will build teams that manage their emotions, which motivate themselves, and which establish close relations with each other. In short, they will work with them and challenge them to reach objectives.

Using a coaching management style is not easy, but the good news is that it is possible to learn how to do it.

Victoria Gimeno. Director Institutional Relations,
IE Business School,