Nobuki started CoachAcademia program as he looked for a better approach to manage 100 staff members in Russia as an expat. His story in the interview tells us how his learning during the program has created changes among his direct reports and the staff members beyond them.
The Value of Learning in Creating a Career in the Era of 100-Year Life
I was in charge of 100 staff members which was the largest number of people to manage in my career in the current assignment in Russia. 70 percent of those are located in various regional offices all over Russia. Given that situation, I began to think about taking a coaching program for me to be able to lead so many team members located in different remote areas toward a single direction.
In my research on coaching programs, I discovered many similarities between my ideal management style and the coaching concept of enhancing performance by bringing out a person's autonomy and creativity (i.e. it’s a belief that I cannot and choose not to do everything on my own). It led me to have the belief that there is value in learning coaching beyond my current role in the company and business so that I could develop my own career for the era of 100-year life .
CoachAcademia offers you a Systematic Way to Learn from Anywhere
I examined a number of institutions offering coaching programs both in Japanese and English . There were two key points for me to pick a coaching program. One was that it should have a solid, systematic design that would lead me to credentials, and the other one is that it should offer flexible schedules and location. These two points were very important for me to continue the program for more than a year while working in Russia with a time difference between Japan and Russia. CoachAcademia was a great fit for me in this respect.
No More Doubts in Management to Bring Out Autonomy and Creativity
Strong leadership is required for leaders in Russia. Given that expectation, it seems to me that the effectiveness of the coaching is still not well understood there. At the beginning I also had some doubts about coaching because a majority of managers that I have seen in several countries achieved their business results through adopting a top-down management approach.
However, the more I learned about coaching, the more I saw how it gives ground to my belief of enhancing accountability and creativity along with improving business results. I gradually came to be able to implement my own style of management without worrying about how others perceive my style.
Team members Began to Take Spontaneous Action for Their Own Growth
As the coaching sessions continued, the staff members proactively took actions for their own growth. Through the sessions, I realized my members’ unexpressed aspiration to be more proactive in their own careers to grow as leaders yet not knowing what could be done. We then agreed to develop coaching around their long-term and sustainable goals, all coming out from their own suggestions!
One of my area branch heads started to contemplate his missions of the branch and took new approaches to draw out further proactive actions from his members.
Ripple effects of Proactive Actions
This type of communication made us a strong bond with the staff, which led to their spontaneous actions. Not only my direct reports, but also their team members started to take more proactive moves and suggest new ideas. Moreover, this effect also extended to the employees in the branches distant from Moscow too. I started to receive proposals from these branches which were based on discussions among members.
Proactive actions of the team members are based on trust. We can truly work towards achieving their goals by opening up ourselves to each other even though we are in a manager-member or a coach-client relationship. For example, many of them are truly eager to know about my career development through my previous assignments in different countries. Such a close relationship was especially required in Russia. Team members were very grateful to have a strong bond even from the first coaching session.
What is my Next Coaching Approach after CoachAcademia?
CoachAcademia is a great place to learn coaching from the basics. The program and the structure are so well designed so that I was able to complete the program in a year and a half without missing even a single class. I was able to do it in Russia, hence I am sure anyone could take it anywhere. I will leverage the coaching skills acquired as a core approach from now on and blend it with diverse cultures in order to develop my own style of coaching. The continuous exploration of coaching is also tightly connected to my purpose of learning coaching as my career for the era of 100-year life.
Located in London, UK (as of July, 2021)
General Manager, European Sales & Marketing
An Electronics Manufacturer
Certified Professional Coach, FGLLC PCC
(Finished Academia program in April, 2020)
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