Real-Time Leadership - A conversation with Carol Kauffman Ph.D.

The next guest of the OnCoaching Podcast is Carol Kauffman!

My next guest in the OnCoaching Podcast is Carol Kauffman PhD! Carol Carol is an international leader in the field of coaching, an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School, a visiting professor at Henley Business School, and a senior leadership adviser at Egon Zehnder.  

She has done a lot for the profession of coaching through her work at the Institute of Coaching at Harvard, and she is the founding editor-in-chief of Coaching: An International Journal of Theory, Research, and Practice – a peer-reviewed journal that serves as a platform for spreading high-quality knowledge about our profession. (You may check out the publisher’s page here.) 

We have not personally met before, but as an EMCC VP, I had been following her work as I saw her to be a real champion of the evidence-based approach. Besides the overall appreciation for all these, Carol has recently co-authored a book with David Noble: Real-Time Leadership (check out the book’s website here), which has really caught my attention.

I have always been a fan of theories and as a coach, I am constantly looking for frameworks that could describe the challenges of my clients – mostly leaders. And leadership, with all its complexity, is hard to grasp. One of the fundamental challenges is how even subtle changes in the situations – the external and the internal environment – could (and should!) invite a shift in leadership behaviors.

Of course, the good old Situational Leadership model addresses some of these challenges but it is not detailed enough. Communication tools, like PCM, do address a huge part of “managing the moment”, but they seldom talk about the non-personality-related aspects of leadership. This is where I found the thoughts on Real-Time Leadership interesting.

We could all use simple guidance on how to align our goals resources and relationships on a minute-by-minute basis. In our conversation, we took a look at the core concepts of Real-Time Leadership. I was happy to hear these as they resonated with the messages of my previous guest, Nate Regier’s thoughts on Compassionate Accountability, especially the mindset switches.

I was amazed by Carol’s humble presence in our conversation. She was so clear about her previous learnings, about who inspired her to do what, and so on… For me

her story shows the importance of cooperation and openness in shaping a profession...

Besides her work on leadership, we have covered a number of topics. How she got to be the founding editor of the journal and her role in building up the Institute of Coaching at Harvard. We spoke about professional inspiration and theories that shape our work.

My favorite sentence, that stood out from the session was the single question that you can ask yourself at any time in order to connect to your better self:

“Who do I want to be right now?”

I think that we should start asking that question more frequently from ourselves.

Most importantly this was a lively and friendly talk. Before we started the recording, I mentioned that “It is a challenge in the coaching world to not hear about her work” – and I really mean this. With all those great contributions to the profession under her belt, Carol is kind and shares a lot of her stories and knowledge.

You can listen to the conversation here:

I am happy to hear your reflections and comments! Commenting is available under my LinkedIn post of this episode. Reach the post through my profile here)

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