An executive coaching course of action has typically always been to identify some goals, coach toward fulfilling them during a prescribed time period, and calling it done at a pre-prescribed time - usually with proclamations of success coming from both sides. But the data suggests that that's not the recipe for getting the best return on investment from executive coaching fees paid.
While larger executive coaching companies tend to still work in the old get-to-the-goals style, more progressive executive leadership development takes a more comprehensive approach to getting-to-the-gold. Research shows that executive coaching and consulting that is more open ended, more focused on developing the whole person and the culture they're in charge of and that is more about staying at the "leaderful" edge than about a particular end-game tends to pay a far higher return on investment, as high as 689%. There needs to be some goal-oriented components to an executive coaching course of action but goals just aren't the whole picture.
So, when considering personal executive coaching, make sure you work with a coach and consultant who develops at least 7 levels of leadership consciousness, not just the narrow field of goal fulfillment. When considering executive leadership training seminars, make sure you choose a delivery style that's progressive enough to impact your culture because that's where your ultimate success rests. Otherwise, you'll end up spending a lot of time and money on superficial fixes that may measure up well in the moment but have no lasting impact.
There are far too many executive leadership programs that remain myopic in focus. Although short-sited executive training seminars are still the primary offerings of some of the best known executive coaching companies because they are easier to quantify (in part because their methods for measurement are so shockingly limited in scope), the research is clear that a more expansive approach that includes well-proven and documented methods for measuring culture and consciousness makes the difference between good and great executive leadership development.