Measuring your Impact & Value as a Leadership-level Agile Coach

Measuring your Impact & Value as a Leadership-level Agile Coach

I recently shared a piece entitled Measuring Leadership Coaches and Their Impact. The perspective in the article was primarily mine. What did I look for in leadership coaches (agile coaches) when they coached me in agile contexts?  

There were a few questions in the LinkedIn responses where folks sought specific metrics. I’m guessing outcome-based, results-based, specific measures I used to evaluate my coaches. The reality was I didn’t have those. Truthfully, I didn’t care about them. I cared about how the coach connected to me as a human and leader rather than some arbitrary metric that I applied to the coach. And to me, any metric was a “system metric” in that it applied to the coach + me and how we impacted the system…together.

I feel like this answer will disappoint those looking to create a leadership coaching metrics dashboard, but so be it.

All that being said, I was inspired to share these indicators of a leadership coach’s performance. They augment what I was trying to say in the first article, and I hope you find them more helpful in guiding you toward measuring your systemic value.

  1. How often are you pulled into senior-level leadership meetings to provide observations, opinions, counsel, or advice? 

  2. How often are you asked to help partner on a strategically focused and essential initiative? 

  3. How often do the organizational sponsors, leaders, or stakeholders you are coaching—

    1. Ask for your advice.

    2. Ask for your opinion on an important matter.

    3. Ask for options around a decision.

    4. Ask for your feedback.

  4. How often do your coaching clients thank you for bringing up an alternative view or showing them that they’re stuck in sunk cost or status quo thinking? 

  5. How often do you argue a critical point with your leaders because you know they’re making a grave mistake? 

  6. How often do you tell your coaching clients what they need to hear versus what they want to hear? Or what’s safe for them to hear? 

  7. If you left your role tomorrow, how resilient have the individuals, teams, and organizations you’ve been coaching become? Will they stick with the initiatives or fall back to old habits? 

  8. How often are you asked to help with organizational moves (HR initiatives, reorganizations or role restructuring, project-to-product evolution, agile role structures, etc.)? 

  9. How often are you asked to help facilitate or speak at board-level or organizational-level cross-functional events? Serving as a visible and trusted agile change evangelist for organizational transformations? 

  10. How often are you congratulated for your role in the agile transformation directly impacting ROI, organizational impact, customer impact and satisfaction, and overall results? 

  11. How many organizational leaders are actively pulling you in for 1:1 coaching? To the point that you’ve overly exceeded your WIP? 

  12. How often have you leaned into your coaching ethics when they were challenged in some way, and declined a client request?

  13. When you look in the mirror every morning, how often do you get excited about your role in the organization, the relationships you’ve built, and the impact you’re having? You can’t wait to get to work today?

  • Rarely to never, then you’re not providing much discernable value. You better dust off your resume or look for another client. Quickly!

  • Sometimes, but only for more tactical things, you are not effectively showing, demonstrating, and communicating your value. You are at risk, and either need upward trending or outward trending.

  • More often, then, you’re on the right track but have ongoing work to do.

  • YES! Then, you’ve become an agile transformation change agent and trusted partner. Congratulations! But don’t get complacent.

I don’t view these as outcome or transactional metrics. I don’t consider these as metrics at all.

They are more behavioral and connected to the partnership, trust, and co-led outcomes I’ve inspired and engendered throughout and across the organizational leadership team. I’m not measuring their words but rather their behavior.

In fact, having people tell me how good a job I’m doing or lauding my impact has no effect on me. It’s nice, but what they do matters much more than what they say.

So, my questions for everyone who responded to that article looking for transactional-based metrics…

How did you score on the above?

And what coaching behavior adjustments, if any, are you going to make?

Stay agile, my friends,

Bob.

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