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An Executive Coach's advice on the Industrial Era 4.0 and the need for Leaders to become Coaches.

We are living in an era where the integration of artificial intelligence (AI), robotic and IoT are becoming the norm in our daily lives. This integration is changing the standards of doing business and collaboration. The balance of the business world has been disrupted and a whole new organizational structure is in the making. This new organizational structure has been named as ‘Industrial Revolution 4.0’. Klaus Schwab, the founder of the world economic forum, first coined the phrase of ‘fourth industrial revolution’.

In 2015, he wrote an article in Foreign Affairs, with the theme of ‘Mastering the Fourth Industrial Revolution’. In the article, Klaus tells us that the fourth industrial revolution is a technological revolution that will fundamentally alter the way we live, work, and relate to one another. Its scope, scale and complexity will be new and unlike anything, humankind has experienced before. Although it is difficult to gauge at this time how it will unfold, one thing is clear: our response to it must be inclusive and comprehensive, involving all stakeholders in our global village.

Coaching Leadership in Industrial Revolution 4.0

Since the term was unearthed, many institutions and leaders started to ponder its implications and the best way to navigate it. The implications of it are still unknown but the world has agreed that real leadership is the solution to all the requirements of the 4.0 revolution. The role of the leader has become ever more indispensable since the beginning of this 4.0 revolution. It would also not be incorrect for me to say that organizations that subdue real leadership may become extinct.

So, what exactly is coaching leadership?  Coaching leadership was first defined by Paul Hersey and Kenneth Blanchard in the late 1960s. but was made “famous” by Daniel Goleman. They described it as one of the four leadership styles that a leader can adapt according to the situation, the company’s maturity and the current attitudes of employees. I firmly believe that this leadership style is critical in today’s world in the fourth industrial revolution. Coaching leadership provides an all-encompassing way to deal with complexities and is a style that includes and facilitates the engagement of people and draws out understanding and empathizing with their specific and individual motivations.

The Role of Coaching Leadership in Industrial Revolution 4.0 If you ask me for one solid reason why coaching leadership should be used today, my answer would be that there is a need to transform sustainably. Employees and organizations will need to transform not just what they do but how they do it. In business, leadership and performance hand in hand. That is to say, an effective leader increases the company’s bottom line and profit. A leader performs a critically important function of management which proves conducive to maximizing efficiency and helping to achieve organizational goals. Organizations that have better leaders will, quite simply, steal the show. In contrast, those who do not want to spend on developing their leaders, are bound to suffer in the coming years.

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