Executives’ Awareness – Why would they ‘admit weakness’?

A challenge posed recently by a critical friend questioned why an executive would approach their board asking for funding to engage in a mentoring relationship. Would admitting to their board that they needed help with their leadership indicate weakness? Would it not show that they lacked confidence in their abilities or was a sign that they were failing in some respects? What would they gain by showing their hand in this way and how could that be anything other than detrimental for their careers?

I appreciated the provocation and it certainly made me think. It helped me clarify my thoughts.

In my opinion, an executive approaching their board with a request for support to develop their leadership is a positive sign and should be encouraged. No-one is perfect and there is always room for improvement. Any effective board will look constantly for ways to improve their business, so why not themselves? I take it as a sign of strength and confidence when someone admits they have room for improvement and are seeking assistance. These leaders – who are open to an external point of view and constructive challenge – are the ones who will be successful in their careers: it takes very little time to find evidence that leaders who engage in developmental relationships advance in their professional and personal lives.

The executives seeking help with their development are the ones who should be supported and encouraged. They are the ones who have the awareness and potential to improve not only themselves, but also the organisations they lead.

At ALMAC Consulting Ltd we help executives and senior leadership teams develop their leadership, primarily through mentoring and coaching.If you are interested in hearing more, then please get in touch at through our Contact page for a no-obligation chat to explore the possibilities.  If I can’t help, I may well know someone who can and will be pleased to recommend them to you.

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