I spent a career developing leadership skills such as vision casting, building strong teams, ensuring long-term results, managing outcomes, delegating, decision-making, courage, resilience, and spirituality. In retirement I have the privilege of investing in leaders at all stages of their development as they develop and refine these same skills.
One of the things I learned along the way is that leadership is more than skill, it involves habits that define the capacity and character of great leaders. These habits include withdrawal, foresight, awareness, listening, empathy, healing, conceptualization, persuasion, execution, and building community flavor the way great leaders approach their work.
As a coach I enjoyed helping leaders develop skill and habits in their context. In retirement I’ve found that while I still use the disciplines of coaching, my time is often better spent being a friend of leaders. The pace is different. As a friend I spend even more time listening, affirming, and asking questions. I hang out with leaders often serving as a sounding board for their struggles, nascent ideation, and questions of purpose or effectiveness. Leaders need friends who are unimpressed with the trappings of power, present in their full selves, and willing to offer the feedback no one else will.
So, I still work with leaders. I am amazed at the challenges they now face, the insights they generate, and the things they teach me. If you are a leader looking for a friend or coach email me at email@example.com and let’s set up an exploratory appointment.
Dr. Raymond L. Wheeler