Lord Alan Sugar has been crowned the UK’s nightmare career coach in a poll by the Institute of Leadership & Management.
Just under a third (31%) of those surveyed chose The Apprentice boss, with Simon Cowell and Alex Ferguson taking second and third place. Richard Branson was the most popular choice for best coach.
The survey also showed that 63% of managers are not performing at their optimum level, with 79% believing that they would be able to improve if they received coaching at work.
The survey was released by the ILM to coincide with the launch of their ‘Perform at Your Peak’ professional coaching campaign, aimed at promoting the benefits of workplace coaching to help managers improve their performance. The survey showed that coaching was seen by managers as a useful tool, with 92% of those who had received coaching saying that their performance had improved as a result.
Penny de Valk, chief executive of the Institute of Leadership & Management, says: “Leadership styles have changed from being command and control to a coaching approach that doesn’t assume the boss is the expert.
“People learn when they are stretched and challenged and a bit of performance anxiety is no bad thing, but not when it is disabling. A coach’s role is to raise the bar then help people get over it. Naturally, Lord Sugar’s TV persona does make for entertaining viewing but it doesn’t necessarily translate into a great lesson in what works in the real world.
“Developing managers’ coaching skills is the single most cost-effective development investment a business can make, and the wise CEO will ensure coaching is introduced across their organisation to help staff work at the optimum level.”
“However, it is crucial that those organisations asking their managers to coach provide them with the skills and support to do so. Coaching carried out by poorly trained or inexperienced people will tend to be one-to-one instruction, which can drive dependency.”
The ILM’s range of management qualifications include modules on coaching to help managers develop the skills and knowledge to coach effectively.