Ron Ashkenas on Coaching Effectiveness

Meeting Strategist - Conversations on Leadership & Communication

Oct 20 2020 • 23 mins

“The purpose of an organization isn’t to make leaders feel good about themselves and make their subordinates feel like ‘gee, I’ve got a really nice leader, I like that person’. The purpose of an organization is to get something done.”

Ron Ashkenas is a seasoned executive coach and boardroom advisor and the author or co-author of more than 100 articles and five books, including the ‘Harvard Business Review Leader’s Handbook’.

You might have already listened to episode 20 in which Ron and I discuss the six practices that define great leaders and the challenges they are facing in today’s virtual and fast-moving environment.

In this bonus episode, we discuss his recent HBR article ‘Executive Coaches, Your Job is to Deliver Business Results’ and how it clashes with conventional wisdom in coaching. In his article, Ron suggests turning the traditional coaching approach on its head: "Instead of focusing first on behaviors and hoping that they lead to results, start by trying to achieve some specific results, and see what behaviors are needed to get them."

Although interesting for anyone in a leadership or management position, this conversation is more geared towards coaches and HR professionals. Feel free to forward this episode to anyone in your organization who might be interested.

Visit the show notes for more information:

To read Ron's HBR article, go to