Executive coaches have become increasingly prevalent over the last 20 years in the for-profit sector, where, not surprisingly, businesses invest more time and resources to develop leadership capacity compared to not-for-profit organizations. More recently, independent school heads–particularly those newly appointed–often have a leadership coach through the first 1-3 years of their transition, though this benefit is rarely extended to other leaders in a school. 

The benefits are coming into focus. As Donna Orem, President of NAIS, notes in a 2017 article (hyperlink here), “Coaching is a relationship that helps leaders maximize opportunities and get through the most difficult challenges in their careers.” https://www.nais.org/learn/independent-ideas/december-2017/empowering-leaders-through-coaching/

Organizations are also embracing an evolved vision of leadership: the leader as coach. “Increasingly, coaching is becoming integral to the fabric of a learning culture—a skill that good managers at all levels need to develop and deploy,” noted two researchers and scholars in a 2019 Harvard Business Review article (hyperlink here.) https://hbr.org/2019/11/the-leader-as-coach For independent schools–already oriented with a growth mindset as learning organizations–folding in the premises and tactical skills of coaching among the leadership team is a natural next step.