Defining Your Career Path Through Executive Coaching

NAEM Staff
May 15, 2019
EHS Leadership Coaching
Through actions great and small, EHS and sustainability (EHS&S) leaders drive change every day. What does it take to be effective in this role and how can you do it better? At NAEM's upcoming Women's Leadership Roundtable, we'll be introducing an opportunity for attendees to hone their leadership effectiveness through an executive coaching session. To learn more about the value of executive coaching, we spoke with Jessica McGlyn, an executive coach who will be leading the coaching session at next month's Women's Leadership Roundtable.

What can leadership coaching do for EHS&S professionals?

Driving EHS&S performance in an organization comes with plenty of challenges. How do you influence up, down, and sideways, without formal authority? How do you stay motivated to do good when faced with cynics or apathy? How do you overcome obstacles to meet your goals? Developing your leadership skills through coaching can give you the edge you need to overcome these obstacles and get back to the joy of your vocation. The groundbreaking book "Mastering Leadership: An Integrated Framework for Breakthrough Performance and Extraordinary Business Results" demonstrated how leadership effectiveness and business performance are highly correlated. And that leadership effectiveness is something that can be developed with deliberate practice.

How is coaching different from training?

While training is designed to transfer knowledge, coaching is about helping you develop your own answers to the challenges you face. The path to leadership looks different for each person, who brings with them their own personal set of strengths and areas for development. Coaching is a way for them to learn how to play to their assets while building awareness of their blind spots.

Which EHS&S professionals do you think could most benefit from executive coaching?

No matter where you are, these sessions were designed to be intimate experiences so you can chart your personal progress and focus on a skill you're looking to develop further. What's neat about these coaching sessions is that the experience can deliver value to leaders at all career stages.

In the early stages of your career, you might need to understand your career options and how to move your career in that direction. As an emerging leader, you might be called upon to develop awareness of your own leadership attributes and which habits you need to change to advance. And as you move into the advanced stages of your career, you might find yourself challenged to communicate in an entirely different way, as your sphere of influence starts to include the C-suite, the board room and external stakeholders.

What can people expect from a coaching session?

Coaching is very different from what people might have experienced at a conference, in the sense that it's entirely interactive and no one is presenting to you. From the moment you enter the room, you'll be asked to step into a new mindset — one in which you are the expert of your own experience. In this space you'll be called upon to discover the parts of yourself you probably don't think about every day so that you can see yourself as others do, and as you can become.

What do you hope attendees take away from the coaching session you'll be offering at our Women's Leadership conference?

First and foremost, I hope they walk away with a clear goal in mind and a set of strategies they can use to achieve it. Second, I hope they use these workshops to strengthen their peer network, which is a vital aspect to professional growth. And third, I hope they come away with an inspiring view of themselves, their possibilities and what the future holds.

We want your input!

NAEM likes to design programs that are beneficial to EHS&S professionals. Please take our survey to help us understand your leadership development goals. This one question will help us better design future leadership sessions, reports and webinars for your needs.

To learn more about the agenda we have planned for NAEM's Women's Leadership Roundtable on June 25-27 in Savannah, visit #LeadingEHSusty.

About the Author

NAEM Staff
The National Association for Environmental, Health and Safety, and Sustainability (EHS&S) Management (NAEM) empowers corporate leaders to advance environmental stewardship, create safe and healthy workplaces and promote global sustainability. As the leading business community for EHS&S decision-makers, we provide engaging forums, a curated network, peer benchmarking, research insights and tools for solving today’s corporate EHS&S management challenges. Visit us online at

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