Due to the fantastic support in 2021 from our amazing clients (new and old) – Leadenhall and Coaching On Demand have consolidated and grown since the resumption of ‘normal’ work last March, to service this growth we are joined by a new colleague.
Committed to continued high standards of client service and programme delivery, we welcome our new Head of Client Services – Stan Woster to the Leadenhall team. Stan brings considerable experience of working with clients, coaches and coachees across the Coaching sector. He will be working with Chris and Samia on helping to ensuring we continue to deliver excellence in client service, supporting our amazing Coaching Community and helping match clients with the most suitable coaches.
Chris sat down with Stan last week to find our more about his journey so far and his views and plans for Leadenhall and Coaching-On-Demand:
Stan Woster – Head of Client Services at Leadenhall and Coaching on Demand
Q: How long have you been in the development and coaching industry?
A: I’ve been in the world of leadership development since the summer of 2000 initially at The Institute of Directors working with leaders of small to medium sized businesses where I focused on the operational management and delivery of its strategic level training courses to their members in the UK. This was my very effective grounding in the world of learning and professional development. Since 2010, my work has been predominantly focused on executive coaching and mentoring, supporting leaders to connect with the best coaches and organisations to connect with best coaching services.
Q: Tell us about the work you’ve done in the coaching arena.
A: Most of the coaching practices I’ve been a part of have been small to medium sized, entrepreneurial consultancies and so my work has been incredibly varied, demanding and always evolving. That said, my responsibilities have typically been aligned to the management of key client relationships, management of the operational practices and the deployment of coaching services to those clients alongside as much time dedicated to supporting the respective community of coaches to ensure the right people are available to our clients.
Essentially, I match our solutions to our clients ever-evolving needs. The delivery of dynamic, effective coaching solutions, particularly at scale, requires meeting the needs of not only the client but the individual leader (or leaders) and the coaches themselves.
Q: What has been the scale of coaching contracts that you have had responsibility for?
This has ranged from one or two assignments per client, per year to somewhere in the region of 150 assignments per client, per year and until now, delivered using the traditional coaching model without the benefit of a platform like Coaching on Demand. In all my work, I believe it is important to have a deep understanding of the clients’ needs underpinned by great processes, strong relationships, and a proactive service.
Q: What are the kinds of clients that you have been working with?
When buying such services at scale, unsurprisingly, my clients have tended to be the larger, well-known corporate bodies, such as Rolls Royce, BP, Vodafone, Lloyds Banking Group, Centrica. McDonalds, Deutsche Bank, Kerry Group and in many of these, were formed long-term relationships. For example, at Lloyds Banking Group, I lead the managed services account and consequently the matching of coaches for nearly 8 years.
Q: Leadenhall is an international coaching practice. Could you tell us more about delivering coaching internationally?
I’ve had the great privilege of getting to know many hundreds of coaches, consultants, and mentors over the past 12 years both here in the UK and overseas. A typical example of how I have grown the known network of coaches, internationally is derived from how our services have evolved within a customer. A good example of which is a major investment bank who asked if we were able to support their directors and managing directors in UK and in Germany, Singapore, and New York. Because of the nature of my work – that of building sustainable, mutually beneficial relationships, in next to no time, we were able to work with our existing network to gain access to and source new coaches in these regions but also, quickly deliver the same, renowned service via a new, international panel of coaches without any noticeable break in the quality of provision.
Q: What changes have you seen over your 12 years in the coaching industry? What are your thoughts about the emerging coaching platforms and their impact on the coaching market?
Some things remain the same today as they were when I started working with coaches back in year 2010. Relationships are central to what we do and to doing it well – after all, it’s about understanding the clients, the coachees needs. And it’s about understanding the coaches, their capabilities, and preferences and what they want to achieve and understanding how they can best serve the client. What is different is the way in which coaching is delivered and accessed. I remember 10-11 years ago; questions being increasingly asked of our coaches “do you do coach by phone?” Though hard to believe today, it seemed an unusual request at the time, because coaching was almost exclusively practiced and delivered face to face which often involved the coach travelling many miles, if not hundreds of miles to get to the leader in his or her business setting. That added costs and time and other complexities to the process. Now, of course, we have moved beyond the phone, or travelling to a VC facility in an office to using Zoom and alike – and with platforms like Coaching on Demand the administration is so much easier and the client gets information and data on activity and coaching quality although not the details of confidential conversations, of course
Q: You’ve been charged with leading the client services for Leadenhall, what is it you will bring?
I’m looking forward to bringing my 12 years’ experience to Leadenhall and Coaching on Demand to help the firm scale its client services. Chris, Liz and the team at Leadenhall have always put clients first. A recent survey of Leadenhall’s clients was very flattering about the quality of service provided by the firm but as the company grows it needs to ensure this level of service is maintained as the business grows and develops. The firm is not aiming to become a ‘mega platform’, but it does have ambitions to being a high-quality international coaching practice renowned for great coaching and great client service using technology to deliver quality and value.
What I hope bring to Leadenhall is the ability to manage client relationships, work with Chris to continue building a strong faculty of coaches, bring those clients and coaches together and build and outstanding coaching practice. I am particularly looking forward to the challenge of helping make Coaching on Demand the highest quality platform solution in the industry.
Q: There is a view that the emergence of online platforms will lead to a chase to the bottom on price, because of the competition. What’s your thoughts on that?
I don’t think that coaching is a product or service that should be commoditised but there is a strong case for using technology to improve the service, create efficiency and reduce costs.
Coaches bring the commercial experiences gained as leaders themselves to the significant level of training and accreditations they have gained to their customers but the very best, go beyond the performance and results focused approach to working with the individuals’ presenting issues and context. Great coaches tend to be the ones that work in a way that provides more transformative, sustainable change for their coachees. And the more experienced a coach typically means that they’re able to command a higher fee in the marketplace. They know how to apply those skills in the real world with great awareness and timing. They know their value. In my experience, most clients want to buy trust, confidence, and quality but there will, of course, be some that are looking for a lower price point in the market, but that will be for a different service to that provided by Leadenhall and Coaching on Demand.
Welcome to Leadenhall Stan!
Find out more about Stan – Stan’s Linkedin Profile
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