Lockheed Martin Leadership Institute students tackle the coaching mindset

Lockheed Martin Leadership Students Cohort 6

Members of Leadership Institute            
Cohort 6 in the Idea Kitchen

Students in the Lockheed Martin Leadership Institute are taking on a new challenge: the coaching mindset.

In the Lockheed Martin Leadership Institute, the curriculum changes from year to year based on the interests and development of current cohort members.

Junior year (which is the second year for members of the Leadership Institute) students determine what year-long projects they want to do to develop their people leadership skills.

These projects have to be original. They have to be creative. They have to be transformational.

Two years ago, Cohort 4 created a podcast platform called Listen4Insight. Last year, Cohort 5 planned and executed a transformational leadership conference. And this year, Cohort 6 is tackling the coaching mindset.

Unlike mentoring, leadership coaches don’t give their clients advice—they ask questions and help guide clients to solve their own problems. Coaching is a complicated art, and the process of becoming a certified leadership coach is quite extensive.

The Hudson Institute of Coaching, for example, has a certification program that is eight months long, punctuated with 4-day learning sessions in Santa Barbara and 12 hours of work per week between sessions. Louise Morman, Executive Director of the Lockheed Martin Leadership Institute, went through this process herself and testified to how challenging it was.

So when Anne Poindexter from Cohort 6 brought up coaching as a theme for this year’s projects, Morman was shocked. Coaching is not something that college students learn.

But the topic was original. It was creative. And it was transformational.

Coaching books for Lockheed Martin Leadership Institute

Cohort 6's coaching research                    

“I didn’t know how this would work, but I didn’t want to tell them to pick something easy. So I gave them some books and some research, and they have picked up the ball from there. They have done the most amazing job.”

The juniors explore coaching topics during and outside of their weekly class session. They have also been teaching the seniors and sophomores in the program (cohorts 5 and 7) about coaching. The seniors have been paired up with sophomores, with whom they conduct weekly coaching sessions. Cohort 7 is developing their personal leadership plans, and Cohort 5 is working with them to help the sophomores decide who they are and who they want to be in their professional careers.

While the students are not certified coaches, this work in developing a coaching mindset is helping students learn to listen effectively and ask questions that help others develop, which in turn develops their own people leadership skills.

“[The success of this project] has transformed how we are going to do things in the future. Cohort 6 is helping transform the Institute in a transformational way,” Morman said.

The culmination of the coaching mindset development will be “Coaching Mindset Summit: Leadership Insights” on April 13. In attendance will be alumni, business professionals, Miami faculty, and five certified leadership coaches, along with all current Leadership Institute students.

The summit will begin with a Keynote Speech from executive coach John Schuster. Then attendees will then view coaching demonstrations and have round table discussions with the leadership coaches to gain more insight into the coaching process and how to apply coaching to everyday leadership.

By Paige Smith