Riddle me this, what does an Olympic athlete have in common with a professional arts manager? Not sure? Keep reading, and I’ll tell you.
While watching the wide-eyed determination of Olympic athletes over the summer, I found myself thinking about their journey. I asked myself, “how did they get there” not figuratively, but theoretically. How was their road paved? As many of us know, coaching plays a critical role in sports, and athletes rely on their coaches for inspiration, support and improvement. I then asked myself, how can we apply this concept to benefit our sector at this critical moment in time?
I have experienced the great privilege of leadership coaching over the last several years. My coach provided much needed support and opportunities for professional development that buoyed me in these uncertain times, strengthening my leadership and team. And while professionals in other sectors have long used executive and leadership coaching as a necessary and applied tool, we also know that coaching is not widely employed in our industry. Considering the enormous benefit I and others have gained from coaching, we at AHCMC considered ways to support emerging leaders in our sector.
Do you know it yet? The answer to my riddle? Coaching. That is what connects arts managers with professional athletes.
Unfortunately, unlike Olympic athletes, not all arts managers have access to a world-class coach. That’s why we launched our BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) Emerging Leaders Coaching Cohort in partnership with the DC Chapter of the International Coaching Federation (ICF) in September 2021. But why? you may ask. What is all this talk about coaching? And why do leaders in our sector need it? ICF defines coaching as partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential. The process of coaching often unlocks previously untapped sources of imagination, productivity and leadership.
Our hope is to provide a vehicle of support and reflection for artists and arts leaders through our BIPOC Emerging Leaders Coaching Cohort as we meet arts professionals where they are and work alongside them to explore a variety of topics with their personal coach, including:
- Adapting to organizational change
- Excelling at new roles and responsibilities
- Increasing self-esteem / self-confidence
- Improving work-life balance
- Enhancing career opportunities
- Improving communication skills
- Strengthening relationship-building and management
- Amplifying team effectiveness
If you are a BIPOC emerging leader and were accepted into our upcoming cohort, we look forward to meeting and working with you! If you are still interested in coaching but were not accepted into this program, please rest assured that amazing, impactful and professional coaching is still available to you through the National Arts Strategies Leadership Coaching Program!
As leaders, we are always searching for ways to strategically solve problems and forge new ground. If you are grappling with current issues in multinational, multicultural settings, I hope you’ll consider coaching for inspiration, support, improvement, and much more. Together let’s build our own team of Olympic arts managers in Montgomery County to create the change we hope to see in the world.