Authors to offer leadership class

Much like a sherpa guides climbers up a mountain, an executive coach helps employees with leadership skills for the workplace. That was the idea authors Brenda Corbett and Judith Colemon had when they wrote “The Sherpa Guide: The Process-Driven Executive Coaching,” said Deb Baker, director of executive development for Tandy Hall.

The authors of the book developed a course that teaches consultants, executives and human resource professionals how to become better leaders, Baker said.

The three-part course, which costs $7,500, will be take place in eight days in January through March. Both authors will teach the course in Tandy Hall for Executive Leadership at the Neeley School of Business.

“A sherpa coach will develop a one-on-one assessment on someone – focusing on strengths, weaknesses and habits he or she may have in order to help them attain a higher position,” Baker said.

The course will help students understand what skills they are lacking and how to improve upon those, Corbett said.

It will also help individuals build on positives, rather than focus on negatives when trying to achieve a higher position in the workplace, Baker said.

Baker said there is a need for executive development as the baby boomers begin to retire in the next few years and take their knowledge, experience and leadership with them.

“When the baby boomers retire,” Baker said, “they will be replaced by a generation half its size. Companies are panicking that their senior leadership will be gone, and this has made executive development a priority.”

Executive development classes used to focus on fixing a problem in someone, Baker said.

“Now it’s used to enhance leadership skills and focus on positives rather than negatives,” she said.

This course is the only one offered in Texas, Corbett said. Other courses are offered at the University of Louisville, the University of Cincinnati, Pennsylvania State University and Kent State University.

Baker said enrollment will be limited to 25 to 30 participants to ensure better interaction with the coaches.

An executive development program needs to be small and personalized, so the graduates come out of the course with the knowledge and abilities needed to be an executive coach, Baker said.