Who selects the stakeholders?
If only the leader decides, then is it possible that they will choose their fan-club, leading to skewed results on the Leader’s GPS?
The stakeholder select process is straightforward and initiated with a question: “Who are the people who hold a stake in your leadership?” The list can be created using anything from an official organizational hierarchy chart to an ad hoc dialogue with the leader (some coaches like to pick stakeholders in a discussion with the leader and their manager). While the leader is the engine driving the discussion, the coach offers guidance on who might be the right stakeholders to involve.
A useful tool to have on the table or on-screen during the discussion is the Do’s and Don’ts of involving stakeholders. This will give targeted suggestions to inform the selection process. One of these suggestions is verbatim “Do not choose your fan club.” During the contracting phase, you will have already reviewed and agreed to this list with the leader, so pointing to this document should be a simple, low-hurdle way to add value to the discussion and support the selection process.
Once the selection has been finalized between you and the leader, it is a good idea to get this list approved by the manager. Why? Because the last thing you’d want to do is finish a long-term coaching engagement only to have the manager say at the last minute, “Ya…BUT these weren’t the right people to have as stakeholders.” Approval is most often received through an email to the manager at the end of the coaching session asking if the proposed list is sufficient or if changes need to take place.