The Leader-Coach: The Future of Professionalism

The Leader-Coach: Leader as Learner

Coaching enables empowerment.  Empowerment fuels achievement. Achievement empowers professionalism.  Professionalism can be expressed through a leader’s compelling vision of the future, an unwavering commitment to ethical business practices, or demonstrating the courage to champion innovation when the status quo prevails.  Organizational leaders shoulder a mantel of professionalism; a leadership mantel.  A mantel inlaid with learnings about professionalism and leadership from every industry.

Shouldering this mantel of professionalism are a few exemplary leaders self-identifying as leader-coaches. Leader-coaches because they’ve acquired formal coaching knowledge and skills or been coached by a leader-coach. These leader-coaches are products of a time honored tradition of the master and apprentice relationship. This relationship considered a sacred trust by many, is a relationship proven to instill purpose, provide knowledge, and enable others to realize their potential.  Leader-coaches are mentors; mentors who understand the coaching processes and its tools. They are skilled at accessing enabling others to act.

Leader-coaches invest in their own professional development. They learn to lead and lead as learners. They can become life-long learners of leadership.  Learning and leadership become a self-fulfilling professional development prophecy as leadership theory informs practice and practice informs theory.  As President John F. Kennedy stated “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.”  The result of this indispensible interaction is a rich integration of leadership wisdom, perspective, and practice enabling leaders to lead modeling the way for others.

Leader as Model: Professionalism in Practice

Modeling is central to becoming a leader-coach.  Modeling is leading and learning by example. Leaders can model mentors.  However, in the absence of a mentor, who can leaders model to enable their own leadership?  For many leaders, they model exemplars of leadership excellence.  Let’s explore leader modeling as a process for creating leader-coaches. Here are two exemplars of leadership excellence.

David Schlamm – Founder and CEO of City Connections

Mr. David Schlamm, Founder and CEO of City Connections, Inc. inNew York Cityis an exemplary leader. A 23 year veteran of theManhattanreal estate industry, David continues to create the future of professionalism at City Connections.  David’s vision of professionalism articulates creating a client-centric business culture, inhabited by highly educated agent-advisors, delivering a comprehensive and customized housing acquisition experience.  Schlamm’s vision is fueled by his unflagging commitment to ethical conduct and is enabled by an innovative high “split-to-agent” commission structure the cornerstone of his business model championing entrepreneurialism.

Central to David’s vision of professionalism is his commitment to life-long learning.  To realize his vision of providing “highly educated agent-advisors” to his clientele, he endorsed and participated in creating the Certified Real Estate Advisor (CRA) designation. The CRA designation is the only professional designation of its kind worldwide coupling industry training and high performance coaching.  To contribute to the CRA design process, David immersed himself in the coaching processes; being coached and becoming a leader-coach. As a result of his bold commitment and pioneering action, the CRA designation is rapidly becoming the recognized benchmark of professional excellence for residential real estate advisors industry-wide.

David’s vision of the future of professionalism is rapidly revolutionizing the residential real estate industry nationally.

City Connections, Inc. Website:

Richard Dickson President and Chief Executive Officer Branded Businesses of Jones Apparel Group, Inc.

Mr. Dickson, President and Chief Executive Officer Branded Businesses of Jones Apparel Group, Inc. is an exemplary leader. An industry thought and practice leader in the fashion, fragrance, and toy industries, Richard continues his legacy of creating the future of professionalism through his leadership at JonesNew York.  Richard’s vision of professionalism crafts a worldwide culture of empowered women, framed by strong female models of leadership, and coached by recognized female leaders such a former Clinton Administration Press Secretary Ms. Dee Dee Myers.

Dickson’s vision of a world culture empowered and enabled by women leaders, is a transformative idea.  However, without his innovative acumen and creative design mastery, this idea could remain transformative, yet unrealized.  Richard’s unyielding commitment to professional excellence, driven by his relentless pursuit of artistry and creativity, resulted in the launch of the Empower Your Confidence initiative in 2010 through the Jones New York brand.

Richard’s vision of the future of professionalism integrates his legacy of creative perspectives resulting from coaching and being coached.  The Empower Your Confidence initiative is a nexus of his leadership, creative genius, and branding skill. It is the essence of originality crystallized in a distinctive and new strategic direction for JonesNew York.  This seminal work product articulating Dickson’s vision is evidenced in a stunning sepia print presenting empowered women framed inNew York’s Grand Central Station.  This photo captured the imagination of the international fashion industry and launched JonesNew York’s new strategic vision heralded by the power and potential inherent in these women. It concretized Dickson’s vision and evidences his exemplary leadership.

Richard’s vision of the future of professionalism provides witness to and models world class leadership creating new worlds of enablement through empowerment.


The future of professionalism is the work of leadership.  Leaders who are coached and coach others are the leader-coaches of the future.

Lead, coach, and achieve.  

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