Managers coach in order to build employees’ knowledge and skills. Unless managers are handed a staff that possesses all of the knowledge and skills they will ever need to do their jobs, some learning must take place during the employment relationship. Coaching is simply a way that managers supplement any formal training and on-the-job learning that their employees get, and a way to give remedial instruction when performance deficiencies necessitate it. Coaching can also be part of a long-term effort to promote employee development. One of the criteria that leaders are evaluated on is how well they develop others. Some CEOs who are very effective at achieving goals such as expanding the business and boosting stock values do a poor job of preparing their replacements. When they leave, their former firm can flounder because no one was prepared to take over. One characteristics of the best leaders is that they groom others. Of course, managers are not the sole providers of executive coaching. Consultants are also often hired to coach executives. That kind of coaching focuses more on interpersonal skills and leadership styles than on technical competence. Although executive coaching is a growing industry, this LeaderLetter is focused on the coaching that managers personally provide their staff.