A CEO I work with recently confessed that before meeting me, he was skeptical about executive coaches. I understand that as there are no barriers to entry in this field.
This means anyone can call themselves a coach.
He recently wrote me a note saying, “Because of you, I am a much better CEO than I could have imagined. You have helped me to learn from some of the most difficult decisions in my career. You have also helped me understand the value of being direct and leading with the heart.”
You might be surprised to know that coaches can also be skeptical. Here’s a recent example of a situation where I cautiously moved forward with a particular client.
A potential client reached out to me about coaching. On all accounts, she seems to be a solid leader. However, we both agreed that there were several areas where even a slight improvement could make a huge difference in how she’s being perceived in the organization and what this could mean to her career.
If you’ve been following my work, you know that I firmly believe that management is all about perception. You might think you’re the greatest leader in the world, but if others disagree, none of that matters.
After a brief conversation, she decided to hire me as her coach and I agreed to work with her.
Here’s why I accepted this assignment.
- She’s a good manager who believes she can be a great From my perspective, this means that she is willing to do the work required to get to where she wants to go.
- She’s open to feedback. She shared with me a few tough conversations she’s had with her boss and is willing to make the necessary changes to change his perception of her.
- This individual is willing to invest in herself. Like most people these days, she has little time to devote to anything that is not directly related to achieving the objectives she and her boss have agreed to. Our work together is important enough for her to find the time needed to invest in herself.
- She’s willing to be challenged. She knows that I’ll probably push her out of her comfort zone. She’s a bit nervous about this, but also excited. So am I. She’s got so much untapped potential. I can’t wait to see her soar.
Here are some questions to ask yourself if you’re in the market for a coach.
- Am I willing to make an investment in myself? Coaching takes time and hiring a good coach isn’t a minor investment. Are you willing to give up some things now to have a better future?
- Am I ready to hear the truth? It’s hard for some people to hear how they’re being perceived by others. I totally get that. But isn’t it best to know so you can control your own narrative?
- Is there anyone in the organization that I can trust to be my confidant? You’ve heard that saying, “It’s lonely at the top.” This saying is true. I was in the executive suite for a number of years, and I can personally attest to the fact that trusted sounding boards are in very short supply.
- How satisfied am I with how my career is going? Could I benefit from a boost? If an opportunity were to present itself tomorrow, would I be the obvious choice for this promotion?
- If not now, when? This is the most important question to ask yourself. Many people say they’ll get to something and never do. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been told, “I’ve been thinking about hiring a coach for “X” number of years.” If you’re ready for a transformative experience, now’s the time to take that leap of faith.
I’m winding down several coaching assignments and have a few spots available to take on new coaching clients. Schedule a call with me if you’re interested in exploring how coaching can greatly benefit you and your organization.