There are many reasons people hire a coach. I remember back in high school I hired a personal hitting instructor to teach me the systematic approach to hitting. Yes, there is a systematic approach to hitting a baseball.
Before I hired the coach, I thought that I would just get up to the plate and swing as hard as I could. Actually, there are many critical elements to hitting such as grip on the bat, depth and distance to the plate and stride toward the ball. I had no idea all that I was missing related to hitting a baseball. My approach needed to be changed, yet I did not know how.
Coaching for executives can accomplish similar outcomes, such as self-awareness, greater effectiveness, short term goals and even strategies to better communicate with your team.
There are three reasons why you need a coach:
1.) Reason #1: You Are Stuck. Your career may be stuck, your business may be stuck, your team may be stuck or you are just not flourishing in your role. You realize that what you have done before is not creating the results you want today. For me, I needed to move from being a .250 hitter to a .300 hitter. Your coach ought to help you feel and be more effective.
“The problem for most leaders is that they have stopped growing, stopped developing and have stopped improving. They are stuck in the same mindset that they had 20 years ago.” Center for Creative Leadership
You see as a leader you have to continue to improve both in the reach of your leadership and the depth of your leadership. You may have a greater reach in terms of revenue, more employees and more accounts, yet at the very same time you need to develop greater capacity and depth. Otherwise you will just get stuck.
2.) Reason #2: You Have No Vision. Forget the word if you are tired of reading it. The word vision conjures so many different ideas. In essence, your vision is a future that has not arrived yet and what you want to see unfold.
As an aside, you should pay attention to Generation Y because they come to your company expecting to leave in 2 – 3 years. One way you can mitigate this movement is to help them co-create the vision or at the very least make sure they understand where you are going.
Here is a question or two to help you create and draft your vision:
“If you could, how would you use your strengths, talents and interests to change your business and world?”
“Describe that situation where you felt like you experienced a great outcome and loved what you were doing at the same time.”
A coach can partner with you to create your vision. Sometimes just having a person observe, help synthesize and affirm the content from the story of our lives can make all the difference between having a vision and being a walking to-do list.
3.) Reason #3: You Have Been Recently Promoted Or Hired. You have received a new position or a new promotion and you would like support and training for that next phase in your career. An executive coach can partner with you to develop goals, hold you accountable, identify new strengths or leverage old ones.
The data is startling about executive leadership. According to Hogan, 50% of executives fail in new positions. This risk can be minimized by partnering with an executive coach.
One idea would be to utilize a peer coaching model to bring your team together to work on actual business issues. This becomes extremely developmental as the competencies that are developed are deployed in a relevant business situation.
If you have used a coach before, what made it successful? What other reasons your business has deployed an executive coach?