Why even the most successful CEO still needs a good coach
Surely successful CEOs don’t need coaches, right? Or do they? Chairman and CEO of Google Eric Schmidt says the best thing he ever did was hire a coach
Surely successful CEOs don’t need coaches, right?
Or do they? Chairman and CEO of Google Eric Schmidt says the best advice he ever got was to hire an executive coach. When board member, John Doerr initially suggested this, Schmidt resisted because he didn’t think he needed a coach. But in an interview with Fortune Magazine, he said “everyone needs a coach.”
How would a successful executive benefit from a coach? CEOs actually have more to gain from intelligent counsel than any other person on the org chart. Numerous studies provide ample data affirming the extraordinary results that can be achieved by utilizing a top CEO coach.
How will coaching benefit you?
1. You’ll gain perspective
At the top of an organization you have a unique perspective, but that perspective is also limited by your position of power. An executive coach is one of the few people able to tell you what you need to know, but cannot or will not see. Your coach can give you objective and constructive feedback on your blind spots, and provide an outside perspective on the business and your team.
2. You can discuss ideas that are still in the inkling stage and get support in making better decisions
Ideas and strategy can grow through discussion. We all need a sounding board, but often the only people around us are those that are impacted by the decision. Coaching is a place to test out ideas and strategy with someone you trust who has no vested interest or competing agenda.
3. You’ll transition into new, bigger roles with ease
“What got you here won’t get you there.” A good coach can help a leader hit the ground running in a new role. Past success can be a big impediment to moving up the ladder successfully as we tend to repeat what has worked in the past, even though it may not be appropriate in our new role. Executive coaching can accelerate the transition and ensure success.
4. You’ll have a secure, safe, and confidential outlet to vent, when necessary
Pent up frustrations, anger, and disappointments impair good judgment and relationships. Everyone needs a safe place to complain, vent, and talk things out.
5. You’ll stay ahead of the curve and become a better leader
To win, you need to continually upgrade your skills and think outside the box. Your coach will provide tools, training, and insights that support you in playing your best game.
Do you know what a coach does?
Before you dive head first into a coaching relationship let’s talk about what coaching isn’t.
Coaching is not advice from your friends or family
Though well-meaning, it’s tough for our friends and family to be objective. They know the decisions you make might affect them as well!
Coaching is not therapy
A therapist help clients fix problems – heal the past, cure additions, manage mental illness, etc. A therapist helps the client move from the past to present by focusing on “why.”
A coach is not a consultant
Your coach should not have an agenda. She shouldn’t give you suggestions to solve a problem and then leave you to implement the solution yourself.
A coach is not a mentor
Your coach is not someone who’s “been there, done that” and will share her experience.
Your coach isn’t going to help you with sports
She isn’t going to focus on win/lose scenarios.
Let’s talk about what coaching is.
There are many, many, many people doing what they call coaching. True coaching is done by either a certified professional or someone who has leveraged their experience to serve their clients and the coaching process is created in a very unique way. The most important factor to consider when hiring a coach is chemistry. Because coaching is a creative & collaborative effort based solely on what the client wants – the client’s agenda.
The ROI of Coaching
—In a global ROI study on coaching services, executives from Fortune 100 companies who had participated in coaching for 6-12 months evaluated an average rate of return of six times what the coaching cost their companies.
—Findings of a 2010 HDA Executive Coaching Survey show:
—97% of organizations believe that coaching has a positive impact on business performance
—97% of respondents believe that coaching enhances the ease with which changes areaccepted and implemented
—Individual and/or team performance improvement was rated as the main business benefit observed from coaching
—88% of organizations state that coaching provides value for the money
A good coach will:
-Be objective, non-judgmental, and a partner to your success
-Help you accomplish more than you thought you could
—Help you move forward from the present to the future by focusing on “how”
—Help you generate win/win solutions
—Help you be the very best you can be, inspire you, and champion you
—Help you come from a place of confidence
—Challenge you to focus your time and energy on what you really want to
Coaching is a partnership in which you and your coach designs a plan based on your agenda – taking what’s inside and translating it into goals that you accomplish step-by-step. So, what areas would you improve personally & professionally by hiring a coach?
This piece was originally published in The Philadelphia Business Journal.*
Kelly A. Meerbott is principal of You: Loud & Clear, Inc. in Philadelphia. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or www.youloudandclear.com.