You’re an executive, a founder, an entrepreneur of some stripe.
You’ve heard of coaching and the people who do it. Maybe you even know someone who’s been on the receiving end of that kind of service.
But that doesn’t mean you know why you would engage one, right?
Need Vs Want
Simply saying everyone needs a coach is probably misleading because that need depends entirely on what you know you are after.
Take sport, for instance.
Athletes need to learn and so need instruction to get better. That input is best obtained via a coach and in fact, when we think of coaching we most often think of those who work with athletes.
But do all athletes need a coach?
No. They don’t.
However, if they desire to play competitively, if you desire to play at a high level—especially at your highest level—then you would be well advised to get yourself a coach in order to:
- Identify and eliminate behavioral “blind spots” that are hurting performance.
- Create a collegial relationship where you are comfortable putting any and all of your cards on the table; where you can explore getting better at anything that’s important.
- Or, more specifically, to:
- Set strategic direction
- Get control of your time/schedule/stress/life/passion/email/team/productivity/talent/mood/everything
- Think more comprehensively about the issues you face, and
- Make plans for your career
Can you do all of that without a coach? YES.
Should you do all of that, with or without a coach? Absolutely you should!
Are your experience and outcomes going to be different if you employ a coach to traverse those paths, that journey, with you…?
YES: I guarantee you ALL those projects, objectives and aspirations will advance faster, and smoother, with a highly experienced coach alongside than if you went it alone.
It’s a matter of degree (plus whatever it’s worth to you to get where you want to go sooner).
What Keeps You Up And Gets You UP
The other way to approach this seemingly amorphous topic of ‘Why a Coach?’ is to lay out a whole host of issues, concerns, and conundrums that you, or someone you know, may be facing.
See what resonates as something you wrestle with or would like to wrestle with, and then we have at least arrived on the same page.
Perhaps you’re waking up in the morning and thinking:
- I am not getting enough from my people.
- My team is not aligned.
- My relationship with my supervisor/peer/direct-report is poor (or definitely could be better!)
- I can’t get anyone to buy into my idea.
- I need to change this culture (but they are resisting…)
- If we don’t improve performance soon, we’re in trouble!
- We can’t seem to get things done quickly and effectively around here.
- We need a new strategy, but no one even agrees on what the issues are.
- We have a strategy, but no one is making it happen!
- Some of our competitors are doing things that could put us behind.
- How will we adapt to the new regulations!?!
- My career seems to be at a standstill. I need help in moving forward.
- I need to have a difficult conversation with a superior/peer/direct-report, but I’m not sure I have the right approach.
- How on earth will we keep up with this new technology?
- I am overwhelmed and I don’t want to burn out.
- I can’t trust anyone else to get this done, but I don’t have time to keep doing this myself…
- We do not have enough leaders in the middle of this organization to achieve our growth goals.
- I think my job’s at risk, but I don’t know how to stay safe!
- I’m great at technology, but all of this “people stuff” is incredibly annoying and frustrating (and becoming the majority of my job..?).
- I just moved into a new role and I want to be sure that I succeed right out of the starting gate.
- I need a succession plan so I can hand this organization off or sell it.
- I have a conflict with a colleague and it is hurting performance.
- I just can’t seem to get clarity about this decision.
- There is so much to do that I can’t focus on what really matters.
Quite the list, isn’t it?
Yeah, sorry. I just wanted to really get it across there are plenty of excellent reasons for getting help with the nuts & bolts of leading an organization, a team, and yourself.
All of these issues have some things in common.
- They involve judgment-calls—they’re fundamentally subjective.
- They feel like confusion, or doubt, or anxiety, or frustration, or stuckness. And they invite impulsiveness, inactivity, or some other form of reactivity.
- Most importantly, they are vulnerable places to be and often represent us being stretched—at the limits of our skills and/or comfort zone. They are nerve-wracking! And even admitting that, may already mean we are completely out of our zone of competence (so why would we admit that!?!).
I’ll often say, “every ‘Arthur needs a Merlin” – someone who can help you be you, while changing for the better.
Could you go it alone?
Absolutely you could.
But haven’t you been doing that already…?