Over the last 30 years, executive coaches have grown from a rarity to being nearly everyone’s “side hustle”. It feels like every day you see another post on social media talking about how to be successful and why you should sign up for their coaching package. Despite The obvious dilution of the overall quality of coaches in the market, a good executive coach will transform your career path and accelerate your overall career trajectory. So, how do you find a good executive coach? Speak to the people you know, and get referrals. The best way to vet a coach is to speak with people they have coached. Simple as that.
Additionally, working with an executive coach can help you improve your management skills, increase your team’s performance, and help you keep to your target career path. As you speak with your peers, you will find out that the vast majority of executives have at one point, or currently work with an executive coach. So why should you hire an executive coach? Let’s take a look at some of the ways executive coaches impact their clients’ careers. No remember, when you start your coaching, be sure to keep an open mind and go in ready to change!
This sounds simple, but so many people struggle to do this on their own. In fact, the majority of us fail to see how we actually are, and even when we do, we tend to resist acknowledging our own flaws. Self-awareness is a critical part of leadership and effective team management. When you engage with a good coach, you will notice that they immediately analyze who you are and what you’re about so that they can get a gauge of where you can improve. As a part of the coaching engagement, your coach will work on improving your level of self-awareness by patterning feedback and calling you out on the things no one else will. By the end of your coaching (and you may never want to leave), you will have been given the tools you need to have successful and positive interactions with those around you.
Over the years, we've heard countless stories of leaders running into problems because of their inaccurate assessments of their team and the people around them. These inaccurate judgments can cause good employees to leave due to a lack of support and investment and as a result, cause severe damage to a company’s growth plans. Leaders who fail to see people clearly may even stumble politically because they over or underestimate someone's ability to have an impact on their career success. A good and insightful executive coach will often have a more neutral and therefore unbiased opinion of those around you and they will share those perceptions with you. You can expect that they will take the skills you learned about seeing yourself more clearly and apply them here as well. This way, you leverage the same toolbox for improvement and increase the likelihood of experiencing lasting change.
When you reach the level of “executive” you will learn that what got you there is not what will help you stay there. When taking on a role as part of a company’s senior leadership team, the way you make decisions, set goals, and go about solving problems needs to evolve. When You are an IC (individual contributor), solving problems and measuring results is easy… just look at what you’ve done. When you are a leader, however, you need to rally others to accomplish the tasks that you define as a part of your overarching strategy. In fact, people who achieved success by being top performers often run into trouble when their role shifts from doer to manager.
For example, our team recently coached one of our Suite Members, who was an incredibly talented and intelligent Executive Vice President of a public company who was struggling to bring her team together to accomplish broader organizational goals. What she discovered through coaching was that she was taking on too much of the work herself and not effectively delegating. When you try to solve every challenge yourself you will usually find that the days are never long enough and targets never get hit. Through working with our team of coaches, she was able to change the way she assigned roles and put the right people on the right task in order to get the best outcomes.
Having an effective coach will help you unlock the qualities you already possess that will make you a better leader and more impactful executive. Often, people underestimate their strengths and tend to favor a more “humble” mindset that in reality, hinders their performance as leaders. Your coach will be able to help you toe the line between confidence and arrogance in order to help you use your “superpowers” to turbocharge your performance and help you level up.
Leaders can dramatically limit their effectiveness when they allow perceived judgments of others to get in the way of building relationships. As humans we tend to find comfort in people who remind us of ourselves; however, a good coach will push the boundaries of your thinking and help you see that it is in building relationships with people who think differently than you so that you can achieve the most mutual growth. An effective coach will help you to identify this flawed way of thinking in your own behavioral patterns and will supply the tools you need to correct it. The outcome? You become a better leader, executive, and human being. Additionally, you will grow the size of your network which you will be able to tap into.
This is the main course of any effective coaching relationship. A good executive coach will help you set goals, create a plan, and execute. The result is you achieving your list of goals that you set at the start of your coaching journey. Your coach can be a powerful ally along the way, often having a broad network to lean on and plenty of experiences to learn from along the way. They also make excellent support systems, wanting you to succeed but not being biased by friendship or close ties. Finally, and most importantly, your coach can teach you to leverage new ways of thinking and operating, new skills that will allow you to better reach your goals and create the career path you want.
With the recent rise in coaching popularity, there are many people working as coaches who do not have the experience, nor the know-how to effectively guide you on your path. Here’s some help in assessing a coach to make sure they are up to the task. Separately, it’s critical to remember that if you are not going into coaching with an open mind and the desire to change as well as the ability to recognize your own flaws, you will not benefit from having a coach. It may be scary, and at times your pride may push you to give up on coaching, but we assure you that a good coach can not only improve your performance but can also help you achieve levels in your career you never thought possible. Are you ready to start your journey?