by Eric Kaufmann
Executive coaching is an inside out process that helps leaders make better decisions, increase engagement, magnify team cohesion, and accelerate results. They engage in coaching because they:
- Recognize that leadership growth is more than just acquisition of knowledge
- Are willing to participate in a rigorous and honest self-appraisal
- Have the confidence to ask for support to become more effective
- Devote time, energy, and resources to make changes over time
- Have the courage and trust to discuss their strengths and challenges
So why don’t all smart and driven executives work with a coach? Here are the top 7 reasons (excuses, really) NOT to hire an Executive Coach:
7. “I don’t have time for coaching.”
No executive has more than the 168 hours all other execs have each week. The question is, how do you choose to spend your time? My clients aren’t engaged because they’re bored; they are among the most productive leaders. Rather, they are super conscious of how they invest their time.
Coaching doesn’t take time, it nets time. Within 45 to 90 days, they report that they stop doing other people’s work, start getting home earlier,and devote more time to the most important relationships in their lives.
6. “I’ll wait until I get over this hump… (project, challenge, goal, etc.)”
Well, that’s a sweetly naive prediction of the future. Remember last year, last quarter, last month,last week? There are endless “humps” stacked up just behind the current one.
Generally, coaching clients wished they had joined six or 12 or 18 months earlier.
5. “I’m too busy running my business.”
Senior leaders report that spending time on their business (rather than in their business) with a seasoned coach makes them more effective leaders.
Within months of engaging in coaching, executives are doing more in less time.
4. “I can’t afford coaching.”
Professional development is a normal line item for execs. You must be willing to invest in your own growth as a leader because there is no organizational transformation without personal transformation.
Clients engage coaching for the ROI, not because they need to check a box or find some way to spend money.
3. “I already have advisers.”
Of course your friends,spouse, and colleagues give you advice; but it isn’t agenda-free advice. They have an angle: love and affection, desire to impress, or an axe to grind. Their advice might be good, but it isn’t free of some agenda.
As an executive coach I give you my best thinking, take it or leave it. My only agenda for you is your achievements and, really, I’m less interested in answering your questions than questioning your answers.
2. “I can’t trust others with my secrets.”
Wait, are the cops after you? Or the IRS? Coaching is completely confidential because that is the necessary ingredient for true sharing. How else would I be successful or ever receive a referral?
Mature leaders develop clarity about what to share and what to keep. And more importantly, they cultivate the courage to trust others as a commitment to being trustworthy.
1. “I can’t possibly learn from other people.”
Is this narcissism, blindness, or naiveté. Non of us are a self-made man, we are all products of our relationships. Don’t sing the praises of isolation because, as we know, no man is an island. Kennedy once said that, leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.
Every coaching client will tell you: I have learned fundamental lessons from my coach, and from the experiments we devised together.
In the spirit of leading and learning.
Most speakers aim for applause. Eric Kaufmann aims for getting results. He’s provocative, engaging, and always equipping leaders with better wisdom that yields better decisions and drives better results. To invite Eric to share his Leadership inspiration at your next event, please click here.