Luke, the CEO of a thriving midwestern transportation company, was barely managing 63% growth per year. He couldn’t hire people fast enough, his team was on the verge of burnout, he had twelve direct reports, and he worked all the time. His greatest concern was that he’d have a heart attack or lose his marriage. He needed coaching to cultivate his core team, let go of some responsibilities and direct reports, and set healthy boundaries.
Steve, a director at a large global consulting firm, was sick of not getting the credit and compensation he deserved. He was 51 years old and it was time to get promoted, get more responsibility and solidify his strategic position. He needed coaching to increase influence, connect better with others, raise his profile, credibility and contribution.
Ann, an entrepreneur with a growing tech startup wanted to build a culture of high performance and engagement—while also propelling and streamlining sales and marketing. She needed coaching on how to powerfully enroll and engage others—both inside and outside of her company. On top of that it was time to delegate optimally and create consistency in results and ownership.
Step Up To The Mike
I’ve used many coaches over the decades and the results have been profound. Coaching has helped me to: build seven highly profitable companies, and sell 5 of them for an average 700% return on investment; get clear on what I do and don’t want and stick to my standards; create a deeply fulfilling life and remarkable relationships. And that’s just the short list.
The Two Key Reasons Executives Get Coached Are:
1. It’s Lonely At The Top
CEOs—and many executives in general–can’t discuss all of their greatest concerns and challenges with their team, their key executives or their Board members—they need to be perceived as a pillar of strength. A coach is a safe and confidential sounding board.
2. To Grow Your Leadership
Coaching helps executives to grow by:
- Expanding their vision
- Seeing into their blind spots
- Releasing challenging behaviors
- Managing their internal state—regardless of external situations
And they help their teams to grow by:
- Sharing leadership and delegating better
- Managing conflict optimally and completely
- Building vibrant, accountable, committed teams
- Mentoring and developing the next generation of leaders
- Getting out of running the business and into more strategic matters
Stanford’s recent study on executive coaching found the above to be the top reasons for coaching too.
Crank Up Your Ampundefined
Curious about coaching? Make sure you do these three things:
1. Assess Your Current Leadership Effectiveness
Take 7 minutes to assess your leadership effectiveness here. Then you’ll have a high level idea of what to work on with your coach. Your coach will also likely do a 360 assessment to show you how others experience your leadership.
2. Pick the Right Type of Coach
There are four types of coaches. Pick the one that best serves your needs:
Life Coach – helps you figure out what you want in life and how to get it
Accountability Coach – helps you set and track goals
Business Coach – helps you build your business (because they’ve built many)
Executive Coach – does all the above (and has operational experience)
Coaching is a super personal and powerful experience. Pick a coach who can take you where you want to go, and will make the journey fascinating and fun.
3. Select Your Scope
Maximize the value you get at each coaching session by emailing your coach 24 hours beforehand with what you want to address. Key areas I like best are:
- Challenges you are having (leadership or personal, if affecting your performance)
- Areas in your leadership you would like to grow
- People, communication, influence, team dynamics or social dynamic challenges
- Personal experiences you would like to shift or change around a specific topic
- Business strategy support you are seeking
- Places you feel stuck or don’t understand why you are having the results you are having
During coaching certain themes (not holding your value/lack of healthy boundaries, disappointment/frustration with others and self, low confidence, unclear communication/not being present to others, low ability to influence others, creating more credibility internally and externally, ineffectively enrolling and aligning others, micro-managing/controlling, etc.) will come clear. Your coach will help you to release your limiting themes so you can have more energy to focus on the most exciting work of coaching—growth and transformation.
Here’s an additional assessment (this one takes only 3 minutes!) to assess if coaching would help you to help others. Click here.
See The Lighters Blaze
So what happened to Luke, Steve and Ann? We applied our neuroscience techniques (see SmartTribes: How Teams Become Brilliant Together) via coaching with all three. Luke maintained his growth pace; further cultivated the leadership team to help balance his workload; streamlined his executive team’s focus, influence, and clarity; and ended the burnout. His team is happy and energized, and his marriage has never been better.
Steve raised his profile and increased his ability to influence and become more strategic to the firm. He’s now an SVP and in charge of some key initiatives. His compensation package has been significantly increased.
Ann’s sales and marketing teams are now firing on all cylinders. Her staff is lit up and owning their areas and results like never before—so Ann can focus on building the business.
What To Do Next:
Take our 7 minute leadership assessment now.
Take our 3 minute growth assessment to take the pulse of your culture.
Christine Comaford (@comaford) is a 5x CEO with 700% ROI on her company exits. Today she uses the top neuroscience-based techniques to help leaders get remarkable results. Her current New York Times Bestseller is SmartTribes: How Teams Become Brilliant Together.