By Conor Neill
This list is Conor’s “Sunday afternoon in a coffee shop brain dump” of reasons why Business Leaders seek the support of an Executive Coach or Mentor either independently or through an organisation like Vistage.
I’ve been working on leadership development for over a decade through my roles at IESE Business School, Entrepreneurs Organisation and Vistage. I’ve come across hundreds of coaches and thousands of business leaders who have benefitted from the support of a coach.
1. I have a specific need
- I regularly fail to achieve results (typically in one specific area)
- I want something specific (a promotion, more money, get fit, better golf handicap)
- I am frustrated at myself and nothing seems to be working
- I cannot relate effectively with somebody (children, parents, boss, team mates, senior leaders, wife/husband/girlfriend/boyfriend)
- I’m having a conflict with a colleague.
- I am burnt out/overwhelmed and need to release some of the pressure
2. Someone Else tells me that I Need a Coach
- HR assigns coaches to all senior managers
- HR puts me on “fast track”
- HR identifies me as “needs improvement” but valuable enough to make the effort
- My friend/wife/husband/boss has told me that I have to make changes
3. Conditions change
- I have been fired or my job made redundant
- I start a new business
- I change career path or change company
- I need new skills for my role (public speaking, writing, leading, managing others)
4. I am Stuck
- I don’t know what I want (but I know that where I am now is not it)
- I have been passed over for promotion
- I need some help advancing my career, my career trajectory has hit a plateau.
- I feel bored with my life
- I feel that my improvement has stopped in an area of passion (golf, tennis, fitness)
- I feel that I am missing out on life (FOMO)
5. My Leadership is Ineffective
- We don’t have a strategy.
- It takes too long to get things done.
- Turnover is high.
- My employees do not take responsibility for results
- The leadership team is not moving in the same direction.
- I need to take my Leadership Team or my Board to the next level.
6. I want to “Win”
- I want to achieve something that will give me a sense of winning
- I want to increase my life challenge, I want to avoid complacency
7. I want to be Inspired
- I wish to experience an excellent role model
- I want to see how you coach/lead me, what techniques you use
8. I want Validation
- My self-worth depends greatly on external validation
- I lack a strong group of supportive friends
- I lack a trusted confidante who will be fully honest
- I need clear, objective and usable feedback
The Coach’s Perspective on Executive Performance
What about you? Have you ever worked with a Coach?
What other situations or triggers would cause someone to see out Executive Coaching? What is missing? When have you sought out coaching?