Are You Ready For Executive Coaching?
Take This Test…
Executive coaching is not for everyone.
You might be surprised to learn a successful executive coaching relationship is usually determined before the first conversation ever occurs.
That’s because the positive results produced during coaching are more dependent upon the life situation and goals you bring to coaching than the coaching process itself. The key factor to success is how well your needs match the benefits provided by my coaching services.
I had a lot to learn about running a business. I was more than a little overwhelmed. Your coaching really helped me get the company off to a good start.” D. R. CEO, Aptos
In other words, selling executive coaching is a sorting process – not a sales process – based on the needs of the client.
That is the purpose of the free coaching session – to see if the fit is right before you ever pay a dime. Those clients that match the profile usually pursue a coaching relationship because the benefit is obvious, while others are directed to more appropriate resources.
Below are the three key criteria I look for during executive coaching test drives to make sure the benefits you experience will exceed the cost of my services. Let’s see how well your needs and life situation fit these three criteria…
How Big Is Your Goal?
The first step in determining if you are the right client for executive coaching is what I call “gap analysis.”
- Define the gap between your current situation and where you want to be as a result of coaching. This is your goal.
- Then decide what that goal is worth to you to determine if you’re willing to pay the price to get there.
In other words, it will cost you money and it will also cost you time and energy to produce sufficient results to close the gap. Is the goal worth it?
For example, let’s say you are in an executive position with a respected company, and yet you are not happy and are not having the impact you thought you would. You know you have more to offer, but it hasn’t manifested yet. You have read business books, attended leadership trainings and spoken with friends, but somehow you don’t see the solution for you personally.
I want you to help me identify my strongest and most marketable skills and align these skills with my life experience, values, and interests, such that I am more like to achieve greater ‘peace within.’ D.D. Director, Pasadena
In this situation the gap is in the difference between where you want to be and where you are, you are highly motivated, and the price of coaching easily justifies the end goal. You would be a likely coaching candidate.
However, a prospective client who is unemployed and in credit card debt and just wants to find a solution would not be a good coaching candidate. This person would be better off saving the coaching fees, using less expensive educational resources, and applying the money saved to paying down the debt. The goal is incongruent with the service costs.
This relationship of goal size to service costs explains why I don’t offer coaching programs for the unemployed. It is a huge, lucrative market, but it only makes business sense for the coaching company – not the client. Unemployed clients are appropriately served by lower priced products.
Instead, all my coaching services are designed for maximizing your potential because the high stakes involved more than justify the expense when accelerated progress results. Coaching becomes a revenue producer instead of an expense.
Is your goal big enough to support coaching?
What Is Your Personal Path To A Fulfilled Life?
The next step in determining if you are a good fit for executive coaching is to examine your life situation for ways that coaching can add value.
If you are scrambling to meet your financial obligations, are content with your employer taking care of your career or are determined to make it work on your own, don’t buy personal executive coaching. It is a bad value. (Seek group coaching for an appropriate alternative)
I know this is a bold statement because the vast majority of people are struggling to pay their bills, are letting their employers drive many of their decisions and/or are focused on the dream of the self-made man. Therefore, I have told a majority of people not to buy my one-on-one coaching services.
As I said before, personal executive coaching doesn’t make business sense for everyone. The reason is because there is not enough opportunity in these life situations to add sufficient value to justify the cost. Anyone who tells you otherwise is more interested in your money than serving you.
Don’t worry if you are part of this group. There are solutions that are perfect for your needs. They are low-cost and straightforward so don’t be duped into high priced coaching packages. See Striking A Balance, Reflections on What Matters, sign up to my newsletters, or read my articles.
Personal executive coaching clients have different needs and typically fit one of the following four profiles…
Chief Level Executive: You are the CEO of your company or belong to the C-Suite. You are caught between decisions made by the board of directors and the need to drive the business through your team. The key point is that you don’t have anyone you can strategize with outside of the day-to-day business you are running. How can you align your own goals with the goals for the company? The key point here is your strategy is hands-on (rather than passive) and you have enough at risk that a single bad decision avoided or a few decisions improved can easily pay for years of coaching fees with all the other education and growth thrown in for free.
Senior Executive in Transition: You are stuck.There seems to be no upward mobility and no way to maximize what you are capable of with your current employer. However, you have been so focused on your career path that you haven’t spent much time developing your career outside of your current company. Coaching makes sense because learning the hard way is not an acceptable learning choice. It will waste too much time on dead-end streets and cost too much time and money in mistakes. In this situation executive coaching makes business sense by saving time, providing accelerated learning, and avoiding costly mistakes.
Non-Profit Senior Leader: You are frustrated by the need to continually fundraise and bootstrapping your organization by working with volunteers. You are passionate about your cause, but you are struggling to make the impact you intended or the possibilities you know you are leaving on the table. The point is the outside perspective you can gain from an executive coach can optimize your impact and assure sustainability of your organization. You cannot afford not to engage in executive coaching to explore and maximize the possibilities.
Business Owner:You are launching a business, have an existing business (including professionals, attorneys, doctors, and consultants), or you’re looking at adding a sideline business as part of your impact strategy. Entrepreneurs and business professionals love executive coaching, but the most obvious justification from a cost/benefit standpoint is they have capital at risk with many potential leverage points for financial gain. It is a fairly simple process for coaching to help them avoid one mistake, improve one decision, or take the business to a higher level thus providing a return on investment that is several multiples of the cost. Entrepreneurs and business professionals frequently experience coaching as a revenue producing activity instead of an expense.
The common thread in each of the above situations is as follows…
- You are already in a leadership position in one way or another. You’re a business owner or a leader in your organization actively pursuing personal growth.
- The fact that you’re already in the game means you have something at risk and leverage points where improved decisions can make large differences in results produced.
- This means one mistake avoided, one insight gained, or one improved decision can pay for years of coaching with all the other education and growth thrown in for free.
In short, executive coaching becomes a smart business decision for these client situations because the value exceeds the cost.
The only relevant question remaining is, “Do you fit any of these situations?” You don’t have to fit all of them – just one or more.
Does Impact Coaching Fit Your Personal Style?
The third criterion for a successful coaching relationship is you must be coach-able. This can best be summarized in the following statements…
- I’m committed to a better life for myself and my family.
- I’m willing to invest a certain amount of time, energy and money toward achieving freedom if I have a legitimate expert with valid guidance to follow.
- I’m not looking for quick fixes. I want a realistic plan and view executive coaching as a long-term growth process to create the changes I want in my life.
- I am ready to do the work necessary to produce the results I desire, and I will let the coach do the coaching.
- I accept responsibility for my actions at all times and will not expect the coach to “fix” me because I know I am the only one who can make change happen.
- I have adequate funds to pay for executive coaching and will not regret or suffer about the fee. I view executive coaching as a worthwhile investment in my future and will gladly pay for educational insight that produces results.
- I will call on-time for coaching appointments, speak truthfully, be accountable for the results I produce, and be open to new and different ideas in order to achieve greater success.
So the last question for you to consider in this three step process is, “Are you coach-able?”
Ideal Executive Coaching Client – Summarized
In summary, there are three factors to consider when deciding if you are the right candidate for executive coaching and should proceed to a strategy session.
- Is your goal big enough to justify the price you will pay to achieve it?
- Does your life situation fit one of the four examples described so that you can expect coaching to produce more value than it costs?
- Are you coach-able so that your personal style supports success through the coaching process.
I was skeptical about coaching, but then I saw the change when you worked with S. even nine time zones away. I hired you because of the high level of trust, your multiculturalism, your professionalism. K.M. CEO, Utah
If you meet these three criteria then here is the reality you face… if you aren’t working with an executive coach then you are wasting time. You are literally throwing opportunity away because executive coaching has a high likelihood of being a revenue producer instead of an expense. And executive coaching guides you on your path to fulfillment.
Executive coaching isn’t right for everyone, but for the right candidate it is a no-brainer decision because the benefits exceed the costs making it smart business.
But for the right candidates, I encourage you to reach out for a free executive coaching session, so you can experience the benefits first-hand while taking the next step toward working with me as your own executive coach.
There is never any cost or obligation to try a strategy session. You have nothing to lose by checking it out, and it might just be the breakthrough you’re looking for.
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