You realize that developing your leadership and that of your team gives you a competitive advantage. After all, behavior is what drives your company’s strategy, structure, culture, and systems.
You are also starkly aware that what got you to this point won’t carry you into the future. In this complex world, a commitment to developing talent at all levels of the enterprise is not a nice idea – it’s a necessity.
Where do you start? You’ll want to model from the top, and so you are probably thinking that a first good step would be to hire a coach for you and key members of your executive team.
Executive coaching has been highly recommended to you as leader as the best answer to your development. You’ve read the statistics and they sound promising. The ROI for executive coaching has a healthy average of 7 to 10 times the investment, with some even reporting up to 49 times.
But you have a nagging doubt that has kept you from making a move to start the process. What if it doesn’t work for you? You’ve heard of a couple of stories where another decision-maker’s coaching experience didn’t meet expectations. Wasted time, energy, and money.
How can you make sure you get the same great results you keep reading about – and move confidently as you meet the future, now?
Here are 5 reasons that executives might not get the kind of return you read about – and how to start out right so that you can make an investment that pays off well for you.
Five Reasons Executive Coaching Experiences Fail
1. You don’t know what kind of coach you need.
Opening a coaches’ directory will reveal different kinds of coaches, and the choice can be overwhelming. Here are the three primary types of coaches so that you can see the difference:
a. Life coach – focuses on the whole person, personal and professional goals, aspects of life such as health, wellness, personal finances, life direction, and more.
b. Business coach – brings processes, tools, and concepts to team and enterprise growth (business coach and business consultant are closely related with quite a bit of overlap). Works on a variety of goals, including strategy, marketing, overall performance, and more.
c. Executive coach – helps unlock leadership potential, facilitating change in someone’s personal behavior that will ultimately result in achieving business goals. Executive coaches are typically hired to help C-suite, VPs and other executives with setting, supporting, and achieving personal improvement goals. Examples of focus can include developing greater leadership skills, managing staff, improving communication, managing conflict well, increasing productivity, increased agility, decision-making, and more.
2. Your coach doesn’t have the formal training and certification to be most effective.
Has your coach had the benefit of a robust accredited coaching program that utilizes proven methodologies for best adult learning and development? And are they certified with the International Coach Federation or similar accrediting body so that you can be sure they meet highest standards in ethics and in practice?
3. Your coach doesn’t use a solid model and framework for results.
Unless your coach can use a solid model and process that keeps you focused on the goals you set with them, keeps you moving forward, allows you to assess progress as you move forward, and has the ability to truly measure outcomes, then you will not be able to bank on best results.
4. Your coach can’t meet you at your level to provide the support you need.
Coaches vary in their own levels of personal development and leadership experience. A coach does not need your industry background, or to have held the same position you now hold. However, they need to be able to help you navigate your growth and understanding where you are in your development and how you meet the world is vital to their asking the right questions to do so. The coach’s own leadership background, as well as their past client roster and client testimonials should be helpful indicators as to whether they can support you well in this regard.
5. You aren’t willing to do the work.
Change is challenging, and it requires great courage and vulnerability to look at one’s own “growing edges.” Many clients have hired coaches, only to go through the motions and not give the initiative the focus necessary to truly develop self. If you recognize that you are ready to step into a higher level of leadership, make the commitment to do the work. The results are life-changing when you give it 100%.
In order to manage well in an ever-evolving, complex world, having an able thought partner who helps you to see the landscape and navigate well is priceless. The ROI of executive coaching can be a game-changer for you, your team, and the company, if you are confident in how to go about selecting a coach, and if you make a strong commitment to change.
Patti Cotton helps executives optimize their effectiveness in leading self, others, and the enterprise. Her areas of focus include confidence, leadership style, executive presence, effective communication, succession planning, and masterful execution. With over 25 years of leadership experience, both stateside and abroad, Patti works with individuals, teams, and organizations across industries, providing executive consulting, leadership development, succession planning, change management, and conflict resolution. She is also an experienced Fortune 500 speaker. For more information on how Patti Cotton can help you and your organization, click here.