As an executive coach for the past eleven years, I have certainly learned much about working with high performing leaders and executives. The five key areas any leader or executive can benefit from an executive coach are:
- Work-Life Integration
- Uncovering Blind Spots
- Regaining Focus
- Identifying Obstacles
- Gaining a Trusted Advisor
The first step I take with a client, besides general assessment such as DiSC, EQ & 360, is seeking to determine how the executive is handling life balance. I prefer to refer to it as work-life integration. Too often the client has lost sight of their other commitments or life responsibilities and focuses primarily on the business or work. By neglecting the other areas of his or her life, too many times it leads to burnout at best, illness, isolation, depression or neglect, at worst.
The biggest threat to work-life integration is poor time management often coupled with poor delegation skills. Rarely do I find that the client doesn’t value “life balance” areas, but simply doesn’t have a good handle on managing the tasks in front of them. I immediately work with the client to reassess priorities around; faith, family, fitness, health & finances. We then work together to implement time management and delegation skills to create some additional bandwidth. Without a healthy work-life integration, I have found the executive is headed for disaster.
UNCOVERING BLIND SPOTS
The second benefit to working with an executive coach is to gain insights through a 360 assessment along with getting to know the leader's team, which will help to identify “blind spots” for the leader. Eric Schmidt said in an interview many years ago that we rarely see the way others see us. This is especially true with a high performing leader. By understanding your leadership style and how you operate in that style, the leader can begin to see how they impact their team in a negative way and take measures to modify their behaviors to adapt to the behavior styles of their team. This can greatly enhance a team’s harmony. A strong executive coach must be bold enough to point out the various “blind spots” that the leader cannot or will not see before any effective change can occur.
Too often the executive or leader is attempting to manage too many goals or objectives. A good coach can guide the client in clearly identifying the primary goal and objective. Is the client focused on revenue, more than developing the people that will carry the baton to increased sales? Ultimately the leader’s role is to cast a strong vision and empower the team to accomplish the primary goals for the company, rather than try to do it all themselves. To focus on more than two to five goals in any given quarter will generally lead to one of the objectives being missed. A clearly set annual goal that is understood by the entire team but must be broken down into manageable quarterly goals to ensure success.
Tied very closely to goals and objectives is the identification of obstacles. The roadblock must be identified and understood. Whether people issues, lack of resources or just poor planning, an executive coach can be a guide to not only uncovering obstacles but establishing a workaround solution to overcoming any roadblocks. A good executive coach can also help discern if the roadblock is, in fact, emanating from the “C suite” itself.
Finally, a good executive coach over time takes on the role of trusted advisor. Many executives suffer from isolation and need someone that is invested in their life and is watching their back, so to speak. Trust is key in this relationship. Once established there is no limit to the number of personal insights and information the coach will become privy to. The executive coach, at times, becomes a trusted friend that the leader can confide in and share their fears and dreams without fear of judgment or criticism.
At the end of the day, a good executive coach will be your trusted advisor that can help you accomplish greater success than you could on your own.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Carlos has had a varied career in business over the past 35 years. Carlos spent many years in sales and management, establishing the building blocks for the interpersonal skills, as well as the sales, negotiating, problem-solving, strategic planning, marketing, public relations and creative, concept selling skills and relationship selling skills required to be a successful executive. Employing these skills and experience has allowed Carlos to build a successful Business Coaching practice.
Through this venture, he is empowering business owners across the greater Houston area to reach new levels of revenues, profits, and increased personal fulfillment. To learn more about his coaching practice and connect with Carlos, view his profile or email him: email@example.com