This is the next post in a weekly series in which I attempt to answer a question from a leader somewhere in the world. Today’s Challenge is often framed like this: Great athletes have coaches, winning teams have coaches and many successful executives have coaches, should I hire a coach?
I think the answer to this question is: it depends. What are your goals? How much time and money do you have to invest in a coaching experience? Do you have people in your life who are willing and able to do what a coach would do for you?
For me, the answer is yes, I feel like I need a coach. I’ve been working with Daniel Harkavy and Building Champions for about 5 years. I wish I’d started working with them earlier in my career.
Here are some of the reasons I have a coach…
Perspective – Do you ever get so close to something you can’t see it objectively? The answer is yes, we all do. My coach has enough distance to see things I can’t see. Here’s an example: In one of my first calls, he challenged me on my marriage. I was stunned! He saw things in my relationship with my wife that were not contributing to a healthy, long-term relationship. I had no idea (in part, because I’m a guy – but the real issue is I didn’t have the proper perspective). Perspective is the main thing I get from my coach. He sees things in a way I don’t. I need that.
Accountability – I don’t know about you, but I need all the help I can get to do the things I want and need to do. I often refer to accountability as a gift you give to someone else. Unfortunately, those closest to us – our family, friends and co-workers - will often avoid the conversations about accountability. A good coach has no problem with this part of their role. My coach says if he does his job well, it always gets ugly. Tough love is required, and he provides it regularly.
Questions – I don’t know how other coaches do their job, but my coach asks great questions. Questions that stimulate thought, questions that challenge me, questions that help me grow as a leader and a human being.
Productivity – My coach has helped me improve my productivity drastically. As I’ve gotten busier, I need someone to help me do more with less. After a call with my coach, I changed one process in my work life that saves me on average 6 hours a week! I’ve done the math… that single coaching call has already saved me over a thousand hours! That’s a real productivity increase.
My advice for leaders, young and old, if you can find a way to pay for it, the right coach is a great investment in your future.
What do you look for in a coach? I’ll write about that next week.[GLS_Shield]