Keep Your Executive Coach on Speed-Dial
Have you ever gotten out of bed with an enormous blast of energy? You are pumped for your day; you are ready to set the world on fire. But, when you get to the office you have five voice-mails waiting for you because someone missed a deadline, you realize your somewhat temperamental computer is not going to be cooperative on this particular day, your equally temperamental assistant called off, and to make matters even worse, you have to attend an emergency client meeting that wouldn’t have been an emergency if the client had followed your instructions. By the end of the day you have made zero progress on setting the world on fire, but instead have spent the last 9 hours putting fires out.
Days like that don’t happen because you aren’t successful, they happen because you are. They happen because you are able to multi-task and your company has learned to depend on you. Or, because you are an entrepreneur and you have what it takes to build your own company. You are at the top of your game and your skill set is in high demand. So, why does being successful often lead to stress, high blood pressure, and a decline in your ability to enjoy your personal life?
The answer isn’t about changing how you do things; it is about tweaking how you do them. Think of your career in the same manner that a top athlete thinks of his sport. He has the raw talent, he has honed that talent, and he can deliver that talent when called upon. But, he uses a coach to tweak it. The coach can objectively look at his talent and determine where it is best utilized. The coach can evaluate the entire picture and effectively utilize all of the talent on the team. Even in a more individualized sport like golf, a coach will look at the dynamics of the swing. He or she will break down each step in the swing process and help the athlete tweak it in a way that enhances the raw talent.
Why wouldn’t you give your career that same attention? An executive coach will give you the tools you need to tweak your world. A good coach will help you identify strengths that you weren’t aware of, will provide you with the ability to see areas that may need improvement. A good coach will help you set realistic goals that will not only stretch your skills, but will challenge you to reach your full potential. And then, that coach will give you solid advice on managing your time, organizing your tasks, communicating with those around you, delegating, supervising, leading, and even selling.
That coach will take your raw talent, your drive, your passion, and break down the pieces as if it were a golf swing. Your coach will hold you accountable and drive you towards results. You will find that many of the fires you have been putting out may have been avoidable. You will find that the long hours may have been unnecessary, and you will find that work can be less stressful and much more rewarding.
No matter where you are in your career, a coach will help you make it better. Executive coaching is a powerful tool. Studies are proving that the return on investment is usually six times the cost of the coaching. What started out as an intervention for troubled or struggling employees has become a staple in leadership development programs; top executives all over the world have their executive coach on speed dial- shouldn’t you?