“Everyone needs a coach. It doesn’t matter whether you are a basketball player, a tennis player, a gymnast, or a bridge player.” He added, “We all need people who will give us feedback. That’s how we improve” – Bill Gates
“I am an established CEO, why do I need a coach? Is there something wrong? John Doerr, one of our board members said, ‘No, you need a coach. Everybody needs a coach’. So Bill Campbell became my coach. Every famous athlete, every famous performer has somebody who can watch what they’re doing and say, ‘Is that what you really meant?’, ‘Did you really do that thing?’ Give them perspective. One thing people are never good at is seeing how others see them. A coach really, really helps.” – Eric Schmidt, former Chairman, Google and Alphabet, Inc.
These are the cream of their crop. Elite executives who are high above the echelon of the business world. Why did they need a coach?
What is Coaching?
The International Coach Federation, or ICF, the gold standard in coaching defines coaching as “partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.”
The reluctance in working with a coach arises from the misconception about the duty and the role played by the coach in an executive’s life.
Coaching is not the same as mentoring, teaching, or therapeutic counselling. A mentor teaches, a consultant solves problems, while a coach facilitates.
A Culture of Improvement
Strong leadership builds a culture of improvement within their organization. They know that with continuous learning, people become highly engaged. And to promote this culture, leaders must be the first in line.
With coaching, an executive goes from great to sterling. Eric Schmidt called himself an “established CEO” yet, realizing he needed some polishing, got the coaching services of Bill Campbell, Silicon Valley tech executives’ trusted confidant.
Benefits of Getting a Coach
Do you agree that a lot of times you are oblivious to your own actions, how it impacts other people, how people perceive you or how you interpret other people? That is understandable. No one knows everything. The moment you think you know everything, you stop improving. That is why it is crucial to get a second opinion, or a “third eye“ if you will. Someone who will critique you, raise your self-awareness, listen to you and give you feedback, observe your words and actions, and break it up to give you an objective image of yourself. A coach does all that and then some.
The process could be uncomfortable, hurtful, and humbling, but the first step in learning is acknowledging a lack of knowledge. However, you must understand that your coach is your “trusted confidant.” He will not mince words to let you know your areas of improvement, but he is fully committed to lead you through your development journey.
Here are some benefits you can get by working with a coach:
- Enhanced decision-making skills
- A fresh perspective on professional and personal challenges
- Political nous
- Increased emotional intelligence and self-awareness
- Core competency improvement
- Increased productivity and prioritization
- Learn to navigate through work relationships
- Improved performance
- Be Accountable
According to the Trillion Dollar Coach, Jim Campbell, coach only the coachable. And the traits of these people are honesty, humility, willingness to persevere and work hard, and openness to learn. Do you have these traits?
How can executives move from great to sterling? Be teachable.
If you are willing to go through this amazing learning journey, let’s talk.
I am a Master Certified Coach. I guide executives, leaders, teams through mindset transformation and growth.