No one needs coaching. (There’s your answer. You can stop reading.)
People want coaching. Teams want coaching. Top business executives want coaching. TED speakers want coaching. Presidents want coaching. Olympic athletes want coaching. These individuals are at the top of their game; leaders among their peers. None of them need a coach, and no leader needs a coach. However, those who choose to work with one do so because they believe it benefits them greatly. They looked at the list below and said to themselves: I can do better, and I would like the challenge to stretch my abilities, the perspective, advocacy and accountability a coach brings me.
Leadership and executive coaching is unquestionably a luxury. Is it worth it? Here are the signs that a leadership coach would have minimal impact, and provide little improvement for you, your organization and your bottom line:
You Are Extremely Insecure
There was a time when having a leadership coach was a sign of weakness. Now, however, a large number of organizations are routinely assigning a leadership coach to their fast-track talent. They are investing in the winners, not trying to save the losers.
Working with a coach definitely requires a level of vulnerability and acknowledgement of our challenges and weaknesses that an insecure person could not tolerate very well. Although coaching is a safe, non-judgmental, and 100% private space, it can be too much for many people.
You Are Sure Leadership Coaches Are Failed Leaders
Who hasn’t entertained this passing thought? If they are such a great leader themselves, why would they bother to help other leaders? Why wouldn’t they just get out there and lead already? Losers!
In fact, modern leadership studies have shown that the leaders who practice coaching others, promoting their teams, and improving other people’s abilities/productivity are actually the best leaders. Leaders can’t help themselves. Once you have a taste for uplifting others, you will want to coach more than anything else.
However, coaching is primarily about mutual trust and respect among equals. If you don’t respect coaches, you definitely ought not to engage.
You Don’t Have Time
Leadership coaching is a big commitment. It takes at least an hour every two weeks. (Gee, who has that kind of free time?) It also will require taking some self-assessments, and implementing some new habits and approaches into your normal routine.
Of course, overworking, overwhelm, burnout, deadlines, stress, grind culture, and hustling are a badge of honor. The higher we climb, the prouder we are of our busy schedules. After all, look at what it has helped us achieve!
Actually, having more than enough time to do everything we value, creating space to be strategic, innovative and visionary is a luxury no one can afford—right? Knowing leadership coaching helps with time management means you might lose your edge. Best avoid it.
You Can’t Afford A Leadership Coach
Leadership coaches aren’t cheap. It’s true. There’s a reason for that. It boosts productivity, growth, and income. A Fortune 500 company study concluded that Executive Coaching produced a 788% ROI. The study noted that excluding the benefits from employee retention, a 529% ROI was the result. (Executive Briefing: Case Study on the ROI of Executive Coaching, Merrill C. Anderson, Ph.D., MetrixGlobal, LLC)
You know the saying: It takes money to make money. So, maybe it is true that right now you can’t afford a coach. I’m not here to tell you that you can. But, I can share that if you keep doing what you have always done, then you can be fairly certain you will get what you have always gotten.
You’ve Got This!
You are a leader. You have figured out how to get this far. You can figure out how to reach that next goal too. And you are absolutely right. You can research, hire some consultants (many of whom cost more than leadership coaches, by the way), experiment with a little trial and error (that costs too!), and eventually you’ll get there. You are smart enough, motivated enough, talented enough and hopefully have enough time and resources for the journey.
A coach can typically get you there in half the time, but you’d miss all that fun learning, and ability to blame the employees who left. You might even find that you’d have to let go of some of the credit and some of the control in order to grow.
You Are Comfortable
If you prefer running under the radar, avoiding change, and minimizing risk, then leadership coaching is probably not for you. It ought to come with a warning label, actually. WARNING: May increase danger of visibility and influence. Side effects include ability to navigate change, innovative thinking, accelerated growth, and goal achievement. Keep out of reach of anyone who operates under the illusion that they can avoid facing challenges, obstacles, or economic pressures.
In all seriousness, leadership and executive coaching really isn’t for everyone. It is expensive. It is challenging, and not every coach is a good fit, or even qualified. What I hope you will explore and consider is simply this: Are you making excuses, in order to avoid stepping into an even more amazing version of yourself as a leader, or are you just not interested in trying?