Is an executive coach the answer?

Coaches for executives

In the world of sports, any person at high-peak performance level has a coach. In order to achieve their goals, they need someone who can look them in the eye and say: ‘You’re good, but here are a couple of steps that will make you better’.

An executive leader has to perform high-peak 24/7, their decisions impact multiple people, cash flows and business transactions, but there is usually no one there to coach them through this process. We assume that they are capable, which they certainly are, but we forget that in an environment where the pressure is high, people don’t have much time left to step back and reflect on what they are doing, what their goals are and how they are going to get there. This is where a coach can make a significant difference.

A coach is not a consultant. They won’t go around and tell you that you need to shift your production to a different state, they can’t tell you if your staff lost their engagement with the business or if your IT-systems need to be upgraded. A coach looks at the behaviours of your Executive Leaders and how they influence the business. Let’s compare it to the world of sports again: The coach can’t go and replace a certain muscle in the Athletes body, but they know exactly how to use the muscle to create the best speed. It works the same for an executive coach; they equip an executive to be more aware when dealing with situations and step back and prioritise.

Coaches for executives is not a new concept. The main difference is that this role was once reserved for a trusted friend, the board chairman or any other person in the business that has a deep institutional and industry knowledge. Nowadays, with flatter and leaner organisations, it’s harder for the people in need to access these people. So who needs an executive coach? This varies for every organisation, but it should be reserved for people who are critical to your organisation’s success or will be in the future: C-level, heads of business unit or your high-potential young leaders.

Coaches usually target multiple areas of behavior that is limiting peak performance. Sometimes a leader needs coaching in a certain area. In that case you can consider a targeted coaching session as supposed to hiring a general coach. Be Learning offers programs that are targeted at improving communication skills, delegation skills, influencing skills or presentation skills.

If you want your executive leaders to perform like elite athletes in their industry, a coach could be the answer