Being the boss at the top of the shop is not easy. It can be a very lonely place. You can’t confide your fears and concerns to vendors and direct reports; you can’t vent with those around you about the employees that are driving you crazy; and of course, you can’t share your dreams of selling the company or starting a completely different business with anyone who works for you.
It’s why many CEOs and Managing Partners of professional service firms hire leadership coaches and work with them for a long time. The Executive Coach’s agenda is to support you, play devil’s advocate when needed, and help you navigate what is circling in your head. The confidentiality of the executive coaching relationship allows for open, completely honest conversations that have the power to create massive shifts in awareness and growth.
Three Game-Changing Things an Executive Coach Gives You
The space to be yourself
During the coaching session, you can “let your hair down” and discuss whatever is on your mind – like the stuff that is bugging you that you can’t talk about with anybody else. The coach is your sounding board that helps you see things from a different perspective and find solutions to problems.
A look inward…and a broader view
A great Executive Coach connects the dots between your previous experiences, your habitual ways of taking action, and input from those around you to reveal patterns that limit your effectiveness as a leader. The coaching pushes you to take an honest look at yourself; it helps you understand the impact that different decisions and slight behavior shifts can make on your team and the business as a whole.
The full picture on your leadership skills
The Executive Coach can conduct confidential interviews to hear what employees, vendors, and clients think of your leadership style, including the good news and the not so good! This is crucial input for a leader; it’s the kind of information that most people won’t communicate directly to their boss or business owner. For many of my clients, this is the first time they truly understand the impact they have on those around them. The feedback usually casts a light on major blind spots that need to be addressed. At the same time, it reveals strengths that the leaders might have underestimated about themselves.
Executive Coaching for the “Top of the House”
I am currently coaching a managing partner of an accounting firm. When we started working together, his stakeholder feedback showed that he needed to slow down and build better working relationships with his colleagues. This client is a huge visionary for his firm and didn’t realize his innovative approaches and the lightning speed with which he takes action made many feel left out and unaccepted. It was a crucial piece of information for his leadership impact and one that those around him would never have shared with him directly.
My role as his coach is to help him process his thoughts on whatever is going on. He usually arrives at each coaching session with a list of things he wants to unpack. These can range from actions by an executive committee member that concern him, the pros and cons of the latest firm he is considering acquiring or how to support one of the junior partners who is not cutting it. My job includes throwing him challenges to step out of his leadership comfort zone, like facing a difficult conversation head on or viewing a situation from a new angle.
Often after a coaching session, clients take a deep breath and say how thankful they are to be able to discuss these topics with someone!
On To You
Do you run a department or a firm? Do you have your own business and feel lonely at the top? Would you like the opportunity to step aside from the day-to-day and have this sacred space to talk and think about what is on your plate, with someone who truly has your back?
Call me; I would love to talk to you.