Executive coaching is a powerful, proven process for helping executives, entrepreneurs and professionals develop their next level of leadership, on the job and in real time.
Our coaching is founded on three core principles.
- Leaders are in the business of solving problems that others can’t. With each level of responsibility you take on, the problems become less about solutions and more about tradeoffs, less about logic and more about relationships, less about finding the right answer and more about finding a better approach.
- Leadership is something you develop, not something you do. With each level of responsibility you take on, there’s another level of leadership competence you need to invest in developing.
- Over time, this becomes increasingly difficult to do. With each level of responsibility you take on, there are more expectations that you should already know what to do, and fewer people you can talk to about the areas where this isn’t true.
Do you remember back when you had simple problems, where you just needed to figure out the right solution? Like getting the right answer on a test? Ahh…those were the days. One of the most frustrating truths of leadership is: if there’s an easy problem, it shouldn’t be on your desk. If there’s a simple solution, it’s someone else’s job.
The thing about hard problems is they don’t have a right answer. Instead, it often feels like you’re stuck between two bad choices. When you have too much to do, do you sacrifice your commitments or cancel on your children? When a star player gets out of line, do you bring down the hammer or look the other way? When your division has a shortfall, do you cut back on customer service or miss your quarterly number?
And when work becomes too stressful, do you push yourself harder or quit and give up in some way?
Hard problems require creative solutions. But the more stressed you are, the harder it is to be creative, because stress is a polite name for fear. Biologically, it’s a fight or flight reaction, which pulls the blood from your brain and into your body. While a certain amount can be productive, high levels of stress increase activity while destroying creativity.
Leaders are in the business of finding creative solutions to stressful problems. But stress reduces creativity. Which brings up your fears. That you’re not supposed to have. Which creates even more stress.
Talk about a hard problem.
The Third Choice
One of the most fascinating things we’ve discovered, in more than 80 years of combined coaching experience, is this: when you’re facing a hard problem, there’s almost always a third choice you haven’t seen yet.
Not because you’re not smart enough. But because you’re not high enough. You’re so close to the problem that it’s hard to step back and gain a clear enough perspective to think creatively and find new options.
With executive coaching, this is one of the critical things we help you do. Particularly in areas that involve people, values, conflicts or emotions, your weekly sessions become an opportunity to slow down, step back, and find new options that allow you to accomplish a lot more, in less time, and with a lot less stress.
How It Works
One of the benefits of executive coaching is that each relationship is unique. We craft each engagement according to your specific goals and needs. At the same time, there’s a proven process for how we do so, which has created remarkably consistent results over time.
The process starts with a 3-4 week intake process. During this time, the coach works with a leader to assess where they’re at, where they want to be, and what’s in the way. This process can be strictly personal, or it can include 360 degree feedback and formal assessment tools. After doing so, the leader selects a set of specific goals and metrics, which address both the internal and external results they want to create over the next 6-12 months.
Then each week, the leader brings their hard problems and urgent priorities to the table. Because the sessions are strictly confidential, they’re free to bring up a wide range of topics or concerns. Their coach helps them take a step back, find the real roots of each issue, and come up with more efficient, more effective ways of addressing these problems.
The coaching sessions focus both on immediate challenges and overall goals. In doing so, the client receives new ideas to try on and new skills to practice. Between sessions, they then apply these tools to their current challenges, creating both immediate results and a radically increased level of competency over time.
Leaders meet with their coach 3-4 times a month, by phone or video conference, and they often describe it as one of the most valuable experiences of their week.
A high level coaching relationship isn’t something you buy. It’s something you create, based on finding a mutually compatible fit.
Before we take on any client, we slow down, listen deeply, and provide our recommendations on what would serve you best. Sometimes that involves working with one of the coaches on our team. Sometimes it involves referring you to a trusted partner. And sometimes it involves telling you that coaching isn’t a fit for you at this time. Our core commitment is to find what’s best for you.
If you have hard problems you’d like support with, and you’re ready to take your leadership to the next level, click below to request a confidential, complementary consultation with one of our master coaches, so we can help you get started today.