A client of mine is retiring (or more accurately moving on to the next stage of her professional life). We have been working together for over a decade, and as our coaching relationship is winding down, we have had some great conversations about the value of coaching and how our engagement has lasted so long.
One of her profound comments (which by the way is equally true for the coach) is that leadership and coaching together are a unique opportunity for self-actualizing, but only if the leader makes a long-term commitment to her development. Said another way, when you work with a coach, it is best to think in terms of a long-term relationship vs. a short-term quick fix.
Why is a long-term mindset important?
- First and foremost, your growth and development as CEO or another C-Suite executive is critical to the firm’s success. Investing in coaching is not selfish or “taking away” from other priorities. If the coaching is effective, with a focus on outcomes and impact, it will be an investment in the firm’s success as well as your growth as a leader and a person.
- The cost of coaching is usually immaterial to your overall budget when you consider the potential returns. For example, what is it worth to make faster, bolder decisions? What is it worth to retain a key employee because of your growing interpersonal skills? What is it worth to have your coach do research and send you resources on topics vs. doing yourself? What is it worth to have an experienced advisor with no stake in issues to confide in and help problem solve? The dollars you invest in coaching are small compared to the return for your organization.
- Coaching is a commitment to your development and to a relationship with a coach you believe in. The business will have ups and downs as will your coaching relationship. But like any good relationship, the value of coaching accrues over time and is directly related to the commitment you are willing to make. This is the reason why clients sometimes will work with TBG consultants for five years and even longer…because they have invested in teaching us about them and their business and thus our work becomes even more impactful.
- Ideally, coaching involves two meetings per month and some form of electronic interaction between sessions. A lot happens in an organization in a month. Meeting twice a month keeps your coach up to speed on developments and maximizes the productivity of each session. Interaction via texting or email between sessions provides opportunities for “just in time” coaching and deepens the relationship further.
- The investments you are making in coaching and board development may be challenging now. But it is not possible to lead change unless you are growing yourself. Growth requires commitment, support and accountability, all of which are part of a strong coaching relationship.
Our clients tell us that making a commitment to and engaging in a coaching relationship is the most profound learning experience they have ever had as a leader. If you are ready, give us a call at 763-545-5997 or send me an email and let’s discuss what outcomes you want and how to get started.