What is Executive Coaching?
As a business professional, it’s most likely that you often experience feelings of exhaustion, overcommitment, and anxiety. It may seem like there are not enough hours in a day to manage your business, empower your employees, give back to your community, and spend time with your family. For entrepreneurs and owners of startup businesses, the stress can be even greater as you work as both the boss, employee, and salesperson. If this is you, it may be of benefit to look into coaching. Many business leaders have found executive coaching to be extremely helpful in learning how to set boundaries, ramp up productivity, and maintain a healthy work-life balance.
Executive coaching is a method for business leaders to develop personal and professional skills through coaching. It is all about helping leaders and high-potential performers expand their vision, achieve objectives, and ultimately reach their maximum potential.
What Do Executive Coaches Do?
A good executive coach serves as a guide to the business leader, as the Gandalf to their Frodo. Executive coaches can help your business by helping you expand your vision, set goals, and place healthy boundaries between work and life. Through building confidence, transferring skills, and offering an unbiased perspective, executive coaches can help you reach your maximum potential.
What to Expect From Executive Coaching?
Although there are many executive coaching approaches, it’s important to know that coaching is not a one-and-done process. A coaching relationship that yields meaningful change takes time, effort, and trust. An effective coach will use a combination of real world examples, truthful conversations, and probing questions. Some executive coaches will use tools such as personality assessments, goal setting techniques, development planning, and learning assignments. You will be challenged, stretched, and encouraged by each executive coaching session.
Executive Coaching for Entrepreneurs and Startups
Often, entrepreneurs and leaders of startups don’t think about coaching because of the perception that it’s beyond their budget. That’s not usually the case. There is an option for every budget level. When starting a new venture with executive coaching, the bumps in the road ahead of you can be smoothed out to increase the chances of business success.
As an entrepreneur myself, I understand how important it is to be set up for success. That’s part of the reason that, even though I am a coach, I utilize coaching for my business. The last thing Iwant is for my business to be halted by something I missed, a blindspot as simple as a communication error or missed strategy. With the coaching I’ve received, I’ve been able to sidestep many landmines.
If you are a startup owner, you will face a unique set of struggles (many of which will be a first for you) as you set out to scale and innovate your business. With an executive coach, you have an unbiased third party that can lend some experiential guidance, hold you accountable, and act as an advisor every step of the way.
The Differences Between Executive Coaching and Leadership Coaching
Leadership coaching is often considered a subset of executive coaching. While leadership coaching can make you a better communicator and a more inspirational leader, it won’t necessarily improve your business skills or help you adapt to the fast-paced business world.Executive coaching provides a larger framework for helping build leadership skills as well as specific business acumen.
The Benefits of Executive Coaching
When it comes to executive coaching, there are numerous benefits that anyone can gain, including:
- Developing strong leadership skills
- Developing a grid for ongoing feedback and future decision-making
- Refining time management skills
- Creating healthy boundaries between work and personal life
- Understanding, defining, and achieving professional and personal goals
- Improving emotional management to avoid fatigue
- Discovering how you think, how you process, and what your strengths are
- Gaining clarity from multiple perspectives on a current situation
- Creating an action plan with specific goals and well-defined steps
What to Know When Hiring an Executive Coach for Entrepreneurs or Startups
Once you’re ready to invest in yourself, it’s time to begin the search for the executive coach that will work for you. Doing your research is imperative to finding the right coach for you.
What to Look for in a Good Executive Coach
When looking for someone to coach you, there are a few characteristics that will make some executive coaches stand out above others. When looking for an executive coach to guide you through your entrepreneurial journey or startup, look for someone who…
- Has the heart of a coach: When it comes to looking for any kind of coach, the first thing you want to look for is whether or not they have the heart of a coach. Are they driven on your behalf or their own? Do they want to see you succeed? Are they ready to hold you accountable and have potentially uncomfortable conversations? If the answer is yes, then you’ve found a real coach.
- Is an entrepreneur themselves: While this isn’t a requirement, finding an executive coach who has experience as an entrepreneur or in a startup can lead to invaluable knowledge that they might not otherwise have. This will provide you with a coach that has aligned experiences with yours and will give you better advice because of it.
- Has a positive track record: Experience and positive reviews are extremely important for any coach. Make sure to review any testimonials left by previous clients to ensure that you’re spending your money correctly. Additionally, look at how long this coach has been in business – the more experience they have, the better.
- Shares your vision and values: Lastly, look for an executive coach who shares your values and vision. Finding an executive coach who shares your values, vision, and mindset can create a more cohesive and productive relationship.
When to Hire a Coach
It is never too early to bring an executive coach for an entrepreneur or startup owner. Often, the mistake that is made is that a coach is brought on too late. By starting your coaching journey early, you can avoid stress, growing pains, and other negative events that are otherwise inevitable. Executive coaches should never simply be a bandaid to your company’s stab wound; nor should they be a last resort. Hiring an executive coach early will always be much more beneficial and effective than waiting until you absolutely need one.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Much Does Executive Coaching Cost?
Depending on their experience level, executive coaches can charge between $200 and $3,000 per hour. However, coaching is a long-term investment; in the long run, a good coach should provide significant value to your company.
When Should I Not Hire an Executive Coach?
You should not hire a coach if you’re looking for immediate, short-term solutions. Coaches are there to guide you and build your ability to solve your own problems, not solve them for you. Additionally, if you’re simply looking for a coach to make you – or your company – look good, then coaching might not be for you. Going through coaching will not be an easy task – you will be challenged and held accountable in ways that may make you uncomfortable at first. It is not something you should simply utilize to improve your reputation.
How Long Should Executive Coaching Last?
The simple answer: as long as you need it to. Most executive coaching relationships last somewhere between 6 months and a year, but this can vary depending on the problems you and your coach identify, the goals you set, and, simply, how dedicated you and your coach both are.
Should I Hire a Coach That Specializes in My Industry?
While it would be ideal to hire an executive coach that specializes in your specific industry, that does not mean that you should have to sacrifice other important characteristics in the process. It is important to weigh all of the elements you’re looking for. However, when it comes to startups and entrepreneurial ventures, I would recommend seeking out coaches who have experience in those realms, even if they haven’t worked in your direct industry.
How Often Should I Work With an Executive Coach?
Depending on the goals you’ve set, the problems you’re facing, and the coach you choose, you should plan on meeting with your executive coach every 2 – 4 weeks throughout the duration of your coaching experience.
Ready to dive into executive coaching? I’d be happy to chat with you and perhaps help you find the right coach for your organization. I’ve helped executives at businesses, non-profit organizations, and ministries reach their goals, strategize for their future, and improve their ability to problem solve. I’d love to help you with the same, even if it’s just one phone call. If you’d like, set up a time to chat and I’ll do what I can to help you get to where you can be.