Heart of Executive Coaching

Someone perhaps very much like you, smart and extraordinary, asked about the usefulness of executive coaching. This person was a seasoned executive, serving with great respect in a complicated assignment. He professed a passion for such work and wasn’t ready to stop or retire. After contemplating the future, he realized he wanted to achieve something more significant than exceptional earnings per share.

That was the start of a distinctive discussion because most people in well-paid vocational roles with status, authority, and accomplishment lack the humility or curiosity to venture into this conversation. His desire breached the greatest obstacle to executive coaching: Ignoring one’s ignorance — or the client, student, or leader who doesn’t know what he/she doesn’t know yet presumes to know while choosing to consider the unknown as irrelevant. As Goethe said: “There’s nothing so dangerous as ignorance in action.”

The primary consideration for collaborating with an executive coach is whether the coaching relationship will significantly increase the leader’s performance capacity. The start of a transformative executive coaching relationship is a conversation about the client’s predisposition toward personal and professional growth. The executive who is marginally aspiring about the outcome — who is barely intrigued with increasing performance capacity and thinks personal growth has no bearing on professional effectiveness — brings a predisposition that is hardly worth the endeavor. Yet, the opposite can be powerful and full of potential!

Often, the difference is because the growing executive aspires with a passionate belief in their destiny and a clear sense of responsibility to increase their performance capacity in the limited time that remains. That is an adult’s perspective.

Ultimately, the only executive coach qualified to support your effectiveness is one for whom your performance capacity is the principal goal for change, and you feel comfortable with the all-important collaboration.