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MOST CEOs AND SENIOR EXECUTIVES DON'T GET OUTSIDE COACHING
Nearly 66% of CEOs and over half of other senior executives do not receive outside coaching of any kind to enhance their leadership skills according to the findings of a Miles Group/Stanford University survey. “Given how vitally important it is for the CEO to get the best possible counsel, independent of their board, it’s disconcerting that so many of them are ‘going it alone,’” says Stephen Miles, CEO of The Miles Group. “Even the best-of-the-best CEOs have their blind spots and can dramatically improve their performance with a coach with an outside perspective weighing in, and it is an obvious win-win for the CEOs and their companies."
SO, WHAT'S THE HOLD-UP?
So the question is if coaching is an 'obvious win-win for the CEOs, senior executives, and their companies,' what's the hold up? After being in the corporate trenches for four decades, my guess is the greatest hurdle to coaching is the worry that it will 'sap' a senior leader's scarcest resource — TIME!
CHOICES, CHOICES — When it comes to matters of time, I recall advice from my best friend and colleague at California Polytechnic University, Professor Larry Gay. Prior to starting a graduate class, Dr. Gay would outline his expectations and requirements for assignments and tell students that late assignments would graded as failures.
SETTING PRIORITIES — Dr. Gay used a simple phrase to make his point about on-time projects, "You really do what you want to do, and if you don't, you didn't" (Let that sink in — it may take a second). If one applies that philosophy to coaching, a leader has to make it a high priority and commit the necessary time to make it happen.
In essence, making coaching a high priority is what exceptionally busy big-hitter CEOs like Oprah, Marilyn Hewson, Frank D'Souza, Theresia Gouw, Eric Schmidt, Therese Tucker, Larry Page, Margaret (Meg) Whitman, and others do to stay sharp and maintain their peak performance.
PEAK PERFORMANCE IS A PERISHABLE SKILL
RAISING THE BAR — Wouldn't it be wonderful if one could achieve a high measure of success and then rest on their laurels. Winston Churchill reminds us that, "Success is not final . . . it is the courage to continue that counts." In that vein we all know that peak performance is a perishable skill, and the bar is continuously getting higher.
Try to imagine a scenario where, after winning his first Super Bowl Championship in 2001, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady said to head coach Bill Belichick, "I've reached the pinnacle of my game, and I don't need coaching any more." Ludicrous, right?
Of course, everyone knows Brady wasn't a 'one-hit wonder,' and it is unfathomable to think that he would go on to become the first player in history to have won six Super Bowls, three league MVP awards, and four Super Bowl MVP Awards without ramping up his coaching.
The best always seek out coaching to stay ahead of the field, so imagine what the right coach can do for you!
THE IMPORTANCE OF A SEASONED OUTSIDE EXECUTIVE COACH
PERSPECTIVE — Great coaches see and hear things that you can't. Most senior leaders rarely get unvarnished feedback from inside their company. This is probably because people believe that 'the boss is always right,' or fear that giving feedback to the leader may lead to 'killing the messenger;' — Don't laugh, it happens. The fact is there is an Old West proverb about giving feedback to executives, "Have one foot in the stirrup if you speak the truth."
CORPORATE POLITICS — One of the most compelling reasons to retain a veteran outside coach with executive experience is they know the reality of corporate politics. Politics is present in almost all human endeavors, and it diminishes the chances of getting effective coaching from folks inside the company. It is natural for people to focus on their own enlightened self-interest, and their advice may be skewed for their benefit and not the leaders. The result, of course, is that the leader isn't getting the straight scoop.
THE BENEFIT OF UNFILTERED FEEDBACK — The benefit of an outside master executive coach who made his bones in the corporate trenches is getting unfiltered feedback. The coach's primary focus is his client's success, and the coach's sole purpose is to provide the executive with the growth they want and need in a safe, confidential environment.
SO WHERE DO YOU GO FROM HERE?
MEET Dr. JOHN BRADY — If you have read this far, you may be getting a subconscious nudge to seriously consider executive coaching; Acknowledge it, and seize the moment. If you are ready to join other astute leaders who embrace coaching, remember Mark Twain's admonition, "The secret of getting ahead is getting started!" That is where I come in.
Looking at my picture, you'll see I've been around the block a bit. I am a master executive coach with four decades of experience helping good leaders become great leaders. You won't find my approach in academic theories, management bestsellers, or taught in business school — It comes from the 'School of Hard Knocks,' and it works.
HOW I WORK — My forté is working with ethical leaders and organizations to achieve a unified vision based on the principles of good faith and fair dealing. I've been coaching long enough that my clients consider me an éminence grise (fr. Grey Eminence). That is a fancy term that simply means I'm a trusted senior adviser who operates in a non-public capacity behind the scenes and keeps a low profile.
MY VALUES — I am an unabashed idealist with a deep-seated pragmatic streak. I am a square shooter, and my practice is built on the principles of honesty, integrity, accountability, and pure grit. I never quit, and my motto is, "I will find a way, or I will make one" — (Inveniam Viam Aut Faciam).
CLIENT SUCCESS — My clients are known for their significant personal, professional, and organizational success. I keep my practice small, and my clients often refer to me as 'Yoda,' 'Wizard,' 'The Real Deal,' and 'Colombo,' among other noms de guerre. My unique approach creates positive, long-term change in people and organizations, and I believe that client success is the only measure of my success.
EXCLUSIVE CLIENTELE — I maintain a small coaching docket so that I can provide clients with high quality, customized attention. The coaching process involves frequent and abundant face, phone, and Skype time to improve my client's quality of life and hone their leadership skills. I am an 'on-call' resource, and you should expect significant progress in your personal and professional life (or, why do it at all, right?).
NEW COACHING CANDIDATES — The majority of my clients are referrals. However, I am an evangelist for ethical leadership, and I often consider new candidates who discover me independently who are willing to make a long-term coaching commitment.
QUALITY: THE PRICE WORTH PAYING — Kurt Vonnegut observed, "...You get what you pay for," and as reflected by my client's success I am the Gold Standard of CEO and executive coaching (check Clients Results page). I command premium fees commensurate with my results and the exclusivity of my practice, and my clients often tell me, “You are worth ten times what I paid you.”
THE Ts AND Cs — 1) Engagements are long-term partnerships (usually a year or more); 2) Engagements are secured with a professional services retainer agreement which includes; 3) Professional fees and services paid in advance and billed quarterly. 4) Expenses (travel, materials, etc.) are billed separately and are paid monthly. 5) All travel related expenses are Business Class, including airfare, lodging, transportation, etc.
If you want the best master executive coach in the business, and are committed to ethical leadership and making a bigger difference in peoples' lives, let's talk.
Call me or drop me an email for a private confidential consult at:
Phone: 805.748.9000 — leave a voice mail.
No obligation; No sales pitch; Just good common sense.
John A. Brady, Ph.D.