Leadership & Coaching: The Intersection

The Top 10 Reasons Why a Corporate Executive Hires A Coach

Executives hire a coach for many reasons, but there are ten key leadership competencies that are particularly important to senior people, in light of today's fast-changing, global work-place.


1. To improve the existing culture of the company.

Company cultures need to change from autocratic, rigid and fear-oriented, to decentralized, entrepreneurial and cooperative. Often, the executive who's leading the company is a product of the "old" culture and can benefit from a re-orienteering that an Executive Coach facilitates. The Executive Coach works with the executive to design an optimum operating culture for the firm, and to devise a plan to integrate all players into this enhanced culture.


2. To increase the executive's ability to leverage his/her time.

An executive must continually upgrade their role and leadership methods in order to stay ahead of an increasingly fickle customer base and drastically changing work force. An Executive Coach works to increase the executive's ability to leverage their time and enhance their overall effectiveness.


3. To improve the way the executive is perceived.

Character, integrity and refined interpersonal skills are more important today as a result of the ever-increasing expectations of customers as well as employees.  In addition, the increased use of virtual communication methods and decentralized corporate structures, necessitate that the human-side of the executive come through in order to achieve leadership-by-attraction vs. leadership-by-control.


4. To promote developmental discussions of an executive's ideas that are still in the hunch stage.

Often, the next generation or evolution of a company is conceived during an open discussion of ideas. Most executives don't take enough time for this type of creativity, nor do they have at their disposal the right "listening partner". An Executive Coach provides the environment in which the executive's inklings, ideas, and concerns are respected and developed.

5. To get informed opinions and insights from outside the organization.

Everyone the executive works with has a need to either maintain the status quo, or to make changes that benefit themselves/their turf. This atmosphere of self-interest, although normal, can lead to a lack of objectivity and encourage a "not invented here" culture. The Executive Coach is often the only person in an executive's rolodex whose only priority is the executive's interests.


6.  To expand upon, clarify, and clearly put into words the executive's vision for the  company.

A clear, concise vision keeps customers and employees focused, and reduces the need for micro - management. For example, Microsoft's vision: "a computer on every desk and in every home, all running on Microsoft software." Apple's vision? (Good question) An Executive Coach facilitates the languaging of concepts, goals and visions, and assists the executive to properly articulate and communicate the vision for the company.


7. To widen the executive's "pipe": to allow him/her to handle a faster flow of information.

The ability to assimilate and analyze huge amounts of data, reports, facts, trends, subtle changes in the marketplace, demographic shifts, needs of the company, status of R&D projects and emerging markets, is enhanced when the executive has a faster mental modem. An Executive Coach helps the executive to notice, feel, sense, see, measure and process more data without taxing his/her personal CPU.


8. To have a safe, confidential outlet to vent, when necessary.

Pent up frustrations, anger, and disappointments impair good judgment. Every executive needs a confidential person to complain to, vent, and with whom they can talk things out.


9. To point out what the executive can't, won't, or doesn't see.

Smart business people understand that they have blind spots. To address this, most give permission to a select few to speak frankly and provide them with candid feedback on their effectiveness, decisions and behaviors.  However, corporate politics being as they are, most individuals aren't really in a position to openly speak their minds to senior leaders. The Executive Coach is well trained and is positioned to point out what he/she sees.



10. To assist senior leaders in maintaining work/Life balance, that translates into increased personal and professional effectiveness

The days of the work-is-all-that-matters obsession are over. Leadership today requires a clear-thinking individual who is in touch with the many parts of life, not just running a company. The Executive coach works with the executive to design a balanced and sustainable personal and professional life.


Image de Bernard Hermant