We should really start this “Five signs you need to work with an executive coach” article by also asking you, how do you know you’re ready to work with an executive coach?
You may have stumbled on this page searching for Executive Coaches in Sydney, somebody may have shared it with you or you may have spotted it on LinkedIn and thought to yourself I don’t need any help.
Well there are many reasons people reach out for help in their careers and just because you have reached an executive level it doesn’t mean you should stop learning or even stop asking for help.
So read on.
You’ll find that, whether you work for a business or own the business yourself, the leadership puzzle is never complete and all the sides sometimes take longer than expected to align.
You may be surprised too, that some of the signs below are quite relatable to where you are at with your current role or career.
Something’s not working but aren’t sure what to do?
Many leaders can arrive in leadership roles by default without having had access to leadership coaching or development at all.
You’re thrown into the deep end of the pool on day one and expected to swim like an Olympian.
Swim or drown is the order of the day and the choice is; paddle like your life depends on it, or sink to the depths of no return.
This can lead to many new leaders expending frantic amounts of energy just to undertake business as usual tasks and anything else over and above this is a luxury.
It also leads to many leaders experiencing near burn out during the early parts of their careers which isn’t good at all for themselves and business.
Many experienced leaders remark that if they had a fraction of the leadership knowledge they hold today at the beginning of their leadership career, their rise to success would have been faster and far less traumatic.
So in saying that we can assume that achieving results early on in your leadership career is key to moving into more senior roles later.
So what can you do?
We must remember, sometimes we only get one chance at becoming a leader.
Unfortunately getting the right help at the right time in your journey can be instrumental in creating the successful habits that can demonstrate to others you have what it takes to stay the course in your new leadership career.
So by having the insight that all is not what it could be for you, is the first sign that an executive coach could be what you need to get you through.
At times you pull your hair out having difficult conversations
For many leaders (both new and highly experienced), the ability to have frank conversations that create conditions for high performance remains an area of interpretation and anxiety.
Here at Coaching Leadership one of our key mantras is “The quality of conversations determines the quality of the organisation”.
And this leads us into the fact that there are three basic types of conversations that business leaders must become skilled at instigating.
Here they are for you with a few examples of each so you get a good grasp of what they are.
Exploratory Conversations – I’ve noticed you haven’t been yourself in the last week, is everything ok? How long have you been feeling this way? What can I do to support you?
Performance Coaching Conversations – You are currently here, how do you think you might move to there? What support would you need? What skills might you need to develop further to meet this goal? What has worked in the past? What current personal strengths could you draw on to help reach this goal?
Development Conversations – Where do you think you need to develop to be able to outperform in this role? What future direction do you want to take? What skills, experience and knowledge might you need to start to build on now be able to make good on your vision. What does the ideal future you imagine look like? What concrete steps could you take now to help to start that journey?
These above all help form a part of the leadership conversational puzzle and if you lack the ability, knowledge or courage to instigate these conversations it might be an indicator that it’s time to call on an executive coach.
Your team is not where you need them to be
The ability to motivate and mobilise a team towards achieving a common goal is a vital key to leadership success.
Creating a vision and direction with your team that inspires their collaboration, innovation and performance does not come with the job title of leader.
Because it’s something you need to learn and develop for yourself, the sad but honest news is, without developing this skill your leadership is dead in the water.
The paradox of leadership is that your performance is as only as good as your team’s performance and if your team doesn’t perform by default, you haven’t.
Leaders can in effect rise or fall on the tide they create.
So, you must ask yourself, do you want to create a ripple or a king tide?
It’s your decision.
The good news is that leadership that inspires vision, action and a king tide is a skill you can acquire and learn overtime if you have the passion and desire to.
During the 1980’s organisations focussed on hiring charismatic leaders (charisma literally means gift from God).
Evolving on from those charisma years the in-depth research and experience has taught us that leadership capability is not an inherent gift from above, but a learnt behaviour that can be mastered with the right approach and some good old-fashioned determination.
You’ve come this far; you have the commitment.
Partnering with an executive coach who works from an evidence-based approach (like we do here at Coaching Leadership) can help you to identify the transformational skills you have already and those you need to build on further.
Getting your team to where they need to be starts with you and your leadership skill set.
An executive coach can help improve these skills so you can improve your teams skills moving forward.
You’re having issues communicating with your boss
- How do people see you?
- How are you perceived?
- How do you think you come across to others?
- Shy and retiring?
- Cocky and arrogant?
- Self-assured or apologetic?
- What does your boss want? Or need?
These questions can go around and around in your head without you ever coming up with a clear idea or strategy that delivers the results you want.
Working with an executive coach is a great way to begin to get feedback on your own communication and influencing style.
It’s also an effective way to develop a higher perspective that moves you up from the detail of personal interaction to a strategic level of purpose and the behaviours required to make good on achieving that purpose.
Feedback is the fertile soil that great leadership grows and thrives in.
If you don’t have a way to gather objective feedback about your leadership how will your leadership evolve?
Providing input and challenging current thinking patterns is a skill that executive coaches are trained in.
We have all received poor or clumsy feedback in our careers that just felt like hurtful criticism and left us feeling bad about ourselves and demotivated.
Partnering with the right executive coach is like having a qualified personal fitness trainer, you are much less likely to get hurt or injure yourself and much more likely to get fitter and better at what you do.
You have the potential to be a great leader, but no roadmap
Leaders who want to be effective and inspiring leaders have a hunger to find out the best way to of achieving this.
They are happy to sacrifice their own ego to be able to deliver for their people.
Taking this path is not easy and that it will come with its own set of hardships, setbacks and sometimes confronting truths about ourselves that we may at the time not really appreciate.
The good news is, it’s well worth the discomfort because achieving this enables leadership that transforms the lives of people you encounter and creates work environments where people love to show up and teams thrive.
The many leaders we have coached over the years also report that after coaching they are much happier and more fulfilled and this had allowed them to make better life choices for themselves and their loved ones too.
Executive coaching doesn’t stop at work, it literally changes lives at all levels.
So when you make the decision to work with a professional executive leadership coach it can mean the difference between mediocre leadership and exceptional leadership.
What are you waiting for, you know what to do!
If any of the above five signs you need to work with an executive coach has resonated with you it might be time to spend a bit of time with us here at Coaching Leadership.
There’s a common theme that runs through all of the above points and it is that if you want, need or require change it’s not going to be an easy path becoming a successful leader.
It’s hard work.
But the hard work to executive leadership success can be lessened if you have a great executive coach monitoring, helping and being there for you as a sounding board.
It only takes one phone call to start lessening your load and it only takes one phone call to find out if we’re the right fit for you too.