Okay, listen up, Divas. You need help! Say what now? Yep. You, Ms. Thang … Ms. “I Got This!” … Ms. “Nobody Tells Me What to Do.” Um-hmm, you. Now I’m not talking about “You need help” as in you’re cray cray. (And some of us might be, but we’ll save that for another blog post). I’m talking in terms of figuring out WHAT’S NEXT in your life. With your career. It may be time to hire an executive coach. Now, if you’ve already used the services of an executive coach, then you might want to skip this blog post. You’re already ahead of the curve. You are a Super-Duper Diva! But for the rest of you mere Super Divas, allow me to share four reasons why you just might wanna Coach Up in order to Boss Up!
Reason #1: You find out what you don’t know about yourself.
I love Marshall Goldsmith’s book, What Got You Here Won’t Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful! It helped me out A LOT. Primarily because I couldn’t quite put my finger on what was keeping me from getting to the next level of success at work. His book was really helpful, and I highly recommend it. But a real-live executive coach? Told me to my face what my problem was: I worked too hard and overlaid my expectations onto everyone else and that intimidated the heck out of people. So I needed to scale it back a little. And you know what? His advice worked!
Reason #2: Divas can be selfish, and a personal coach is ALLLL about YOU!
How cool is that?
Now, who knew that working too hard could be a negative? An executive coach, that’s who. That’s why you need one. Someone who can assess you personally. Yes, you frugal Diva, you can go the cheap route and just buy Marshall’s book or any other book out there on bossing up. But if you want a customized strategy, fork up the dough. They are not cheap.
Reason #3: You will get a return on your investment.
There are all types of coaches out there. Executive coaches are different than life coaches. Executive coaches focus specifically on your professional aspirations, and that’s what I’m recommending you try. They range anywhere from a low of $200 per hour to $500+ an hour (or session), or you can opt for a monthly package. It can be an investment. Be 100% certain this person is credentialed and has a proven record of performance working with executives at your level. Your takeaways from this personal development experience should be clear right from the start. Maybe you don’t know why you’re not jelling with the other senior executives. Maybe you can’t figure out what you need to do to get that next really big promotion. Or you think you should change jobs to a different vertical or make a strategic lateral move. Or perhaps you’re looking for new approaches to solving problems or are interested in learning behaviors that can better sustain both your career and your company’s needs, especially if you feel you’ve been missing the mark. You just know sumthin’ has to change. So, before you drop any cash, know what it is that you hope to get from the experience. Decide what value that represents to you. Then do the math. Is it not only worth it, but will it ultimately improve your earning potential?
Reason #4: It could indicate how much of a high potential your company considers you to be.
Depending on how valuable you are to your company, they may be willing to foot the bill for you. Company-sponsored executive coaches seek to deliver results for the organization by helping you work through your leadership dilemmas and/or accelerate your leadership capabilities.
I successfully petitioned the company I worked for at the time to cover the expense of the coach. They gave me a choice of two coaches from which to choose. We met off-site once a week for about an hour, for three months. Our meetings were totally confidential. (He promised he wouldn’t tell anyone that he’d advised me not to work as hard!) Not sure if your company provides this benefit? Or not sure if it’s available for you at your level? ASK! You didn’t make it to Diva status without asking a few pointed questions here and there. Just know that it varies by company, of course. And it also depends on where you rank in your company. If you’re at the president or CEO level, some companies don’t believe in providing executives with this type of development. Some companies may only provide it to you if you are two to five levels below the CEO. So connect with your immediate manager and/or HR partner to find out what your company’s policy is on securing a coach for you.
Otherwise, I promise you—it is indeed worth the personal investment if you have to go that route. If you are feeling stuck, the important thing is to move your butt NOW. “Action is the antidote to despair.” I keep telling you Divas that’s my favorite Lisa Nichols’ quote. And SHE should know! She went from having $14 dollars in the bank to owning a multi-million dollar business. And SHE used coaches even when she could barely afford to pay for anything else. Athletes use coaches, right? If you want to stay in the elite league and eat Supersized Pink Elephants like a boss, then get with the program and Coach Up! Let me know how it works out for you.