By Lisa Cefali (photo by Ed Uthman)
Today’s business environment is fast-paced, and the need to have top performers in an organization is critical. We often talk about the importance of a good-functioning team; a team that works well together, understands the company’s objectives, and knows how each of their performances and deliverables affect those objectives.
As leaders, we know that we need to set clear goals and work with our teams so that they have the skillset and any additional support they need from us to get the job done well.
But what about us? What about the executive leaders? When do we get to call in for help and support?
Executive coaching is not a sign of weakness, nor should it be introduced as a solution to a situation that is past its date of survival. It should be a proactive approach to your own leadership abilities that will only propel yourself and the organization further along the current successful course you are on.
With the competitive landscape of business today, even as a leader, getting help is not a bad thing. Ask yourself the following questions, and if you can relate to the scenarios, then it could be beneficial to enlist the help of an executive coach.
Do you feel the pressure to succeed?
You know what is expected of you, and you know you need to show true impact sooner rather than later. Having an extra ear to share what you are going through can alleviate the pressure that may be based on simply a change in culture or your newness to an organization.
Is it lonely at the top?
You know going to your board or to your president isn’t really an option – they hired you to lead and too much candor, questions and requests for a sounding board could send the wrong message.
Yes, your partner loves hearing about your day as you do about his/hers, but would you not want to share ideas and concerns, and gain some objectivity and insight from someone who has been there before you – and whose sole purpose is to listen and offer support with the intent to help make you and your organization stronger?
Do you have an established network?
Most of us have a personal support network to bounce ideas off of; however, creating a similar network within your business network is not always possible. Seeking out an executive coach allows you to start a practice that you can keep building and strengthening as you move through your career. It can assist you with the more difficult decisions in the future – like your next career change, your next promotion, and your eventual transition into retirement.
In our personal lives, we all seek out other professionals to assist us with many aspects of our lives, whether it is the day-to-day errands that allow us some form of work-life balance, the assistance of a professional to complete the big jobs around the house – like a new roof, or installing an addition to the house – or repairing the car after the damage it sustained during the first snowfall.
We also know that there are professionals who are there to assist us when we need help (doctors, hairstylists, dentists) or when we need that extra push to really excel (personal trainers).
So why not accept the assistance of an executive coach – an individual who has had true leadership experience, who has lived through some of your own career challenges, and is there to ride alongside you as you lead?
Lisa Cefali is the vice president of executive search with Legacy Bowes where she uses her many years of competitive intelligence, recruitment, and assessment of emotional intelligence experience to uncover those attributes that provide for the best organizational fit for her candidates and clients. Please feel free to contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org for your executive search and recruitment need.