If you’ve been following this 5 Minute Growth Tips article series, you are now clearer on:
But you may be thinking, I’ve never worked with a coach before, let alone a leadership team coach. It sounds helpful, but also intense. So you may be wondering, can I do it? What’s going to be involved? And am I willing to do the work?
These are all important questions to ask yourself before you engage a coach.
Over my 17 years working with CEOs and business owners, and their leadership, management and executive teams, I’ve seen CEOs make some common mistakes and I’ve also seen some of the attributes of CEOs who get the most return from leadership team coaching.
The CEOs who really crush it and get the highest and fastest return on investment of time, energy and effort, are the one who are:
- Willing to invest
- Curious and open learners
- Team players
Willing to invest
Certainly, there’s a significant financial investment to engaging a leadership team coach. Make no bones about it. The bad news is that the money is the least expensive part of it.
Beyond the money, the bigger investment is going to be you and your leadership team’s commitment and follow through to do the hard work of making and acting on decisions.
So, the money is part of it. But equally, maybe even more important, is the commitment and effort you put into it to see things through. A good leadership team coach is going to push you, and you need to make sure you’re ready for that.
The good news is, if you decide to go down that path, and you decide to work with a leadership team coach, a good one will be with you every step of the way, leading you through the tough choices ahead to get clarity and focus to get your company on the path you want.
I’m emphasizing the time commitment because a good leadership team coach is going to pull your whole leadership team together for one or more days at a time through the course of the year. What our clients tell us is they get a great return on that time. Because everyone walks out of the room more focused, there’s more clarity and crisper execution, and you actually get that time back and more. But you and your team have to get through the initial process of getting some foundational best practices put in place. And you’re not going to realize that time gain immediately. And it would be a shame if you gave up early.
Also, through all the planning and execution you and your leadership team will do, the changes and improvements you make to the business, in order to grow, are going to take investments as well. Certainly there will be time investment. And you and your team will get that time through the efficiencies I mentioned above. But there will also be financial investments, as I’m sure you can appreciate: in systems, equipment, facilities, people, etc. And, as we know, sometimes they’ll be harder to swallow than others. Some will be “stepped investments”, where your profitability might take a short term hit to get to the profitability you want “tomorrow”.
Curious and open learners
We’ve found that the CEOs and business owners who get the best results working with leadership team coaches are open to learning and following a proven process, which any good leadership coach will use. A good leadership team coach will also share observations and feedback with the CEO from time to time. And the CEOs and business owners that are open to that feedback, willing to look at themselves, and commit to personal development, are the ones who become better leaders and see their peoples’ performance improve, as well as the company’s.
Similar to the notion of openness, you’ll need to be comfortable collaborating with your leadership team coach and be willing to work collaboratively with your leadership team.
A good leadership team coach will facilitate key leadership team meetings, namely annual and quarterly planning sessions and potentially monthly check-in meetings. Their facilitation role will allow you to be fully present as a participant in the discussion, and not have to also play the role of meeting facilitator, which rarely works very well. Having a dedicated facilitator, who also teaches and coaches the team, enables the team AND the CEO to bring their best ideas and greatest condor to the conversation to achieve more clarity, focus and alignment.
This works the best when the CEO takes a truly collaborative stance, rather than a directive one, with their team. For you, this may feel like letting go of control. In a way, it’s like putting your CEO role on pause for the day as you participate in the conversations.
Of course, a good leadership team coach shouldn’t leave you out of the loop about what they’re going to lead you and your team through in your meetings. They should be consulting with you on what to cover and what needs discussing. But you’ll need to be receptive to what they recommend. So, rather than giving them direction, you’ll need to work collaboratively, sharing with them what is happening, and being curious and open to their suggestions for what to work on next.
We also find CEOs get great results if they are willing to do everything it takes to apply what they learn, make decisions, execute, and grow. This includes holding people accountable by insisting that their people learn from their mistakes, having tough conversations with team members when needed and removing people who ultimately aren’t a fit. It also includes CEOs having the courage to hold themselves accountable for their part and to be vulnerable with their team on the journey.
You need roughly 80% of all this for the relationship to work well and for you and your leadership team to make real progress and get real results.
So, one should ask themselves, out of these four attributes, what will be easiest for me? And, what will be most difficult and why? Knowing what area will be more of a struggle for you, a good leadership team coach will challenge you to grow in that area.
This is what it takes to get great results assuming you’re working with a good leadership team coach. So, how do you choose a good one? What should you look for? And how do you choose one who’s right for you? I’ll cover that in my next 5 Minute Growth Tip article.
How can you be successful growing a thriving company?
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