What Is Executive Coaching?

Post by Building Champions on May 31, 2019

“A coach is someone who tells you what you don’t want to hear and has you see what you don’t want to see, so that you can be who you’ve always known you could be.” -Tom Landry, Former Coach of the Dallas Cowboys

Consider an athlete at the top of their game. They may have been born with amazing talent and worked harder than any of their competitors, but they didn’t get there alone. Check the sidelines of every national championship, every Olympic final, every World Cup, and you’ll see a coach.

Executive coaching does for business professionals what sports coaching does for athletes. A coach helps you visualize where you want to go, and provides you with the tools, guidance, and accountability to get you there.

Wherever you’re at in your professional career today, you probably worked hard to get here. You’re good at what you do, and you’ve put in the hours. But we all have blind spots, and it’s hard to be objective about the behaviors and mindsets you need to change.

A coach can provide you with that broader perspective.

 

Why Do People Seek Out Executive Coaching?

Each client comes to us with a unique set of challenges. However, we do see some common themes in the reasons why leaders pursue coaching:

  • They’re overwhelmed. More is expected of leaders now than ever before — they must balance team culture and strategic thinking with day-to-day operations, all while keeping an eye on the bottom line. Increasing demands can cause leaders to experience burnout.
  • They’re unhappy with their team environment. Whether it’s a need to improve their corporate culture or eliminate dysfunction within their teams, professional relationships can be a major source of stress.
  • They lack mentorship in their current position. They may have been promoted to a level where there’s no longer anyone available who can provide training or guidance. They’re searching for something more than just an annual performance review.
  • They are struggling to engage their people. Employee engagement is one of a leader’s most essential responsibilities- it effects recruiting, retention, production, and more — but many leaders aren’t sure how to improve in this area.
  • They’re out of balance. The demands of their personal and professional lives have them feeling torn, and they fear they can’t succeed in one without failing in the other.

Leaders seek out coaching because they know they need someone in their corner with the experience, insight, and passion to help get them out of the weeds and to the place they can’t get on their own.

 

Young leader shaking hands with senior executive coach

What is an Executive Coach?

Each member of our team of coaches has achieved great success in their field, and they’re passionate about helping others succeed. They do this by filling the key roles that are often lacking in the lives of their clients:

  • Mentor. Someone who has been where you’re going and knows how to help you get there.
  • Trusted Advisor. Someone who will help you see what needs to be done, rather than telling you what you want to hear.
  • Sounding Board. Someone who can provide an outside perspective. Your coach is not your boss. They don’t expect you to have all the answers, and you won’t get fired for being brutally honest.
  • Accountability Partner. Someone who will hold your feet to the fire and call you out when you need it.
  • Lifelong Learner. Someone who is constantly learning — best practices, industry and market changes — for the sole purpose of giving away to you what they’ve learned.

 

Who Can Benefit From Coaching?

It doesn’t matter if you run a multinational corporation or a lemonade stand. If you are responsible for leading others, then you can benefit from coaching.

The ideal coaching candidate is someone who is ready to grow beyond basic competence. They are teachable, humble, and hungry.

Coaching is not on-the-job training. It’s not counseling. It is for leaders who want to go further faster than they can go alone.

 

What Does Coaching Look Like?

With over 20 years’ experience in the coach’s chair, we’ve developed the Building Champions system which makes the best use of your time while giving you the tools and access that will help you reach your goals. The process by which we onboard each new client is thoughtful and deliberate.

One-on-one coaching is a commitment. Changing your thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors doesn’t happen overnight. Each coaching session is conducted over the phone. This is not only efficient but also allows us to connect each client with the right coach, regardless of their geographic location.

New clients are introduced to the Core 4 (Life Plan, Business Vision, Business Plan, Priority Management) and begin the process of working through these valuable tools. Once this foundation is laid, the needs and priorities of the client are what drive the focus of each session. The coach provides advice and accountability, always moving the client toward meaningful action.

Additionally, Building Champions offers a wealth of other products and resources — workshops, executive retreats, assessments, and more — that can complement and enhance the work that is done in one-on-one coaching.

 

Senior leader working one-on-one with an executive coach

What Does Coaching Require of Me?

“Nothing will work unless you do.” -John Wooden, Former UCLA Basketball Coach

Coaching is an investment. You’re putting up some of your most valuable assets — your time, effort, and money — in the expectation of a return.

If you want to get the most out of coaching, you’ll need to be honest and transparent with your coach. You’ll also have to put in the work to complete the action plans and disciplines you identify with your coach as important. All the great advice in the world is wasted if you don’t act on it.

Coaching requires you to get out of your comfort zone. Exposing your weaknesses and changing habits and behaviors can be a painful process. But if you keep on doing what isn’t working, it will cause you more pain in the long run.

 

What Can I Expect to Get Out of Coaching?

Building Champions coaches work within a proven framework, but the direction they go within that framework is entirely personalized. No other leader has the unique combination of challenges, abilities, and passion that you possess. That’s why executive coaching isn’t a one-size-fits-all product — it’s a partnership focused on your success.

Your coach has access to tools, processes, and ideas that can transform the way you lead your organization. Armed with the perspective of a coach and clarity on your priorities, your decision-making is sharpened.

The results speak for themselves. In a survey of Building Champions clients conducted by Wake Forest University, they found that after 12 months of one-on-one coaching:*

  • 90% improved their ability to prioritize
  • 96% developed new ideas to improve their performance
  • 93% gained new skills
  • 98% were satisfied with the experience level of their coach

As a leader, your personal improvement has a ripple effect within your entire organization. Now more than ever, employees want to work for a leader who inspires them to look beyond the day-to-day grind. When your leadership skills are improved, you’ll see healthier team culture, stronger employee engagement and greater retention.

If you want to go further, faster… go with a coach.

 

*Survey conducted independently by Wake Forest University to measure the impact of Building Champions’ one-on-one coaching over a 12-month period. All participants (sample size 193) self-selected themselves for coaching and paid for services received. They were not incentivized or paid to participate in the survey.

 

Infographic about the results and benefits of coaching

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Building Champions

Building Champions exists to make a positive and lasting difference in the life of each person we coach, one person at a time. As experienced business and non-profit professionals, our Coaches are dedicated to helping clients grow their business, build stronger teams and become even more successful leaders.

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