I was fortunate to work with an excellent executive coach several years ago. He helped me gain new insight into who I am and how I lead. I am a much better leader as a result of our year-long work together. I periodically reconnect with him now to bounce around ideas when going through major transitions.
But, I wasn’t enthusiastic about the idea from the start. I thought to myself:
- Sure, there are things on my performance evaluation I could work on but mostly I’m fine and don’t need any help
- No one is perfect
- I don’t want to seem vulnerable or weak
- Will direct reports see me as less of a leader if they know I’m using a coach?
I expect you might have some of those doubts as well. Maybe you think you already know what advice a coach would give.
But my coach put me at ease. He got to know me and started helping me look critically at my leadership style and areas I needed to improve. He was not there to judge me or make me feel inadequate. He took me where I was at.
A good coach doesn’t have all the answers but knows how to ask the right questions. A good coach helps you look critically at yourself, your relationships and how others perceive you. A good coach walks the fine balance of challenging you and encouraging you.
When you are ready and willing to engage in a deeper, focused coaching relationship then consider finding a coach to work with. Your organization may cover the cost depending on your level in an organization, or if management is willing to invest in you. Or you might consider sharing the cost – this could send a strong signal to your boss that you are serious about your professional development and willing to invest not just your time but some of your own money. Or you may decide it’s something you can and will pay for as part of a long-term investment in yourself.
If you find yourself in need of an executive coach for you or your IT leaders, turn to StarBridge Advisors. We have seasoned advisors who have years of experience helping develop leaders. We will match the optimal advisor with your unique, individual needs and organization profile. Our advisors typically connect with individuals weekly or bi-weekly using video conferencing and are available in between scheduled sessions as needed.
Just like your gym membership and the time you spend working out is an investment in you, so too is your professional development. Working with a coach is an investment in you.