In my recent post titled Top 10 Reasons to Hire an Executive Coach, “Trusted Advisor” made the top of the list. This may sound like an old fashioned term, particularly at a time when business organizations are referred to as teams and the classic top-down structure has in many cases been replaced with the round table.
Yet every business professional needs advice from time to time, and finding the right person with whom to confide is not always easy.
Entrepreneur executives are, by definition, high level leaders who are responsible for business organization, development, leadership and management. They tend to try and wear all the (leadership and operational) hats and thus require a special kind of support and coaching. It is the opinion of this coach that entrepreneur executives need more support than ever before, because of their unique perspective and their tendency to make decisions in isolation.
The entrepreneurial business is most often built around the vision, personality and leadership style of the owner, and grows through their individual willingness to bear the responsibility for its success. Successful entrepreneurs are risk takers who tend to survive the odds of business failure because of their ability to inspire others through passionate vision, consistent action and shear tenacity.
The same independent spirit that drives these business leaders to create, inspire and succeed, causes them to rely upon their own thought processes to solve the inevitable challenges of owning and running a business. This one limitation can cost them valuable market shares, exposure to key market segments, loss of profit, breakdowns in communication, employee turnover and more.
Do you recognize yourself in this description? Are you an executive in need of support, guidance and an experienced ear?
The unbiased perspective of a professional executive coach can help build upon and promote the entrepreneurial strengths, while also offering support to eliminate executive blind spots and weaknesses. Finding the right person – a trusted advisor – can improve your profitability, enhance your organizational structure, and increase your bottom line results.
Consider these questions as you select your own trusted advisor:
- Does the advisor bring the experience you need? The ideal executive business coach brings experience in business, in coaching and in high-level organizational development. Experience is relationship counseling is also helpful. This person must understand the business concepts which inform your work, and in some cases it may be necessary to choose an advisor with a specialty in your industry.
- Does the advisor bring a history of positive results? Ask for at least 3 professional referrals, to assure your advisor has the ability to guide you to the results you want. Discuss their experience and the bottom line results they received from this coach. How effective were the coach’s style, structure, and expectations?
- Is the advisor willing to work with your schedule? The wisest executives will make time for coaching, but only if it fits into their already full schedule. Ask questions to determine that the coach will structure meetings that work for you, whether in your office, their office, or by phone. Makes sure this person will be available if you have a business crisis. Once a schedule has been agreed upon, it is imperative that you can count on it.
- Will this advisor be able to offer the level of support you need? Ask questions to clearly determine how the coach works with executives to address sensitive issues in every area of the business.
- Is this someone who is willing to hold you accountable to your goals and plans? What is the structure of accountability – the checks and balances – this coach offers to clients? What happens when goals are unmet or agreements not kept?
- Is this someone you can learn to like and trust? The foundation of the executive coaching relationship is trust and confidentiality. Ask questions to determine if this coach has a strong commitment to total confidentiality. (If at any point a coach or consultant discloses confidential information, within or outside of the business organization, sever the relationship immediately).
- Do the advisor’s fees and services fit into your budget? While executive coaches may charge anywhere from $75 – $1,000 per hour for their services, price is not always commensurate with value. You should be able to contract an excellent and experienced executive coach for between $100 and $200 per hour. Hourly rates should be consistent with the market in which the advisor is operating.
A successful collaboration between an executive or business owner and a coach can form the foundation for unprecedented growth and business success.
Are you ready to take your business to the next level? Contact Me for a FREE 30 minute consultation – by phone or in person – to discuss how executive coaching can help.
Your success is my business,
Sherry B. Jordan