10 Myths about Executive Coaching You Need to Know

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Successful business owners, executives and leaders know that having an executive coach isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity.

While many business professionals believe the DIY approach works, it’s a myth! The DIY process will prolong the time it takes to achieve your goals, and in the process you’ll become tired, stressed and hit the proverbial wall.

Many DIYers quit, change their goal to reflect what progress they have made, or fall victim to the allure of some shiny object. At that point,  intended results have been sidelined, dreams diminished, and the vision for success forgotten.

Uncovering myths about executive coaching allows you to see why it’s a critical component to success. Having the right coach allows you to get real about your goals, keeps you focused and reawakens your commitment to succeed.

The Top Ten Myths about Executing Coaching:

1.I can do it myself. (Unfortunately, many DIYers think they can be their own coach. Listening to yourself is a fool’s game and rarely gets you promoted.)

2.A good coach needs a certification. (Certificate programs can be helpful and provide technical skills. However, an executive coach with experience, powerful listening skills and the ability to customized ideas to your unique situation is far more powerful. That kind of experience cannot be learned from a certification program.)

3.It’s too expensive. (Not necessarily. How much are your career, time, family and financial future worth?)

4.My company won’t pay for it, so it must not be important. (There comes a time when you have to value yourself, your career, and be willing to invest in both to ensure your success.)

5.Coaching is only for people who don’t have what it takes. (Coaching is for anyone and everyone wanting to take the next step up in their career. Having a confidential sounding board helps you become aware of your blind spots. And, everyone has them!)

6.If you work harder, you will be successful. (Working smarter, not harder, means doing things in a way that is effective and efficient. The right coach will help you work smarter.)

7.I’m doing fine and don’t need a coach to prepare me for the next step. (Great! Are you ready to handle the next issue or challenge with ease and effectiveness? If you say yes, ask your employees, boss, customers and vendors if they would truly agree.)

8.I have friends and family who provide me with lots of advice. (Yes, many people do. While they mean well, most friends and family members don’t have the courage to tell you what you really need to hear. As a result, you miss out on the critical factors required to make better decisions, build stronger teams and achieve intended results.)

9.I have too much work to do and cannot take on anything else. (If this describes you, coaching should be at the top of your list. Most coaching comes just in time, when you need it most and when it can provide the greatest impact.)

10.I’ve already hit the glass ceiling and no coach can change that. (Nonsense! Anyone can become a successful leader with the right coach navigating them to success. Additionally, success today is about more than just technical and financial skills. It requires being forward-thinking, team-oriented and goal-driven…all areas where an executive coach makes a big difference.)

When you uncover the myths holding you back, you will see that hiring an executive coach is the most critical component for your success. What are you waiting for?

©Jeannette Seibly, 2018

Jeannette Seibly  has been an executive coach, business advisor and management consultant for over 25 years. Do you need a confidential sounding board, someone that can help you navigate issues and challenges effectively? Are you ready to catapult yourself toward success? Contact Jeannette for a free confidential conversation.

Do You Have What It Takes to be a Leader?

Everyone can be a leader.

The qualifying questions are:

  • Are you willing to do the work necessary and step up to be one? Or,
  • Are you waiting until someone taps you on the shoulder to begin? (Hint, it may be a long wait!)

What Does It Take?

Make a commitment. Many people say they want to achieve certain goals in their lives, yet, do not take the focused action steps necessary. For example, they wish to participate in a networking group or on a team project, but fail to show up and contribute.

  • Review your values and goals.
  • Are they consistent? For example, if you have a goal of becoming a millionaire, yet, everyday spend money for lunch, coffee and other items your actions do not support your goal.
  • Make the necessary changes one step at a time. Take one item that you are spending money on and instead invest that money.

Use qualified assessments. These tools provide incredible accuracy and insight into your leadership traits. They also provide objective awareness of how to better communicate, manage and work with others. The challenge is there’s a lot of mischief over what defines a qualified assessment. The bottom line is that a qualified assessment complies with the Department of Labor guidelines for pre-employment use. These tools have significantly higher reliability and validity, and predictive validity, than the other 3,000 tools available in the market today.

  • Select a qualified assessment and a qualified coach. (www.SeibCo.com/contact)
  • Review the results with your coach.
  • Together with your coach put together a project that will help you improve one area. (Hint: putting together a project to listen better will yield poor results. Instead, put together a customer service goal that will require you to listen in order to achieve that goal.)

Be coachable. Behind every leader is a trusted advisor/coach. (Think, Michael Jordan, Steve Jobs, etc.) Also, leaders usually have an industry mentor to help them stay current in their profession and industry. You need to have both to excel as a great leader. The right coach encourages you to do what you need to do, but don’t want to do, to achieve unprecedented results.

  • Select and hire a coach.
  • Select an industry mentor and ask him or her to be your mentor.
  • Put together a 13-week project and goal with your coach and share it with your mentor.
  • Do the work required to make it happen.
  • Blast through those barriers that normally stop you.

Take one day at a time. Every human being has personal baggage. In order to be a great leader, we need to unload it, be responsible for our perceptions of the incident, and have acceptance that the situation happened. Take the time now to get it resolved, one day at a time. It doesn’t get easier as time goes by – it gets harder. Failure to do so, may have you miss out on promotions or coveted opportunities, or, even become unemployed. If necessary, find a licensed therapist to get down to reality and better understand yourself.

Pick yourself up after a failure. Don’t berate yourself for mistakes or failures. Pretending you don’t have any, or are unable to apologize makes others uncomfortable following your leadership. Every great leader has made more than one mistake! The key is, they picked themselves up and resolved it. Now, not later when may be too late.

Everyone has what it takes to be a leader. The million dollar question is, are you willing to do the work to become one?

©Jeannette Seibly, 2016

Jeannette Seibly has been working with leaders as an international business advisor, executive coach and management consultant for over 23 years. Along the way, she guided the creation of three millionaires. Her trademark is her uncanny ability to help business professionals identify roadblocks and help them blast through those barriers to produce unprecedented results. Contact her for a free, confidential conversation on how to get the results you want: www.SeibCo.com/contact

Effective leaders influence performance

So, you want to be a leader, a future executive. (If you’re already a leader, this is a must-read to help develop your organization.)

First, here’s a little history to give you a perspective on the performance challenges many multi-generational organizations face today.

  • Millennials … require a different way of being managed and are even shaping management practices today. They prefer to be consulted, given opportunities to do their work their way and be praised for any progress they make. Learn how to influence rather than command their performance. But, be aware, they tend to have a low tolerance for the inevitable failures we all face. And, if they are unhappy, they seek jobs elsewhere.
  • Baby boomers … were brought up under the command or be fired regiment. They learned from mistakes; but, may have lost promotions because of them. Many bosses during this era earned their positions due to longevity with the company and their ability to do what they were told to do. Being happy at work wasn’t expected and job hopping wasn’t an option.

Second, regardless of the era, effective leaders influence performance by walking their talk, honoring integrity and achieving goals by working with and through others. Their expertise expresses itself quietly due to hands-on experiences, learning from their mistakes, and developing resiliency. They focus on creating a win-win workplace that respects everyone’s efforts, and do not expect preferential treatment for themselves.

Third, if you want to be a leader, take responsibility for causing your future.

  • Work-ability. Growing up, many Gen Y’ers were told they could do and be anything they wanted in business. In an ideal world, that would be true. However, we live in a world where people must do things they are not interested in doing. Be an advocate to change traditions that no longer work. For example, most companies still require their leaders to manage others (although, careers can be unnecessarily ruined when they fail). One solution is to suggest creating multiple career ladders that can leverage individual talents. http://BizSavvyHire.com
  • Communication skills beyond 140 characters. While Baby Boomers learned how to work with bosses that were erratic or unprofessional, their younger peers are not so tolerant. Stop expecting others to make communication changes required to suit you. Instead, develop the ability to effectively talk with anyone, anywhere (not just IM, text or email). It’s a must-have skill due to a diverse global market. Break through your #1 fear when having conversations! http://:ow.ly/zei8S
  • Fun work. While work can be enjoyable, there will always be parts of the job you hate. Do them anyway and learn how to systemize or make them easier. This is a hidden opportunity to show others your initiative.
  • Embrace change. It can be the game changer you’ve been striving for. Be ready to pounce in a business savvy manner when it happens.
  • Coachability. Most leaders today have a business advisor or executive coach, depending upon their entrepreneurial focus or management goals. Find an internal mentor to navigate the politics. Hire an external coach to provide a customized approach for your professional style and goals.  http://SeibCo.com/contact

 

©Jeannette L. Seibly, 2014

#1 Strategic plan failure

Designing a company’s strategic plan can be fun and exciting. However, after the one- or two-day workshop, it’s time for the real work of implementation. The #1 strategic plan failure starts at the top with the company’s president if he or she isn’t accountable and exercising leadership. During planning sessions it’s important to incorporate how, what, when, and where the team will get started when they return to the office. It’s the president’s job to ensure actions taken are focused on achieving the desired goals and any problems or plan failures are immediately addressed.

(c)Jeannette L. Seibly, 2013

Mediocrity Stifles Results

All business owners and executives wish to succeed in their business. Yet when they hire inexperienced and unseasoned professionals, thinking they are saving money, their bottom line suffers. Why? The employees have not had time to develop the business knowledge and acumen needed to perform at the level required, instead relying on “it’s good enough.” Mediocrity stifles results—you get what you pay for.

When hiring for any position, be clear about the attributes required for the person to succeed, and the required results for the company to prosper. Use a structured interview to ensure the person has the actual hands-on experience by drilling down into his or her responses. Often candidates talk hypothetically, not having had the actual responsibility you are looking for. Use a qualified assessment to ensure they have the thinking style, occupational interests, and capabilities to do the job the way it needs to be done to achieve great results. Don’t be afraid to conduct reference checks to ensure the person can and will actually do the work, not just talk about it. (For further information on how to do it, get your copy of Hire Amazing Employees, Second Edition (BizSavvyHire.com).

Although hiring people light on experience and heavy on job fit can be a good idea, realize it will take an extra investment of time and money before they can produce at the level required. Adjust your expectations appropriately.

©Jeannette L. Seibly, 2013

Jeannette Seibly has been hiring amazing employees for over 34 years. She delivers straight talk with immediate results to business owners and executives of $1MM to $30MM enterprises, achieving dynamic results. You may contact her at JLSeibly@SeibCo.com to discuss your hiring challenges. Get her newest book, Hire Amazing Employees, Second Edition: Improve Your Profits (and Your Work Life)! http://BizSavvyHire.com.  It includes templates for interviews and reference checking.

Moving Top Performers

Did you know promoting or transferring top performers into the wrong job can be the greatest hidden expense for many companies? Other high-cost risks include relocating employees geographically or offering them the opportunity to become a business partner. What seems like a great opportunity can become one of your greatest challenges.  And yet most companies don’t take the time to incorporate objective information into their decision-making process and are surprised when the outcomes are not win-win. They fail to understand how moving top performers can negatively impact results.  

What happened? Usually the boss was focused on rewarding a top performer or employees threatened to leave if they weren’t given what they wanted.  During pre-move conversations, employees may conceptually understand their new role, but the reality can very different. Many employees rely upon their initial excitement and fail to ask enough good business questions before accepting the new assignment, and therefore don’t know what is required to succeed. After they are on the job, some may not wish to work that hard to develop the new skills required of the position (despite what they tell you), or they may lack the qualifications or “job fit” to achieve the required results.  Believe it or not, some employees find themselves being offered new jobs because they said the right thing to the right person at the right time!

What’s missing? A clear directive and navigational guide on how to do it that works for them. Instead, employees are determined to do things their own way. Then, when things don’t work out, these once stellar performers feel forced to leave rather than return to their old jobs. Their egos prevent them from taking a reduction in status, perks, and compensation, or there are no other options available since the previous position was filled or is no longer needed. So they end up leaving with all the training, proprietary information, and on-the-job knowledge you provided them – many times taking other employees with them!  Some pursue costly litigation. Meanwhile, your clients and remaining employees are concerned about how this impacts them.

As part of the decision-making process, use a qualified assessment to objectively clarify a person’s strengths and weaknesses. Contrary to some opinions, you can’t build a successful career focused on weaknesses. Don’t fall into the trap of believing you can fix and change the person to fit into the new job responsibilities —nobody works that hard. Put together a 180-day plan to keep newly promoted employees focused on critical areas for client interactions, critical goals, people and project management, and self-development while providing training to enhance these skills. Hire them a coach from outside the company— it’s a requirement to develop these superstars faster and more effectively. All of these steps can also prevent these top performers from leaving when inevitable challenges occur and no one knows how to manage them.

©Jeannette L. Seibly, 2013

Jeannette Seibly delivers straight talk with immediate results to business owners and executives of $1MM to $30MM enterprises, achieving dynamic results. Along the way, she helped create three millionaires. You may contact her at JLSeibly@SeibCo.com to discuss your coaching challenges.

Fear Doesn’t Stick Around Uninvited

We all have fear in our lives, some people more than others. I’m not talking about the gift of fear that warns us to do something, now, to prevent catastrophic incidents. I’m talking about the fear that prevents us from making calls to prospective clients, asking our bosses for raises or new assignments, or letting coworkers or employees know that their work product was mediocre.

Our self-talk limits us from making requests, asking for raises, or simply admitting we don’t know the answers. These internal monologues create excuses for not achieving intended results on time and within budget. They also prevent us from having difficult conversations with our bosses, coworkers, clients, or friends. We talk ourselves out of doing what we know we need to do, instead relying upon the strength of our justifications to rationalize why we couldn’t, wouldn’t, or shouldn’t.

How can you tell what is causing your fears? Listen to the words you use.  “I’ll try … ” “It shouldn’t be that way.” “I didn’t like his tone of voice.” These statements or choice of words reinforce our fears instead of allowing us to acknowledge them and work through them. Many of us have used these phrases so often we’re not consciously aware of saying them!

Take responsibility for hearing what you are saying, and choose the words that can help move you forward. Hire a coach to help you recognize fears and develop good people- and project management skills. Your career and paycheck will thank you.

©Jeannette L. Seibly, 2013

Jeannette Seibly delivers straight talk with immediate results to business owners and executives of $1MM to $30MM enterprises, achieving dynamic results. Along the way, she helped create three millionaires. You may contact her at JLSeibly@SeibCo.com to discuss your coaching challenges.

Be Grateful for Conflict

There are many articles written about conflict: the good, the bad and the ugly. The truth is when we fail to listen to others’ ideas and respect individual opinions, conflicts naturally occur.

Why? We have an illusion that our perceptions are the right way to think, behave or interact with one another. We are taught to speak up against someone who does not agree with us, or quietly dis them to others, negating the value of their contributions. The yeller that everyone complains about is actually no different than the silent screamer who fails to notify someone in authority of a problem.  Both cause loss of customers, low morale, poor quality of products or services and profitability. It is disrespectful toward others inside and outside the organization.

The time is now to put aside your preconceived judgments of others’ ideas and develop persuasive listening skills. Be open to hearing thoughts you would normally dismiss, learn to build upon these viewpoints and use them to create new systems, products and/or services. Often, there is a hidden gem of genius in many ideas. To determine the value, you need to develop the potential worth. Exercise facilitation skills that bring out each person’s opinions.  Listen to differing facts about the workability of internal and external factors – these can add to or hinder financial results.  In the end, whether your nugget shines, is used to create a better solution or set aside, be grateful for the “conflict” or differing mindsets that helped build a viable outcome.

©Jeannette Seibly, 2013

Jeannette Seibly is a business advisor for business owners and executives of $1MM to $30MM enterprises creating million dollar results. Contact her at JLSeibly@SeibCo.com for a free consultation on how to achieve amazing results.

When has “conflict” helped resolve a problem or open up a new product or service for your company? What did you do to facilitate it? Please share your ideas!

Stop Trying Harder!

I adopted five-year-old Gracee a couple of months ago from the Dumb Friends League. She had broken her back leg when she was a kitten and her gimp is very noticeable when she walks. However, you wouldn’t know it by watching her zip around chasing her toys. One of her favorite activities is to race down the stairs to fetch a bouncy ball.  It’s a combination of a run and bunny hop!

How many of you are willing to go for it? Regardless of your challenges?

Or, have you fallen into the tiring and endless trap of “trying harder?” One of the biggest challenges for executives and business owners is learning that “trying harder only creates more of the same challenges.” It leaves you, and them, tired and cranky at the beginning and end of each day!

How can you be unstoppable? It’s inspiring when handled in a biz-savvy manner.

Banish the illusion of the “perfect time.” What are your excuses for not pursuing your goals? Write down these time mongers! You won’t find anything new or inspiring! Instead, write down what you really really really want to accomplish.  Rewrite it into a goal. Develop “I can do it and I do it” attitude and proceed forward. Talk with your coach to help you through the inevitable “walls of life.” 

Stay connected. Pick up the phone. Stop relying solely on emails or social media venues to stay in touch. It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you talk with others and allow them to contribute their ideas. Sometimes the simplest suggestion can spark the right change required to move ideas forward.

Focus on priorities. It’s very easy to get caught up in the swirl or chaos of too much to do. Pick two key items to get completed during the day based upon priorities, or boss or client mandates. Regardless of whether you like to do them! These accomplishments will create naturally-centered confidence.

Have fun.  Take a couple of minutes at the end of each day to write down today’s achievements and setup tomorrow’s “must do’s.” Now, enjoy quality time without worrying about work. It will be there tomorrow!  Be good to yourself and learn appreciation. Gratitude helps you work smarter and achieve your goals faster!

Learn to Brag! Bragging to others in a biz-savvy manner gives voice to your accomplishments. Why is sharing important? You find out you’re not alone in your challenges. It encourages you, and others, to build on your strengths, achieve your goals and work smarter to enjoy your job and life. (TimeToBrag.com)

©Jeannette L. Seibly, 2012

Are You a Moody Leader?

  • Do you thrive on drama?
  • Do people calculate your approachability before talking to you?
  • Do you gossip about your employees or clients?
  • Do others consider you untrustworthy?
  • Do you make decisions based upon your feelings at the moment?

Leaders set examples for the rest of the organization to follow. If you lack consistency in how you communicate, disrespect others in word or deed, or don’t trust others to do their best, employees respond accordingly. If you react (or over-react) before getting the facts, they may be afraid to speak up for fear of retribution. You create more of an issue.

If others are concerned about your effectiveness as a good leader, they will withhold valuable information. In these situations, often your employees’ focus is not on the organization’s goals. They are focused instead on how to work around your moodiness and still keep their jobs.

As a leader, immediate help is required to reaffirm your leadership position and move the enterprise forward. What can you do to resolve this?

Hire a business advisor. Being coachable is critical to anyone’s success, particularly top management. It can be lonely at the top; too often leaders don’t have someone else to talk with and their job can feel like a burden. Talk weekly with a business advisor. Focus on less dramatic ways to handle issues and have the benefit of consistent clarity to guide your organization forward.

Communicate effectively.  #1 concern for any leader! Be prepared to listen more than talk. Learn to ask the right questions. Be open to news you may not like, or new ideas you had not considered. Stop the internal chatterbox ; it inhibits your ability to actually hear what others are saying. When you need to deliver unpopular news or decisions, first think through what you need to say. Write it out. Read it out loud in the mirror. Keep it short, not long-winded.

Stop “should-ing.” Too often we believe people should have known or shouldn’t have said something. We forget the mistakes we’ve made ourselves over the years! A good rule of thumb: When someone does something great, let them know. When they make a mistake, take time to discuss it as soon as possible, one-on-one. When performance concerns are addressed in a consistent and respectful manner, it provides clarity about your expectations. Your employees will usually make the corrections required. If you scream at them, even once, it can damage your long term effectiveness.

©Jeannette L. Seibly, 2012