It isn’t easy being an executive coach. Don’t get me wrong, I love what I do. And people in Cincinnati and all over America seem to think I’m pretty good at it. On most days my work is this wonderful mix of challenging, intellectually stimulating and immensely enjoyable. But there are misconceptions about this job. So, let me air out some of the dirty little secrets of executive coaching.
There aren’t any easy gigs. Every person I work with matters. Every situation involves a unique mixture of capabilities and challenges. There are always a few curve balls. While there may be parallels to other situations, nothing is ever cookie cutter.
I care deeply about my clients. I want them to succeed. Their company brought me in to help in some way. Sometimes it’s to turn around a situation that is headed in the wrong direction. Sometimes it’s to develop a CEO or HiPo’s greatest potential. Regardless of the reason, I do everything within my power to get the results we all want.
I prep before every meeting. I write detailed recaps after every coaching call, then email them to my client that night. And I never show up and just wing it.
It isn’t uncommon for me to work over 70 hours a week. INC magazine named me one of the most efficient people in America, so I don’t log hours because I’m ineffective. I don’t charge by the hour, so I’m not racking up my billables. And don’t get me started on the joys of business travel.
The relationship I establish with my clients is “call me whenever you need me.” I don’t charge extra for those 9-1-1 calls. And they often come in at night and on the weekends. I have one client who gets to work very early. His emergency calls seem to come in at 6:30 AM. I answer the phone because I know that when it rings, someone needs help.
There’s a lot of research that goes on in the background to stay on top of trends and markets. I read magazines and websites. I attend conferences. I write books and blogs.
Sometimes the person you’re working with quits trying. Or their boss gives up. Or they move on to greener pastures. Luckily, these are the rare exceptions. But that doesn’t make them any less painful.
It may sound cliché but it’s true. Executive coaching is a people-oriented business. Good thing I’m a people person. And I’ve developed many, many friendships along the way.
I enjoy the challenge and the arc of positive development. I enjoy teaching and speaking truth to power. I enjoy helping people become the best they can be. Truth be told, I wouldn’t have it any other way. If you are interested in executive coaching in Cincinnati or anywhere in America, please give me a call. I shared my dirty little secrets of executive coaching. But I’ll never share yours.