Executive Coach Executive CoachExecutive Coach
Scott Eblin offers his take on lessons in the news and his advice on your pressing leadership questions.

3 Reasons You Should Not Hire a Coach

ARCHIVES
Image via dotshock/Shutterstock.com

As an executive coach, I’ll be the first to acknowledge that the title of this post may not be the world’s best business development strategy. But, after more than 12 years as a coach, I think I’ve learned when it makes sense to hire a coach and when it doesn’t.

I’ll get to the reasons why you should hire a coach next week. This week, though, I want to start with three of my favorite reasons why you shouldn’t hire a coach. Through the school of hard knocks, I’ve learned that these reasons are sure fire predictors of a failed coaching engagement. That’s why when I hear one of them or sniff it out, I turn down the business.

Here they are:

1. It’s a reclamation project: There are times when I’m talking with an HR business partner or a leadership development specialist about a potential client and I’m compelled to ask the question, “Does this person have a future with your company?” The typical answer to that question is either a long pause or an acknowledgement that it’s dicey. I then politely suggest that coaching is not going to help that person. Coaching reclamation projects rarely work because the organization has already made up its mind. That leader is more or less cooked and coaching is the last play before they’re out the door. Why waste time and money with coaching?

2. My boss needs a coach: Last month, an HR director asked me to come in to meet with her and her company president because she thought he could benefit from coaching. I drove out to meet them and asked him to tell me his story. As we talked, I concluded that he was a great guy and probably a pretty strong leader. I also concluded that the person who really needed a coach was his boss, the CEO, not him. I made some suggestions about consultants who specialize in advising the founders of family run businesses and declined the work. I could have talked with him and coached him until the cows came home and it wouldn’t have made much of a difference. The person who really needed a coach was his boss and he wasn’t likely to hire one.

3. It’s the thing to do: Even in today’s cost conscious business environment, there are organizations where the norm is that leaders at a certain level and above all have a coach. Then there are organizations where a certain group of executives all get coaches as part of a leadership development initiative. I’m usually leery of coaching engagements that are there because it’s the thing to do. What I’m looking for is an executive who needs to get different results and understands that he or she will need to do some things differently to get the different results. One of my favorite little jokes is how many coaches does it take to change a light bulb? The answer is just one, but the light bulb has to really want to change. If a leader is interested in coaching just because it’s the thing to do, they’re not my kind of light bulb.

I have other reasons why you shouldn’t hire a coach. Those are just my top three. What are the other reasons you should not hire a coach?

Image via dotshock/Shutterstock.com

 

Executive coach Scott Eblin’s goal is to help you succeed at the next level of leadership. Throughout the week, he’ll offer his take on the leadership lessons in the news and his advice on your most pressing leadership questions. A former government executive, Scott is a graduate of Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and is the author of The Next Level: What Insiders Know About Executive Success.

FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

    View
  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

    View
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    View
  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

    View
  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

    View
  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

    View
  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.

    View

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.