Success within the business world is based upon strong leadership. This weighs heavily on executives’ minds all over the world. Many business leaders believe that all of their actions should display confidence and that seeking help from outside conveys weakness. However, the exact opposite is true. Seeking outside guidance for betterment is a way for an executive to show self-assurance and thoughtfulness. Executives are looking for ways to further not only their own development, but in doing so also create an opportunity to better the overall company.
What Is Executive Coaching?
So, what is executive coaching? An executive coach is a qualified professional who works with individuals, usually executives, to help them gain self-awareness, clarify goals, achieve their development objectives and unlock their potential. Executive coaches provide confidential and supportive sounding boards for their clients. Self-knowledge and its related competencies are central to a CEO’s ability to formulate, articulate and lead a strategic vision for a motivated, energized organization. By guiding executives in curating these skills, executive coaches help guide an entire organization toward its strategic goals.
Why Don’t All CEOs Use Executive Coaching?
A study by Stanford University and executive coaching firm The Miles Group shows that while two-thirds of chief executives do not get any coaching or leadership advice from outside their companies, nearly 100% of those surveyed wish they did. So, why are the brilliant business minds of the world not utilizing the executive coaching tool despite their desire for coaching? The answer could lie with the perceived stigma around asking for help. Many executives believe that any request for help could be seen as a corporate weakness. It can be seen as an admission of leadership problems. Looking at sports, an industry that relies heavily on coaching for success, when coaches nurture athletic talent, athletes are able to reach their full potential. Many sports teams and individuals within the industry credit much of their success to their coaches. When sports teams and top athletes believe so strongly in coaching as the reason they excel, why should top executives and business leaders look negatively upon the idea?
Positives of Executive Coaching
Despite initial skepticism, executive coaching has boomed as an industry for one reason–CEOs, managers and leaders have discovered the impact that it can truly have on both individuals and their organizations. It’s worked so well that approximately $1.5 billion was spent on executive coaching in 2017. This spending will only increase as most of the larger companies around the world employ coaches for upper management. Here are some of the benefits of executive coaching.
- Gain More Self-Awareness
When executives are able to see themselves more clearly, they are better able to take advantage of their own strengths and take the necessary steps to grow in the areas where they need improvement. Most of us do not see ourselves very clearly. We all have bias in how we view ourselves. However, accurate self-awareness in leaders is highly correlated with organizational effectiveness and profitability. In addition, employees prefer to follow leaders who have a strong sense of self, creating more defined roles and responsibilities for their employees. Your executive coach can help you see and act on your blind spots, increase self-awareness and dismantle roadblocks, which will lead to better personal and business performance.
- Build More Productive Relationships
Oftentimes we surround ourselves with people who are similar to us, whether that be in personality, background, or definitive traits. In doing so, leaders can dramatically limit their effectiveness by only being willing or able to build strong relationships with certain kinds of people. Coaching can help you understand active listening, truly focusing on what others are saying. By truly hearing other people, executives will then be able to build more productive relationships and shift their tendencies to associate with people like themselves.
- Positive Return on Investment
A multitude of studies have highlighted the positive financial impact of investing in executive coaching. While it can initially be a cost where a return is not easily seen, executive coaching shows high value in companies. A study of executives at Fortune 500 companies showed a 529% return on investment, specifically highlighting a number of indirect impacts:
- Improves productivity (60% of respondents)
- Increases employee satisfaction (53% of respondents)
- Improves work quality (40% of respondents)
- Increases work output (30% of respondents)
Organizations that invest in their people and care about their development, all the way up to the executive level, show that constant improvement is something that matters. While many may think that asking for outside help is a weakness, it really shows that you value your people. As executive coaching is a relatively new industry, CoreAxis can help you navigate this uncharted territory. Our executive coaching approach is a unique blend of high-touch and adaptive development. We have proven experience building and enhancing the skills of key leaders and executives. We offer a variety of executive coaching services aimed at equipping you and your employees for battle in a competitive market. Click here to learn more about our executive presence program for senior leaders!
The information contained in this article is for informational purposes only. No information (or possible omissions) contained in this article shall be considered legal advice and no attorney-client relationship is established.