Executive Coaching - Ferguson Alliance

The Truth About Executive Coaching

The hardest thing you can do as a leader is work on yourself.

It takes courage, vulnerability, and authenticity to work with an executive coach and make intentional changes in your leadership skills and style.

I speak from experience because I’ve worked with 3 different executive coaches over the course of my career.

My coaches:

  • Gave me outside perspective, showing me things about myself and my leadership style that were invisible to me. Such as how others perceive me when under stress and how to modify those behaviors to increase collaboration and improve outcomes.
  • Challenged me to do hard things, like having difficult conversations that cause breakthroughs in performance.
  • Taught me how to become more authentic and relatable with all stakeholders in the business.
  • Encouraged me to become a leader of leaders.

Without these coaches, I never would have become the CEO of a $300 million company, lead companies through 10x growth, or turned struggling companies around.

Now that I’m on the other side of the table, offering executive coaching as a service, I’ve learned a few more things about executive coaching.

I share them in this article in the hopes that you might consider the rewarding challenge of being coached. If you have any questions about coaching that I haven’t covered, please feel free to reach out to me here: rob@ferguson-alliance.com

What Does an Executive Coach Do?

The primary focus of an executive coach is to help their client reach their potential as a leader.

Most coaching engagements begin with the coach helping their client develop an individualized coaching plan designed to help them reach their leadership development goals.

As the client works through the plan, the coach manages the ongoing progress, holds the client accountable for commitments, and celebrates successes along the way. All while making sure the goals of the coaching plan tie back to professional and organizational goals.

You’ll find that executive coaching is a meeting of equals.

Though executive coaches may be highly experienced, they don’t know all the answers and will empower clients to identify their own goals and chart their own course for achieving them.

A good executive coach takes their cues from the client – in fact, executive coaching is one of the most individually tailored professional development tools you can access.

What Makes a Good Executive Coach?

Good executive coaches know how to listen.

The best executive coaches will let the client do most of the talking, while they listen actively and ask thoughtful, even provocative, questions along the way.

Good coaches question rather than lecture.

They don’t tell the client what to do – they walk beside the client as they weigh their options.

Good executive coaches share their own hard-earned lessons from prior successes and failures.

This means a good executive coach is vulnerable and willing to share their own business challenges.

This real-world experience, combined with the coach’s outside perspective, can be invaluable to a client.

A good executive coach genuinely cares about the clients they work with.

Good executive coaches are able to relate to a wide variety of clients. They foster an environment of trust and confidentiality, and to create a space where clients feel safe to explore challenges.

Good coaches also are clear on how to set goals and relentless in holding clients accountable.

And they do it all with the best interests of the client in mind.

What to Expect from Executive Coaching when you Work with an Alliance Advisor.

At the Alliance, our advisors offer customized executive coaching services for family business leaders.

Your first executive coaching session can vary depending on the Advisor you’re working with and your specific needs, but here are some general things you can expect:

  1. An introduction and assessment: The first session will likely begin with an introduction to your Advisor and a discussion of your goals for coaching. Your Advisor may ask you to complete a self-assessment or provide some background information about yourself and your work.
  2. Goal setting: Based on your initial discussion, your Advisor will work with you to set specific goals for your coaching engagement. These goals will be used to guide your Coaching sessions and track progress over time.
  3. Exploration of your strengths and challenges: Your Advisor may ask you questions to better understand your strengths and areas where you want to improve. They may also ask you to reflect on past experiences or challenges you’ve faced in your work.
  4. Identification of areas for growth and development: Based on your goals and initial assessment, your Advisor will work with you to identify areas where you want to focus your growth and development. These areas may include leadership skills, communication, time management, or other areas relevant to your role.
  5. Action planning: Your Advisor will work with you to create an action plan for achieving your goals. This may include specific steps you can take, resources you can use, or changes you can make in your work.
  6. Follow-up and next steps: Your Advisor will discuss with you what you can expect in future coaching sessions and how you can prepare for them. They may also provide you with resources or materials to help you achieve your goals.

Overall, your first executive coaching session is an opportunity for you to get to know your Advisor, set goals for your coaching engagement, and begin the process of identifying areas for growth and development. It’s important to come prepared with an open mind and a willingness to reflect on your experiences and goals.

Most Executives Won’t Hire a Coach.

But if you’re one of the brave ones who is willing to face your fears, accept responsibility and do the hard work of personal change – you can transform yourself and your business – and grow in ways you cannot imagine right now.

Executive coaching isn’t for everyone, but if it’s for you, the sooner you start, the sooner you’ll reach your potential as a leader. If you’d like to consider one of our Alliance advisors as an executive coach, book a free consultation here: Book a Call

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