As an Executive Coach for business owners and executives, I find that leaders struggle with the same challenges as everyone else. The sheer number of roles and situations they juggle is unprecedented in human history.
A quick glimpse of a typical day includes:
Wake up (often after a lack of quality sleep), get ready for work, activities related to children, battle the traffic while driving to work (30-60 minutes), deal with the challenges inherent in being a leader, work later than desired, endure another round of commute and then get home to a hectic house with children, dinner, cleanup, and homework as well as typical discussions and conflicts.
Add to this the countless distractions with cell-phones, emails, and internet usage that drains away our focused attention. Pile on health challenges, financial issues, relationship issues, economic and business instability, etc. No wonder most people struggle with practicing the good habits that are required to stay physically and mentally fit and at our best.
How do we reach our potential in this environment?
When did our ancestors face this magnitude of obstacles?
How do we successfully navigate these perils without getting sidetracked along the way?
Since everyone is better at some things than at others, it’s inevitable that some activities will fall into our “weaker areas”. Places where our focus, energy, and potential get siphoned off — away from the things that matter most to our success and fulfillment. Despite these challenges, there are people who are thriving while living in the same world!
There are people who honestly believe that there has never been a better time to be alive than today. They will tell you that if you learn how to adapt to our current world, there are more opportunities to create the life you truly desire than ever before.
How is it that different people can look at the same circumstance and come up with opposite interpretations?
I have often found that the same leaders who say we are in the best of times used to believe that we are in the worst of times. What changed? They changed.
They changed how they chose to look at and interpret the world. They learned that when you change how you look at things, the things you look at change. They also made conscious, deliberate choices to do things differently. By making these efforts a step by step process which fits their unique personalities and circumstances, it was practical and not too difficult.
With the steady progress of an approach that fit their uniqueness, they built confidence and momentum to gradually take larger steps. They did things to make the process fun and something they could look forward to doing on a regular basis. Things that made creating these positive changes enjoyable. They gradually overcame the same obstacles that hinder most people. They created the lives they desired that previously seemed impossible.
This is an example of the power of quality coaching.
And best of all, with quality coaching, the individuals themselves were the ones who created the changes. They learned what worked and didn’t work for them rather than someone telling them what to do. They learned how to be at “the cause” side rather than at “the effect” side of life.
The coach didn’t tell them what to do and how to do it, but rather helped them see the amazing potential that was already there. And helped them set up the steps and accountability, so they actually followed through on their intentions. Thus, they developed greater capacities within themselves.
Is it possible for people to accomplish the same results on their own without coaching?
Sure it is. It’s also possible to teach yourself a new language, teach yourself to play a musical instrument, or teach yourself anything else for that matter. For most people, coaching is simply faster, more efficient, and easier than doing it on their own.
Virtually all professional athletes, sports teams, entertainers, executives of major corporations, and many others utilize professional coaches to help them succeed and reach their maximum potential in our challenging world. The funny thing is that most people expect the people who want to perform at the highest levels to work with coaches, but don’t think of this for themselves.
Does this mean they prefer not to be at their best? Something to ponder.
One of the most interesting developments is that an increasing number of small to mid-size business owners, and their executives, have discovered the value of coaching, often motivated by the desire to capture a competitive edge. Doing this turns out to be a practical business decision backed up by statistics. According to research published by Forbes.com in 2012, the ROI for coaching is seven times the initial investment and 25 percent of coaching clients achieved 10 to 49 times the initial investment.
Also, most people find that it’s extremely helpful to have someone they can talk to openly, honestly, and confidentially. It’s very difficult for many people at the executive level to feel comfortable doing this with coworkers.
In summary, many people have discovered that investing in quality coaching is the difference-maker they were looking for to help them unlock the enormous potential that lies within themselves. Potential that if untapped, costs businesses a large amount of money and leaves individuals less fulfilled professionally and personally.
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