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Great Executive Coaches don’t necessarily have a long history in Business.  In fact, one of the best coaches I’ve ever met was a psychologist and not a businessman. Business experience is perfect for consulting, but a coach must put away their biases when working with a client.

Now, this may come as a surprise but when learning how to be a coach I had to forget much of the knowledge and wisdom I had accumulated in my prior 30 years of entrepreneurship. I know, I know, most of you are surprised that I collected any knowledge and wisdom….how hard would it be to forget that which I never knew.

What is it about experience that may get in the way of becoming one of the great executive coaches of all time?

  1. Premature Prescription – Typical CEOs are Type A personalities…. they direct, they solve, they prescribe solutions.  A decade ago, when I was a novice coach, I found myself jumping to conclusions.. and sometimes they were the wrong conclusions.  Great Executive Coaches, ask exhaustive questions even after they think they know the answer and then they don’t prescribe… they draw the answer from the client.
  2. Pattern Recognition – Experienced CEOs learn to recognize patterns and respond with solutions that have worked for them in the past. Correlation isn’t necessarily causation. Just because the pattern seems familiar does not mean the client described pattern is a match in issue or solution. Even when the pattern seems familiar it does not mean that his instance will be cured with the same solution.
  3. Varied Skillsets – The answers for one person may not work for another. Not everyone possesses the same skill set. For instance, if the issue was hurricane preparation and the coach is a hammer and the client is a drill, then you wouldn’t want to board up the windows by hammering nails with a drill. What may work for the coach may not work for the client.
  4. Human Nature – People have a greater chance of successfully executing a plan they developed themselves than one that is handed to them.

It took me a while to chill, to not shoot before I had a clear view of, fully understood, and had taken aim at the target.  It took a lot of experience and training for me to get to a point where I teased the solution out of the client as opposed to handing my solution to him or her on a platter. That’s why when a client says to me,

Client, “What would you do?”

I reply, “I could tell you what I’d do and it would work… if you were me.”

The best business coaches, the truly great executive coaches, help their clients think through their issues, develop their own plans to tackle these matters that are based on that client’s unique skill set. Becuase,

People have a better chance to succesfully execute plans they’ve developed themselves


A coach could tell them what to do and it would work if the client was the coach.

Want to hear my answer to “What would you do,” live? Want to know what it’s like to have an executive coach ask you the questions so you can develop a plan that you have a high likelihood of executing successfully? Even the best executive coach may not be the best fit for your needs so try me on before you buy. Sign up for a no-obligation, complimentary (no I’m not going to compliment you… I’m not going to charge you), online coaching session by pressing that little button below: