Tag Archives: overconfident

Having a Coach is no longer taboo

Will people think I don’t know what I’m doing if they know I have a coach? Why would a CEO need a coach? Does it look bad to have a coach?

Confident professionals interacting at briefing

It used to be perceived that having a coach meant you had something wrong with you or that you were being punished by your boss.  That is a thing of the past, as are heroic leaders. 

Overconfidence is actually a reason CEOs fail.  According to a recent study in the U.K., the presence of overconfident CEOs leads to a higher risk of bankruptcy in innovative environments.  Studies in the U.S. show similar results.

This is not to say CEOs can’t be heroes—especially CEOs who are coached.  One study showed that roughly 40-60% of CEOS in small, fast-growing companies used executive coaches.  Hero CEOs, like Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos, Eric Schmidt, and Larry Page, have all been coached.  Other executives have coaches too, especially CTOs and CFOs, who tend to be more technically trained.

Overconfident, “uncoachable” corporate leaders, in addition to having financial problems, tend to have poor relationships with people inside and outside of their organizations.  For example, a study of CFOs found the top reason a CFO chooses to leave a company is a poor working relationship with the CEO.  “A bad boss” is also the top reason any employee leaves a job.

Are you uncoachable?  Take Marshall Goldsmith’s 4-question test.  If you think there’s hope, try getting a coach and LISTEN to them.  Thank them for pointing out when you are putting up your defenses and see if it helps.

Reasons to hire a coach.

It’s lonely at the top. A coach is an external person who supports you.  They are not out to get your job.  They are someone you can confide in, someone who will listen to you vent, someone who will support you even when you have messed up or pissed everyone off around you.

It’s hard to be vulnerable. A coach does not judge you.  They are there to help you.  You can trust your coach.

It’s easy to make excuses. A coach will hold you accountable.  They will ask you how it went, what happened when you tried a new behavior, what stopped you from trying, and so on.

It’s time to make a change. When you feel stuck or you’ve been trying to get something done and it’s not working, a coach will help you assess your approach and tweak it to get better results.

If you want to learn more about what to look for in a coach or how to hire one, schedule a free consult with Joanie.