Scenario #1 — Resolving a current problem:
- When you’re not quite meeting expectations and you don’t know why.
- When you’ve been passed over for the promotion you thought was in the bag (again).
- When your team is showing signs of burnout and / or dysfunction.
Being reactive always brings a higher price
The need for help is obvious. Something is amiss or even off the rails, and the underlying causes are unknown. In many cases, these (surprisingly common) scenarios can drag out until something significant happens — when there is a very real price to pay, be that in terms of lost revenues or decreased income, mental or physical health problems, or unplanned turnover.
The problem with waiting until the need is obvious is that the price paid is always higher the longer you wait it out. At least that’s what Jeff, my trusted, decades-long auto mechanic taught me. And with three cars currently running in tip-top shape at a combined age of 43, I believe him!
The value of getting in shape BEFORE the race
If you have either A) Burned out your immune system through stress and lack of self-care and then fallen ill, or B) Undertaken a focused training program before entering a marathon — then you will attest to the value of preventive care and maintenance.
Which leads me to “When should you hire a coach” Scenario #2:
- When you win that new leadership role with expanded influence, impact, and risk.
- When your company brings in a new chief executive and you recognize a (potentially once in a career) opportunity for your team to become pivotal to the new strategy.
- When a huge win opens an equally huge window of opportunity to influence organizational culture and behavior.
In my personal experience as a leader and an advisor, these happier moments are both less obvious (in terms of the need for help) and also exponentially more powerful.
Take the new elevated role, for example. If you’re 100% new to the organization, you will typically have a brief grace period in which to get yourself grounded and reach your maximum operating performance (the more senior, the more brief). If the new role is in an organization where you already work, that grace period is even shorter. Those first 90 days — measured in weeks — are your once-in-a-role opportunity to:
- Establish critical relationships that will help your cause and limit stone-throwing later on,
- Identify and tackle quick wins that set up your credibility and that of your team, and
- Articulate early insights / learnings, vet your ideas, and sketch out short- and long-term plans with someone who is completely free of any agenda related to your job — save that you are good at it.
Meander these opportunities away at your own risk. As clients have returned and confirmed to me: You will never get those early days back again. After all, you wouldn’t plan to run a marathon in two month’s time without training for it, would you?
Here’s more on how coaching can help — particularly in the areas of growing your career, becoming more skillful at leading and influencing, and learning and practicing new change skills.
Whether you’re currently in a reactionary mode or planning ahead, schedule a Complimentary Clarity Call today so we can identify strengths to lean into and blind spots to obliterate!