I had a very insightful conversation with a highly successful and retired CFO (I will call him Joe) who worked in the long term care and consulting industries. He shared his experiences with other executives and his own awareness of how coaching benefited the organizations he worked with.
In our discussion Joe shared his experience working with all types of executives and including an “almost” billionaire owner/executive and members of his executive team. I shared my experience with the various executive entrepreneurs and corporate executives I have worked with as a coach as well as an individual contributor to organizations. We found ourselves digging into how executives deal with change and why they hire or don’t hire coaches to support them with change.
Joe gave the example of a time where the owner of a company hired a coaching/consulting agency to provide support and perspective in order to optimize the company’s profitability, productivity and growth. The most fascinating thing was the coaching/consulting firm shifted the initial focus completely away from working directly with the owner/leader of the company, to coaching the executives on how to work with the owner of the company. INTERESTING!! Additionally, the owner knew there were personal business issues to be addressed such as extensively long work hours that ultimately took away from his family that he adored and cherished.
Now, I can see how the coaching firm had a duty to meet the objective of optimizing the company’s profitability, productivity and growth – to shift focus away from the owner if he was not willing to be coached. But I can’t help but feel there was truly a missed opportunity for this particular business owner. The missed opportunity of growth that would result in long term success, but more importantly joy and fulfillment. As John C. Maxwell said “Change is inevitable. Growth is optional.”
The question that came to my mind is “was the client truly committed to being uncoachable or was he just committed to reaching the original goals first“. As a coach, I am extremely passionate about supporting people in not only reaching their goals but doing it with ease and joy in ALL areas of their lives.
My hope for the business owner is that in moving through the coaching process, he had some insights and awareness that ultimately will drive him to want to be just as successful in leading a joy filled life as he was in leading a strictly successful business life.