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Do not hire an executive coach... least, if you are convinced that everything is going well?

As long as you think everything is going well, it's better not start a program for executive coaching. It will not bring what you are looking for.

It continues to amaze me how few senior managers still get feedback on how they get to their results. And if they get any feedback, it is often mostly about their figures. In other words, they get feedback about the WHAT. About the way they get to their results, the HOW, they hear very little. And it is even more dangerous when you realize that your habits are becoming more persistent over the years. You thus step easily into the success illusion.

I get my results,
which means that I'm successful,
So that means I'm doing good.
1 + 1 = 2,
pure logic.

We see that entrepreneurs and managers often do not realize that they are successful in spite of certain habits that they have developed over the years. But we also see that, if they really want to address their bad habits seriously, their effectiveness increases dramatically. They were already successful, and now they are simply becoming even more successful. They are setting the next step in their career. Moreover, these managers set a great example to all their employees. 'I'm successful, but I am not perfect and I'm willing to work on my professional development' is the implicit message that is given to all employees. Through that behavior, they are setting a completely different tone in the organization.

One of the important lessons we have learned at our firm is that we work most effectively with people who are willing to look deep enough into the mirror. People who want to work on letting go of ineffective habits and are prepared to learn some new habits. People who dare to come out of their comfort zone. In such cases, we often see how fast our clients experience the added value of our program in their everyday professional life.

One of our good relations became the CEO of a large European company this year. He formulated it as follows:

Being successful can lead to arrogance,
making you stop listening.
And because you stop listening,
you stop changing.
In this rapidly changing world in which we now live,
you will thereby ultimately fail.

A good coach is working for you like board member works for an organization. Someone at some distance, but close. Someone who works in your best interest and dares to confront you: tough love. At the top of organizations it works exactly the same way as it works in top sport. The details make the difference. Details you became blind for. At the top of an organization everybody is talented and has a great track record. Has some impressive diplomas. They are ambitious, are quick thinkers and are willing to put in a lot of hours.

As always, we'd love to hear your thoughts.

Have a nice weekend,


By Paul Donkers

"my purpose is to help improve strategy execution, to create high performing teams and coach for effective business leaders"

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