According to Fast Company Magazine, more than 40 percent of CEOs polled in a recent survey have worked with an executive coach. Among senior executives who report directly to CEOs the number was nearly twice that many. Ninety percent of all executives surveyed for the report who have used a coach also said they plan to continue doing so, and a large majority of companies surveyed are increasing their hiring of executive coaches.
Proactive Leadership Development
The higher numbers among aspiring CEOs taking advantage of coaching and mentoring may reflect the fact that those in line for the C-suite on succession planning lists recognize the need for accelerated leadership development. Expert one-on-one coaching can give them the skills and executive presence needed to successfully compete for coveted positions.
Coaching can also serve as a proactive preparation or training platform for top level positions. Why suffer the career stress and risk of attempting to learn what you need to know while already on the job? A competent executive mentor can have you fully equipped and confident to accept greater responsibility even before you apply for your promotion.
Getting the Most from an Executive Coach
But not all coaches are created equal. To get their money’s worth from the coaching experience it is critical that the executive find someone with whom she or he has an open, honest, comfortable rapport. Just as importantly, the coach or mentor needs to have a depth and breadth of experience that gives them personal insight into the nature of the position and its multifaceted complexities and responsibilities.
Ideally the executive seeking a coach or mentor should find one who has more experience than they do. That experience does not necessarily have to be in the same profession, field, or industry. But the best coaches typically have the best track records in terms of their own career history, leadership experience, and executive resumes.
Have you used an executive coach/professional mentor or thought about hiring one? I’d love to hear about your experience and whether you consider it a wise investment.
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Sarah Hathorn is a leadership development mentor, executive presence coach, image and branding consultant, public speaker & author. She is the founding CEO of her own successful company, Illustra Consulting, and the creator of the proprietary Predictable Promotion System™.
Blog, Ezine & Website: www.illustraconsulting.com
Copyright © 2011, Sarah Hathorn, AICI CIP, CPBS