Who Needs An Executive Coach?

Executive coaching is hot. What was stigma (“You’re so broken you need a coach?”) has become status symbol (“You’re so valuable you get a coach?”). Tiger Woods and Michael Phelps have coaches. Even President Barack Obama has a coach, if you count David Axelrod. Microsoft ‘s young high-potential leaders get coaches.

Increasingly both private and public sector leaders across the Caribbean are hiring executive coaches for themselves and their top staff. And like many of the world’s top performing companies, Caribbean executives, their organizations and their staff are reaping the benefits of executive coaching in increased accountability, more effective communications, enhance relationships between leaders and staff, and, increased performance and productivity.

If elite athletes, world leaders, top Fortune 100 CEO’s and world class organizations think they need coaches, shouldn’t you have one too? Shouldn’t we all?

No… not necessarily. Executive coaching–personal training in leadership from someone who provides it for a living–should be used like a powerful prescription drug that works best under certain conditions. When employed as a cure-all, it is less effective, too expensive and has negative side effects.

Executive coaching is not aspirin. It’s interferon. So when should it be prescribed for an executive? When should it be avoided?

Based on the latest research and 25 years I’ve spent coaching senior executives and high-potential young leaders, here are five diagnostic questions you should ask before making the decision to hire a coach.

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