Why Business & Life Coaching Isn’t Just for the Top of the Org Chart

There’s a common myth when it comes to leadership in the business world and it’s this – coaching is just for business owners and executives at the top of the org chart. Sure, business owners and executives should absolutely get coaching to level up their leadership. It’s essential for their personal and professional growth. But business owners and executives aren’t the only ones to hit ceilings when it comes to their careers. It happens frequently with Force Multipliers, too. But because coaching is often regarded as only necessary for top-level leadership, there are many incredibly talented Force Multiplier leaders out there who are missing out on an amazing opportunity to grow. 

So this week, I want to share my own personal journey about what led me to get a coach after almost ten years of being at Adam Hergenrother Companies. Over the years working with Adam I have received a lot of amazing coaching and training from him and from our leadership team. Also, every week I get a 1-1 coaching and accountability session with Adam, and it has played a tremendous role in my growth. That is… until it didn’t. So here’s the story…

Hitting a Leadership Lid

Earlier this year I was starting to become complacent and stagnant with my own personal and professional growth. Externally, things were moving in the right direction (great career, building wealth, traveling, renovating our home, spending time with family, speaking and training opportunities, etc.). My life and career were growing because the business was growing.

Of course, this is great, but I realized I wasn’t doing the more difficult work of looking inward to see if everything I was creating in my world actually aligns with who I am at my core. For me, it’s always been much easier to dive into work and productivity and projects. I’m the first one to jump on a new project (or setting up a new company!) and run with it, which is one of the reasons why the role of a Force Multiplier comes so naturally to me. 

But I began to notice this pattern in myself and realized I had been bumping my head on my own ceiling of achievement for so long by just continuing to move forward and “achieve” in the external world, without pausing to really reflect. I know that external goals can often be used as a distraction from doing the real work – turning inward and really taking a good hard look at what’s going on inside. And I realized that what I really needed was an outsider’s fresh perspective to help me level up in all areas of my life.

When It’s Time to Hire a Coach

All of the highly successful individuals I know have coaches. They might be health coaches, leadership coaches, or life coaches. But bottom line? They have someone helping them level up, make positive changes, optimize their life, and become the person they want to be. I knew I needed to hire a coach because I have been trying to make important changes on my own for over five years and I was finally willing to admit to myself that I was not a superhuman and that, I too, needed help sometimes.

To be honest, I probably would have hired a coach much sooner if I hadn’t been surrounded by such incredible mentors and leaders. But, because I am, it took me a bit longer to realize what a massive impact a coach would have in my life. And, I know that being coached is hard work with huge accountability (and that scared the shit out of me!) – but it was clear, I had to hire a coach or be content with doing more of the same, which as a growth-minded person, was definitely not okay with me. 

Why You May Need a (New) Coach

As I mentioned, I’ve received an amazing amount of coaching while being in our organization and working so closely with Adam. But after working together as long as Adam and I have, there was bound to come a time when his coaching was simply falling on deaf ears. I’ve attended hundreds of Adam’s trainings, and not only have I attended them, I’ve actually helped him prep for them, created the PowerPoints, worked on the messaging for them, helped answer questions from the audience, etc. On top of that, I read most of the same books as Adam and follow the same thought leaders. Part of my role as a Chief of Staff is literally learning to think like Adam! It’s hard to be a prophet in your own land and Adam lasted longer than most! 

So, like we tell our own coaching clients, at some point, depending on where you are at in your life, it’s time to switch coaches or even add another one. And if you’re a Force Multiplier who is lucky to be working with an amazing leader who coaches you at work, it might also be time to bring in a new coach to help jumpstart your personal growth again with a fresh perspective. 

The Difference Between Training and Coaching

What I knew for sure was that I didn’t need another training. I didn’t need to add another administrative skill, change management process, or time management technique to my arsenal. I wanted to get clear on who I wanted to become and work side by side with someone who was going to help guide me along the way with some major tough love and accountability.

If you’re trying to decide whether you need more training or need a coach, ask yourself this – am I looking to get better at the tasks related to my job or am I actually looking to grow as a leader, professional, and person? I was also very clear that what I really needed was a cross between business and life coaching. I needed someone who understood my career goals and would offer guidance on navigating those challenges while also working with me on my personal growth to help me actually become the person who can reach those career goals. Oprah was not born as an incredible leader fully ready to run a massive empire. She developed who she was over the years to actually grow into and become the person who could run such a massive and impactful organization. That transformative growth is what I wanted, and I knew, in my case, it could only come from coaching. 

Finding Your Dream Coach

The first step once I had this realization was actually searching for and finding a coach – someone to guide me, to hold me accountable, to provide sound advice, and perhaps most importantly, someone to hold up a mirror and not let me get away with my own shit.

As with anything, my first step is research. Now, this wasn’t the first time I had explored working with a coach, so I had already had several preliminary conversations under my belt from coaches who were referred to me or were affiliated with groups that I am a part of. I did talk to three more coaches (again, from trusted sources) to evaluate everything from their coaching philosophy, contract terms, cost, track record of success, and general compatibility. You’re going to be working very closely with this person for months, so you don’t have to like them per se, but you do have to respect them and at least feel comfortable sharing your inner thoughts and feelings.

I ultimately decided to hire my coach based on a variety of factors, including favorable contract terms, intelligence, experience in a similar role, her direct, no bull-shit communication style, and her holistic approach to coaching me as a person, not just as a Chief of Staff.

The Investment Is Scary… But Do It Anyway

Coaching is a significant financial and emotional investment. One that scared me a little, but that’s another reason why I knew it was exactly what I needed to do. I needed to have some skin in the game. Committing a large sum of money immediately creates more buy-in. I also knew that in order to get a return on my investment, that I would have to go places I didn’t really want to go (like stripping away the project-oriented, super productive identity I had created and actually get vulnerable). If I truly wanted to grow as a leader, as a wife, a friend, as a Force Multiplier, (hell, as a human!), then I would need to lean into the uncomfortable. I knew I was doing the right thing when I actually felt a little nervous signing the contract – that told me that I was headed in the right direction! 

Coaching Is REALLY Hard Work

I’m a few weeks into coaching and so far I’ve discovered that I have a deep aversion to doing anything that I am not good at or that I perceive as “hard” (anything that doesn’t come naturally to me or puts me in a vulnerable position falls into the hard category). I struggle at times, like many leaders, with imposter syndrome and leading myself first with a solid morning routine, healthy eating habits and consistent exercise (I do them but it’s a struggle…). Oh, and to top it all off, I don’t like emotions. Well, I’m okay with some emotions – like excitement or anger, but get me anywhere near a vulnerable emotion and I double down on the “easy” (i.e. work, projects and productivity).

Ouch. That is a whole lot of stuff to unpack! At first, it’s incredibly difficult to get a clearer view of yourself, but this is exactly what I wanted from a high-quality coach. And I’ve only just begun to scratch the surface of the inner work that I need to do! What I’m most excited about now is the possibility that has opened up for my personal and professional growth. I’ve been operating in the same way for so long and it’s gotten to me where I am, but I’m 100% ready to let go of these limiting habits and beliefs to level up and see what’s next. In only a few short weeks, it has already had a massive impact on me (I can’t wait to see what happens a few months from now!). So really this story is the start of another story. I don’t know how it ends yet, but the one thing I know is that I’m committed to the journey and excited to find out what’s on the other side. 

Have you worked with a coach before? If so, did you have a defining moment that pushed you to find a coach? If you haven’t worked with a coach, what’s holding you back?

If you’re ready to hire a coach, I would love to be that person! Check out our Force Multiplier Cohort and see if it could be the right fit for you. Applications are due March 6! You can also use this resource to ask your Founder for support in your coaching journey.

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