Though we live in a time of shortages caused by supply chain disruptions, there is no shortage of advice in the business press about the tremendous advantages of retaining an executive coach or trusted advisor, as a quick Google search will show.  Does that mean that if you as a business owner do not have such support then you are seriously neglecting a key to your success?  Not necessarily.  Perhaps you do not need one.

To help clarify, here is list of reasons why you may not need an executive coach/trusted advisor

  • Your own job satisfaction and sense of fulfillment is consistently very high.
  • You are not one of those who feel that “it is lonely at the top,” or if you do it does not bother you.
  • You pretty much have all the answers, individually or as a team.
  • There is no doubt about your executive leadership abilities in anyone’s mind.
  • Each year you seem to get better and better at what you do.
  • The results your team produces rarely disappoint you.
  • All the members of your top team work very well together.
  • You know when you will exit from the firm and with what enterprise value range, and you have a comprehensive plan on how to accomplish this.
  • Finding the right people to add to your team has never been much of a problem, nor has retention.
  • You are confident that everyone close to you is open and honest about all the things that matter.
  • Your company’s Mission, Vision, Values are not only what you live by each day, but they are frequently reviewed and discussed throughout your company.
  • There is no complacency, much less apathy, in your company—everyone acts with an appropriate and constant sense of urgency.
  • New and creative ideas seem to arise from all levels of the organization, and they receive the attention, recognition, and implementation that they deserve.
  • Your workforce overall is highly engaged, and the few who may be found to be actively disengaged are quickly dealt with as appropriate.
  • There are few if any compliance issues at the legal or regulatory level.
  • Efficient use of resources is not something practiced only when business slows down—it is a way of life at your company
  • “Abundance versus scarcity” is no platitude at your company—you are making a ton of money, and there is no end in sight.
  • You are aware of no habits or limiting beliefs that hold you back.
  • Running your business is a tonic for you, and your health is great.
  • Life is so good you almost feel guilty about it.

Realistically, probably no business owner or executive could say that all the statements above are true for them, though some might say it for a large percentage. Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos come to mind, as well as Warren Buffett.  Don’t worry—there is no pseudo-scientific formula here from which you can derive the degree of your need for an executive coach or trusted advisor based upon the number of “no” answers you gave.

Rather, it is advised that you pose to yourself the following question:

How many of these statements—or which of these statements—would have to be false before you considered the possibility that the right trusted advisor or coach could be worth the investment of time and money for you and your firm?

It is also important to note that even when, in theory, an executive coach or advisor could be of significant benefit, I would say, based on more than 25 years of executive coaching and consulting, that you likely will not find it useful in practice if you lack most of the following characteristics:

  • Ambition for higher levels of business and executive success
  • Understanding of the value of working on the business, as a complement to working in the business
  • You find self-development and long-term business planning to be fulfilling and stimulating
  • Willingness to deal with limiting beliefs that may create obstacles to success, such as reluctance to delegate, mistrustfulness, or perfectionism.
  • Can identify and manage your own emotions of disappointment, confusion or discouragement and seek ways to deal effectively with them
  • Very open to feedback—however much it stings—that can contribute to success.
  • Willingness to act on valid feedback to achieve objectives.
  • Feel energized and focused after discussing critical issues in confidence with a trusted advisor.

For example, if you have a small, stable business, with modest incremental, organic growth, that supports your family and your aspirations, and you have low tolerance for change, why complicate your life?  This description fits most successful, independent, “storefront” businesses, as well as many small manufacturers and machine shops.  Likewise, if you think that working with a trusted advisor would be a bore and raise the risk of your disclosing competitive information to a blabbermouth, why bother?  Here though, you might ask yourself how you came to acquire such a dismal view and whether you will allow one or two experiences with the pompous, incompetent, or unethical to bar you from a significant opportunity.

Let’s say that from the above you can see that the right executive coach could be of significant help, but you choose to handle the issues in some other manner.  Then the critical questions are, “who? when? where? and why?”  There is nothing wrong with finding alternatives—but be cautious about procrastination and the flight from accountability.  Also, consider, with the appropriate substitution, the axiom for attorneys: “If you are a lawyer for yourself, you have a fool for a client.”

If still not sure and you would like to talk it over, the first five respondents will receive one hour of complimentary executive coaching/consulting free of charge.  Just call at 818 249 0147 or email me at before December 1.  There will be no hard sell, but if that possibility worries you, then you might consider some coaching on negotiations or speaking with more power and mastery