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Bill Gates and Eric Schmidt have both famously said that “Everyone needs a coach.” However, there remains many misguided thoughts about the need for, or value of, a coach, especially for executives. Some even think that getting a coach is a sign of weakness when, actually, the opposite is true. It’s a sign of strength.

I have had many coaches during my career, both in private industry and as a founder and leader of a company. What did I gain from these relationships, especially as a leader?

  • Objective feedback on issues where I am stuck.
  • A pair of eyes that can look at a situation differently than I am.
  • Someone who will tell me the unvarnished truth.
  • Someone who can provide insights that I can utilize in my business and in my life.
  • Someone that holds me accountable for the results that I am striving for.
  • A trusted advisor with whom I can share confidential ideas and concepts, who is outside of the organization and has no agenda other than to help me succeed.
  • Helping me to grow in my efforts as a leader and as a person.

There are many more benefits, but I think you get the idea.

Leaders have a difficult challenge. They are at the top of the organization and are supposed to have “all of the answers,” which of course is never the case.

Leaders are expected to drive toward the purpose of the organization, elicit the support of all of the team, inspire excellence, and be a mentor to those who report to him or her. Further, leaders are expected to set the tone for how the people in the organization are treated and encouraged.

Leaders create opportunities for others to lead, set the bar high and offer support, and help cultivate an ecosystem where everyone thrives. And often the notion is that this must all be done without any consideration regarding their own development and needs. This doesn’t make any sense to me, and I imagine it doesn’t make much sense to you either.

As a leader, I recommend that you explore what coaching truly is, including how you can benefit from a relationship with someone who can listen to you and help you work through the demands of your role, including how to best approach and deal with the many challenges and opportunities that result due to your position in the organization. It is because of your responsibilities to the company and to its employees that seeking professional assistance from a qualified professional coach is critical to your success.

Read more here: Why CEOs Need Coaching Now More Than Ever