Anyone who is open to it and willing to do the work can be coached.
But you really need to ask yourself: Am I coachable?
Before answering that question, you need an understanding of what working with a coach will require of you.
Business coaches don’t just pump you up and tell you a bunch of encouraging things. We push you to work. We hold you accountable. We subject you to measurements.
I once heard a smart person ask this question: If Michael Jordan, who is the best player in the world (or was at the time anyway) needed a coach, why don’t you?
Michael Jordan’s coach with the Bulls was Phil Jackson, and his job was to mold the talented players he had into a team that could operate at a high level and win championships. In order for that to work, every player on the team – including Jordan – had to operate within the parameters their coach established. They had to accept Phil Jackson’s game plan, go onto the court and execute it.
What if Michael Jordan had said, “I’m the greatest player in the world and I don’t need a coach to tell me how to play”? That would have made Phil Jackson’s job impossible. But one of the things that made Jordan a great player was that he was coachable. He understood that playing basketball was his job and coaching was the coach’s job. He knew he and his teammates would be more successful if they respected the leadership and the accountability coming from their coach.
And it worked.
A business leader who works with a coach has to recognize that the coach brings support and perspective that the business leader himself or herself could not provide alone. The outside perspective is crucial, but so is the simple fact that some people are wired to coach while others are wired to perform.
If you can become part of the right coach/executive combination, the results can be powerful. Find the right person. There’s a great deal of trust and collaboration involved, and not every coach is right for every client. But when the combination works, it can take you places you’ve never been before.
By the way, Phil Jackson made Michael Jordan work. And Jordan did the work because he knew it would make him better. That’s how it works when coaches and clients work well together.
Are you ready to be coached? Do you want badly enough for someone to help make you better? Because if you’re ready, we can do great things together.
Here’s a video of my recent discussion with Michelle Cohl about this: