At this start of a New Year. We all want to make the year our best year yet. For some of us we become our own roadblocks to success. Consider hiring a coach to help you get to the finish line and beyond. A coach will help you make this best year ever.

Things That Get in the Way of Executive Coaching

Too many people receive poor or no coaching. They miss opportunities to become more effective in their positions of influence and are often denied promotions they deserve.

Hiring an executive or personal coach can help them enormously. It's the right tool to alleviate common leadership problems.

What Is Executive Coaching?

Broadly defined, executive coaching is a one-on-one consulting relationship dedicated to improving high-level managers' leadership capabilities and performance. Close to 60 percent of U.S. corporations employ coaches, and approximately 10,000 executive coaches are practicing today.

Coaching helps conquer ingrained leadership behaviors in ways that few other developmental approaches can muster. Senior executives value the privacy the experience affords, while managers appreciate learning how to coach their reports.

Risky Business

Despite the explosion in coaching services, working with coaches can be risky. There are no generally accepted standards for membership in the profession. A few organizations purport to screen and train coaches, but their authority is not universally accepted.

Many of the great executive coaches lack official credentials or membership in a trade organization. Many come from related fields like psychology, human resources or management. And there are experienced coaches, with good track records, who come from sports, real estate and unorthodox backgrounds.

The more you know about what goes on in the coaching process, the better you'll be able to make a good choice of coach.

What You Need to Know

As an active participant in the coaching process, you are required to:

  • Understand executive coaching, what it can accomplish and its limitations

  • Realize why specific strategies are necessary to overcome special barriers to executive development

  • Decide whether and how coaching is likely to help you become more effective

  • Discover how to assess potential coaches and choose the best fit for your particular needs

  • Recognize the critical steps in the coaching process and learn how to manage them with the aid of your coach

  • Learn not only how coaching can help you change your own behavior, but also how it can help you influence colleagues to perceive you in the way you want to be perceived
Boulders along the Road

Here are five potential hurdles to developing executives and convincing them to change their behaviors:
    1. Lack of authentic feedback: The more authority you have, the less likely you are to seek and receive authentic feedback. You may present an air of confidence and dominance that discourages meaningful interactions.

    2. Lack of time or value placed on reflection:
      Most executives face enormous, continuous and widely varying demands on their time. The likelihood of having time to reflect on behavior is minimal. Furthermore, it's not in the nature of most hard-driving, results-oriented personalities to be introspective.

    3. Reluctance to reveal weaknesses to others:
      Leaders strive to continually project an aura of confidence and competence. Complicating matters, the organization and your peers may discourage you from appearing vulnerable.

    4. Reluctance to acknowledge weaknesses to oneself: Executives often steer clear of acknowledging their personal weaknesses. When your behaviors lead to positive business results, you may rationalize weaknesses in interpersonal style. But denial works for only so long before complexity, stress and challenges take their toll.

    5. Fear of letting go of a previously successful style:
      If your leadership style has been working just fine for a few years, you may fear that modifying it puts your effectiveness at risk. No coach, no matter how talented, can effect change and development in a leader who fails to understand how barriers can sabotage one's efforts. When executives agree to change and improve, coaching works. When they see themselves as responsible for making change, coaching once again works. The return on investment for organizations is exponential.
The Road to Enlightenment

Executive coaching is designed to effect sustained behavioral changes to improve performance. To achieve this goal, the coaching program must deliver on these prerequisites:

Provide insight into your leadership behavior and style: Executives often assume their current approach is the right one and are blind to its downside. You aren't likely to change if you embrace this idea. You must request feedback on the effects of your style and actions. While this may be difficult to hear, your coach can facilitate the feedback process.

Clarify your purpose and interests: The way you lead is intimately connected to who you are as a person. To improve your skills, you must strengthen the connections between your inner self and external actions.

Improve interpersonal relationships: People's previous experiences with you and their preexisting judgments should be addressed. Involving colleagues in your development process can help change their perceptions of you. This will make it easier for you to alter patterns of interaction with them.

Broaden your perspective: Executives succeed because of their strong abilities to conceptualize and think strategically, but they can sometimes become too attached to being right. In most real-life situations, there are multiple correct answers. The ability to see and understand increasing complexity is essential. Coaching helps develop this perspective.

Develop new leadership skills: What are the key activities in a new role? Where should a newly appointed leader focus attention and energy? A skilled coach can help with role expectations and skills-building.

Identify and overcome barriers to change: Change should occur over time, with assistance from your coach. A coach helps you practice new behaviors in ways that gradually build skills.

Improve your ability to learn: One of coaching's most important goals is to teach you to internalize the ability to question, learn and continually grow. You must be able to modify your style and behavior as situations demand.

Final Thoughts:
Now is the best time to explore executive coaching. If you or anyone you know might benefit from executive coaching, please give me a call. I would be happy to help you find an effective executive coach to help build and strengthen your leadership skills.

Have a great month, have a great year and enjoy become the person that you want to be.
Happy New Year!
Coach Jerry


Please forward this to one of your friends,
so they can become a subscriber by going to my web site
and signing up.

Jerry Pinney

For the last twenty-two years Jerry Pinney has been president of his own consulting firm. Currently he focuses his efforts on providing executive and personal coaching to persons who are interested in improving their quality of life and consulting to small and mid-sized companies and nonprofits. He is a facilitator for peer advisory groups with The Alternative Board and is a Certified One Page Planning Consultant. Jerry has over three decades of experience in the food industry, and possesses a unique perspective of customer service, marketing and strategic planning. In addition to overall general management qualifications, Jerry has proven expertise in operational planning and business development. His food industry career started at Jewel Food Stores followed by a long career with IGA, with their retailers, wholesalers and ten years as Vice President of Marketing. In addition Jerry has served as Vice President of Membership for the National Grocers Association, Sr. Vice President of Procurement for Shurfine International and Executive Manager of The Zenon Hansen Foundation.

Jerry has also served on a number of nonprofit boards including: President of the Volunteer Center of Northwest Suburban Chicago. He is currently a Project Manager for the Executive Service Corps of Chicago. Jerry’s ESC assignments have included coaching for several Executive Directors, and consulting on various Board Development projects and on a number of strategic planning projects.

Jerry Pinney & Associates
102 East 32nd Street
Chicago, IL,
phone: 312-842-4577,
fax: 312-842-4705

e-mail me by clicking here


Visit the Web Page:

If you would like to adjust your subscription - Please click here