NOTE: As of 2022 the Center for Executive Coaching is now accredited with the ICF as a Level 2 Coach Training Organization. The ICF has changed their language and replaced ACTP with Level 2. We were among the first group of coach training programs to receive this accreditation, after a rigorous review by the ICF.

The Secret to Becoming an Indispensable Coach

In my latest book, with Jay Conrad Levinson, Guerrilla Marketing for a Bulletproof Career, I talk about the need to spike in two key areas in order to be successful throughout your career. The same applies to executive-level coaches. Imagine a grid with an x- and a y-axis. The x-axis represents your skills as a coach — your ability to solve your clients’ most pressing challenges and get results equal to at least 5-10 times your fees. The y-axis represents the value of your professional relationships — how connected you are to the movers and shakers in your target market. Most coaches are caught in the middle of this grid and, if this describes you, it makes you a commodity coach who won’t be as successful as you could be. The best coaches spike in both the value they provide and the relationships they have. They constantly work to be the best in both areas. That way, they are the go-to professional in their field. People think of them first when they have a need. At the same time, double spikers know that they can deliver value in many ways. That’s why they create and market a variety of solutions for different budgets and needs. These include books, seminars, group coaching, leadership circles, subscription programs, and more. It is a bit ironic, but most coaches take offense when anyone suggests that they are not at the top of their game. “Oh, no, that’s not true,” they say, angrily. “I am a MCC with ICF, and I have 10 years of experience, and I know EQ, NLP, and ten other acronyms.” Good for you. That doesn’t mean you are a double spiker. In fact, if you talk about yourself like the person in the above example, it is clear that you don’t know how to market yourself and demonstrate your value. That’s why many coaches with no formal coaching credentials earn in the high six-figures and even seven figures — because they offer real value, know how to communicate that value, and have built a network of raving fans who also happen to be the key people in the industry. Take a moment and honestly assess your power base and your ability to provide, and communicate value in your market. Are you the first person an executive in your field will call when they have a pressing need? If not, you are not yet a double spiker. What’s one step you can take to move closer to that goal?

Aflac

Amazon

Ancestry

Army Corp of Engineers

Ascension Health

AT&T

Bank of America

Bechtel

Best Buy

Booz Allen

Bose

Bristol-Myers Squibb

Brown University

Capital One

Caterpillar

Charles Schwab & Co.

Children’s Hospital Colorado

Cisco

Citrix

Coca-Cola

Deloitte

Dropbox

Duke Energy

Galveston Independent School District

General Atomics

General Electric

Google

Harvard Business School

Home Depot

Inland Steel

International Red Cross

Johnson and Johnson

Kaiser-Permanente

KPMG

Laser Spine Institute

Lexis Nexis

Liberty Mututal

L’Oreal

Macy’s

Mckinsey Consulting

Merck

Microsoft

MIT

NASA

National Basketball Association (NBA)

Nike

Nissan

Nvidia

Partners Healthcare

Philips

Procter & Gamble

Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC)

Ralph Lauren

Regeneron

Rice University

Ross Stores

Russell Reynolds Associates

Schneider Electric

Shell Oil

SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

Stryker

The Ohio State University

Tom’s Shoes

United Nations

University of Florida

Unum

UPS

US Air Force

US Army

US Army Medical Corps

US Marines

US Navy

USAID

Valassis

VMWare

Xerox

Zappos

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