One important role of the great executive coach is to help clients get, and stay, grounded — completely focused on the tasks and results at hand. The best executives have an almost Zen-like focus, and move towards results regardless of personal attachment, or extraneous thoughts.
Even at the top executive levels, it is easy for your clients to get distracted, or to fall prey to temptations that don’t help results.
Here are three examples:
One: A successful online entrepreneur tells me, "I am only really content when I see online orders come through on my iPhone. When orders don’t come through, I feel anxious and irritable. But none of this feels real, and sometimes it feels like I’m part of an elaborate psychology experiment being played on me, to see how I react to different stimuli. It’s almost as if I were in the Matrix. I am completely driven by those numbers, but it doesn’t feel healthy and is affecting my family life."
Two: An ambitious female attorney is frustrated because she feels like she will never be elevated to partner. She grumbles about it for a year, and even considers filing a discrimination case against the firm. However, when challenged to approach the managing partner — for the first time — about the issue, she has a change of heart. "Maybe I don’t really want to be partner," she says. "I’m not sure I want the pressure, especially when I will be starting a family soon."
Three: A client of mine (a successful business owner) shares that she loses her focus with clients and negotiating partners that intimidate her. Interestingly, she experiences this same loss of grounding when she plays tennis against a long-time rival. "When I play him I can’t hit the ball right," she shares. "He gets into my head. I keep losing focus, making mistakes, and feel like giving up. This never happens with anyone else I play, but I have so much baggage with this person that I lose my mind. The same thing goes on when I am in a business deal with certain clients and investors that especially intimidate me."
What do these three people share in common? They are not grounded, at least in certain situations.
The first person derives 100% of his worth and meaning from hourly sales. Where is the inner sense of being and purpose? Sure, sales are crucial. But can’t someone get results and not have mania and depression based on hourly reports coming through the smart phone?
The second executive thought that she wanted to achieve a goal, when perhaps she really didn’t. Once the possibility of achieving her stated goal opens up, she pulls back and becomes hesitant. Now she doesn’t know what she wants. Is it a formal title, family, or all of this plus something else? She has no idea, because she is not grounded about who she is, and what she is really passionate about in life. She cannot or will not make choices.
The third loses her grounding dealing with big clients in her business, the same way she loses her head on the tennis court whenever she plays against a key rival. Instead of focusing on what it takes to win the point — whether on the court or in her business — she gets caught up in extraneous issues and thoughts.
The great coach has tools and a methodology to help clients become grounded — 100% focused on taking their talents and inspiration and turning that into results — with no extraneous thoughts, indecision, or confusion.
Can you shift your clients from ungrounded to grounded? If you can (and yes, the Center for Executive Coaching can show you how), you will become enormously valuable and sought after in your field!