This is where you’ll find answers to questions you may have about leadership and coaching or mentoring. 

If you have a question that is not on the list, please email me.

I’d love to answer all your questions relating to leadership, coaching and mentoring. With your permission, I may even post it here.

What is executive coaching and mentoring?

Executive coaching is a relationship between professional coach and executive that focuses on developing leadership skills. These are the skills needed to drive and manage change, manage complexity, build high-performing teams and maintain a strong personal foundation to thrive under the most challenging conditions.

Coaching is typically a process that does not involve giving advice or making suggestions. Mentoring gives more flexibility when it comes to the mentor drawing on their own experience to make suggestions that would be applicable to the clients’ situation.

When working with executive clients, I find that a combination of coaching and mentoring works best. This is because the complexity and constant change experienced at this level of leadership means that it is sometimes useful to make suggestions and offer a perspective that is different than the one the client is sitting with.

I draw on my experience from working in the corporate world and coaching senior executives to provide the full range of coaching and mentoring services to my executive clients and their teams.

Why would I need a coach or mentor if I’m doing well on my own?

I work with high performing, high achieving professionals and executives. So why would they need a leadership mentor and coach?

Because when you’re at the top of your game, you need a strong team to support you with knowledge, input and strategic thinking. As you grow your business, you need to grow yourself – and that’s where your leadership mentor comes in.

Your leadership mentor is on your A-team. (Read this article – Who’s on your A-team?)

There are two things that drive executives in senior positions:

  1. Constantly asking what’s next? You’re striving to do better, do more and outdo the last big idea or project you implemented
  2. Wanting to be better. You ask yourself how you can improve? How you can be better, not just do better? How you can connect your work to a sense of purpose and fulfilment.

And… Leadership is lonely. When you’re at the top of your game, you’re surrounded by people who want to please you. They will rarely disagree or tell you what they really think of where you need to develop or where they think you may be wrong. They will often go with your thinking or ideas because they feel intimidated to tell you what they think. Even if you are working in a place where you can challenge and be challenged, that will rarely happen relating to areas for your personal growth.

Working with a coach is a process that serves you. You may not always hear what you want to hear, you will face your demons, your blindspots and your weaknesses as well as your strengths. You will come to understand your power so that you can have the best impact.

Your coach is your partner for personal strategy and growth to continue to build on your achievements and success.

How can coaching or mentoring help when I’m feeling stuck?

It begins with a conversation…

When you’re feeling stuck, you’re locked into your current perspective so that you can’t see a way out. Feeling stuck is also an indication that fear is keeping you frozen.

Working with a coach or mentor will help you uncover what is keeping you stuck and how to unstick it. It will also help you to explore new ways of doing things that you have not thought of or tried before. And it will give you the courage and support to go for those goals that are scary because they are so big, the courage to try something new and do things differently.

But sometimes feeling stuck is a comfort zone in itself… What you need is a breakthrough and coaching is an ideal way to get that breakthrough.

I have big ambitions and I feel like I should manage my expectations to prepare for disappointment, what do you think?

It’s important to have a plan B but it’s equally important to go for your dreams full out without holding back. If you’re going to “manage your expectations” so that you won’t be disappointed, you’ll be holding yourself back in some way (even if its sub-conscious). Rather know that you have a Plan B, put it aside completely and fully focus on making your big dream a reality.

Working with a coach and mentor helps to give you the support you need and deal with the challenges along the way.

Now for something practical, can you ever get to zero emails in your inbox?

My rule of thumb is that if you can have 20-40 emails in your inbox, you’re doing well. Many of my clients are battling with inboxes that hold at least 100 emails.

Some tips to bring that number down:

  • Check the date of the oldest email in your inbox. If it’s more than 4 months old, in all likelihood it is not relevant anymore and you can trash it.
  • Create a filing system for your emails. File your emails where you need them once a day to keep your inbox clear.
  • Create an email just for spam, so that when you do want to download that article or play that game, the follow-on doesn’t invade your main inbox and keeps it clear.