Leadership Coaching: A Perfect Encore Career
Coaching continues to grow because it gets results and when boomers sell their companies, retire, or get tired of corporate life, leadership coaching could be an excellent way for them to continue to share their wisdom and experiences. Here are six steps to consider for boomers to find success and fulfillment developing others as an executive-level leadership coach
- Learn how to coach. Coaching is not about telling or lecturing. There are specific skills required to be an effective coach. If you join a coach training program, join one that is practical; many out there teach fluff to people who should not be coaches.
- Get focused. Choose a specific target market that you will help as a coach, and craft a compelling solution and marketing message for that market’s top challenges.
- Be prepared for some executives to balk at the idea of coaching. Thanks to many “lightweight” coaches and the fact the many executives are reluctant to admit they could use a coach, it is sometimes easier to position yourself as a solution provider than a coach.
- Be patient, because building your practice will take time. As executive coach David Nettina advises, “Have plenty of financial runway; this is going to take far longer than you think to make work.”
- Build on your current network of contacts. A top advantage of coaching as a business is that you don’t need to spend a lot of money on marketing. Referrals from your current power base will give you a greater return than any other form of business development.
- Choose the best business model for you as a coach. Coaching is a flexible profession, and you can develop your own unique model. For instance, many C-level executives have a hybrid approach in which they can serve as coach, consultant, facilitator, and even interim executive. Similarly, once you develop a coaching framework, you can turn that into books, information products, seminars, and licensed programs. It is up to your aspirations, vision, and unique style.
Sarasota-based executive coach Andrew Neitlich is the author of book, Coach! The Crucial, Deceptively Simple Leadership Skill for Breakaway Performance and the Founder and Director of the Center for Executive Coaching.