So, you’re ready to find your next business coach. A real guru. Someone who will be more like a trusted advisor and less like a live podcast? Someone who will dig in deep with us and inspire us to more.
Here’s where to start:
1) Set up a win-win with your coach
Great relationships tend to begin on the right foot. A coach-player relationship where the coach wins when the player wins unifies the team’s goals. Where there is not unity around the common goal, there cannot be sustained growth and improvement.
One way to do accomplish this (I’m sure there are others) is to compensate the coach based on the growth of the business. This can be a percentage of profits or a base and bonus structure. There is always a way to make the money work if you are working toward the same goal.
2) Have clarity about your mutual mission and check for vision alignment
You wouldn’t hire a person into your organization who did not get excited about your vision. That would be insane! Why would you consider hiring a coach – the person who you want to be a game changer for you – who does not get excited about your vision and the mission. Develop interview questions for your coach candidates to see what drives and motivates them. Are they growing at your pace or faster, or are they not growing at all? Would you hire them to lead the company if something happened to you? Are they scarce or abundant?
Know your candidate DNA and be sure your coach fits the mold you need to surround yourself with. The opportunity cost to the business’ mission is too great to not get an A+ coach on boarded!
3) See that you deeply respect their decisions in the rest of their lives
In the process of interviewing coaches, you absolutely have to understand how they make decisions in their personal lives. A personal life you respect and admire will serve as the foundation that the wisdom you want to gain as a leader flows from. If at all possible, go shadow your coach for the day. See how they interact with family and friends, understand what organizations they support and why. What positions do they hold in non-business related worlds? What are their habits?
Are you still excited about this coach?
4) Meet in person, if possible
I don’t know about you, but my best relationships, the ones I would call on if ever I was in desperate straights, have been forged in person. Being able to build a relationship face-to-face always trumps a phone conversation. It takes more effort, yes; and you will not regret it. Even if it means jumping on a plane every few months, the right coach will be worth it for you to get belly to belly with.
5) Come prepared to win at every interaction
Preparation. My wife knows when I’ve prepared for a date and when I’m winging it. There is a different energy, a different anticipation, the conversation comes alive more easily when I’m prepared. The same is true for the game of business. Both coach and player have to be prepared for their interactions. The preparation needs to be specific to the task at hand too. Again, this is likely going to happen more often when there is a win in preparation for both parties.
I hope this is helpful to you as you search for your next business coach!