I believe the concept of ‘Life Coach’ is the biggest con anyone has been able to pull off in the history of mankind. That being said I personally know some folks who love having a life coach (#WhitePeopleProbs). I do like the concept of ‘Business Coaches’ or ‘Leadership Coaches’, I see those things a bit differently based on what I see in organizations.
Two unique things happen in organizations that make the concept of Business Coach more viable:
1. We promote our best workers to managers.
2. Leaders are put on an island with no one to confide in.
Both ideas above are systematically flawed. Just because you’re the ‘best’ worker doesn’t make you a good manager. You might be, but you also might be a colossal failure. Being in a senior leader’s role, and giving you no one to really be able, to be honest, also has bad consequences. A business coach can help both sides succeed, where normal organizational training fails.
You can give new managers all kinds of training, but there comes a time when one-on-one, let’s walk through a specific scenario you are having, just works better for learning and development of that person. Also, a leader needs to get ideas out of their head to someone they trust will give them good and honest feedback about how freaking crazy they are! Subordinates won’t do this, and peers might use it against them to position themselves for the next move.
I’m a big fan of Business Coaches. I think organizations underutilize this approach because it seems expensive. The reality is, it’s usually a billable hour or two per month, to ensure you have well-functioning leadership. That total cost might be $5000 per year. I’m really hoping any manager or leader you have brings in exponentially much more profit than $5000 per year!
Which leads me to Tim Sackett, Life Coach.
I could be a life coach. I have a feeling it would go a little like this:
Mark, Life Coachee: “Hey, Tim great to talk to you, just wanted to dive right into a problem I’m having, is that okay?”
Tim Sackett, Life Coach: “No, it’s not okay. That’s your problem Mark, you’re always thinking about you! What about me and my freaking problems!”
Mark: “Uh, sorry. But I thought I’m paying you to help me on my stuff.”
Tim: “No, you’re paying me because I’m smart and have my shit together, and you can’t figure out how to manage your own daily simple life.”
Mark: “I don’t think this is what I expected.”
Tim: “Yes it is. That’s your problem Mark, you think too much. You’re now paying me to do your thinking.”
Mark: “Okay, I’ll play along and see where this is going.”
Tim: “Mark here’s what ‘we’ are going to do. First, you’re getting your butt up each day and you’re going to work. Second, you’re going to stop whining about your life. Third, you’re going to go home and be an active part of your family life, and stop acting like you should be able to have a family and still act like you’re in college, you’re not.”
Mark: “But you don’t understand, I work in a stressful job!”
Tim: “Shut up, you’re an accountant. Stress is not knowing where you’re sleeping tonight because you don’t have a place to live. You don’t have stress, you have normal.”
I have a strong feeling my ‘Life Coaching’ sessions would only go one session, and everyone would be fixed, so I’m going to have to figure out that pricing model. If you want to set up an appointment, just hit me in the comments and we can get that set up immediately, I take PayPal!
“Promote to incompetence” was the standard procedure for a hospital I worked at. Take a nurse that’s reliable and good at her job, passionate about her patients: give her more responsibility, put her in charge of a team, promote to shift nurse, promote to charge nurse, then have her leave to a competitor for ‘less stress’ OR have her fail because she’s not really interested in being a business manager.
Great post. This reminds me of the Geico ad on why Drill Sergeants make terrible Therapists (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XfmVBmDKLZI). “Maybe we should just chug on over to mamby-pamby land where maybe we can find some self-confidence for you – you jackwagon”. Wise words indeed.