10 Questions to Ponder When Hiring a New Executive Coach

I shared this via Twitter the other day; the fact that I’m looking for a new executive coach starting in Q1 of 2021:

I also asked a friend who’s been my coach / leader through an 8-week program that I just completed and she gave me some really good things to think about.

Here are a few questions that she challenged me to ponder:

  1. Do you gel well with Male Coaches vs. Female Coaches?

  2. Does gender play a role for you?

  3. Is age a big factor for you? Coaches who are older or younger than you?

  4. How much does their background matter? Founder turned coach? Doesn’t matter if they are good?

  5. Is there a specific issue that needs addressing? What are you really looking for?

  6. What type of personality works best for you?

  • Hardass coach who will call you out on your BS and be very assertive
  • Tender and thoughtful in approach as they guide you
  1. Do you want someone who has a proven, clear framework?

  2. Do you want someone to make you “feel” good or to help you gain clarity?

  3. Budget?

  4. What problems / pain points have previous coaches helped you solve? Is this next engagement in the same vein or different?

As you may already know, I fundamentally believe in the power and efficacy of professional coaches and mentors — you need both!

Consider getting one yourself for the new, 2021 year! Every high-performance professional that I know has one… and my success has been predicated on getting the support I need as a founder / CEO.

It might be the most important #bizops thing you do next year!

  1. 2

    I'm glad you're bringing light to this, John!

    Great post about coaches vs mentors.

    I don't use the title of either, but I offer a service that is focused on listening, asking questions and giving founders/Indie Hackers a time to reflect.

    One of the biggest challenges is getting people to understand they need different forms of support.

    Sometimes it's helpful to have people who have walked a similar path and tell you about some of the pitfalls. But equally sometimes you need support with dealing with your own thoughts and ideas... getting clarity on them and figuring out how to move forward.

    I think of it as being similar to a medical team. Each person has their own role and purpose... you probably don't want your pharmacist delivering your rehab or the receptionist prescribing drugs.

    1. 2

      wonderful and perfect analogy!! love the medical example!

  2. 2

    How about you be my executive coach in 2021 🙂

    1. 2

      lol! there was a time where i'd jump at the chance...

      ... but, i think there might be some fun opportunities in the near future! i'm going to start a few bootcamps again... like i did earlier this year. those were fun!

      we can learn, side-by-side with other yenizens!

      1. 2

        Sounds good I’ll keep an eye out!

        Also: just read your blog post on coaching vs mentoring. I’ve never felt like I needed one more badly than after reading that lol.

        One question though.

        Functionally, both the mentor and the coach may provide the exact same “service” but the motive and the financial undercarriage is the distinction.

        You need both, to be honest.

        I’m not quite following why I need both if they serve the same function. Or are you saying that’s usually not the case?

        1. 2

          i'm saying it's good to know what the fundamental driver / motive is...

          ... so, it's just a good reminder to know if you're paying for results vs getting support from an advocate.

          the former case is a business relationships and has contractual obligations to a real degree... while a mentor isn't accountable to any outcome.

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