Why Hire an Executive Coach: 15 Reasons Why CEO’s Cannot Coach Themselves

Why would a business owner, CEO or executive, hire an executive coach? Well, one reason for sure is growth hacking. What CEO’s main objective isn’t to grow his company’s success? After all, he or she has set high goals, has an obligation to the company’s investors, shareholders and to their people. Since growth is the #1 priority, it makes sense to use every tool you can to be successful. Wise CEOs know many things and one of the things they know (or will consider) is they can’t coach themselves. Why?

Dr. Stephie Althouse, Geek Guru and CEO at Top-Notch CEO, and Robert Donnell at P5 Marketing thought about that question and came up with 15 reasons why even the brightest people can’t coach themselves. See whether you agree with us and feel free to share your experiences.

If you rather would love to read the interview, here is the transcript:

Dr. Stephie: Hi guys. This is Dr. Stephie Althouse. Dr. Stephie, Top-Notch CEO. I’m sitting here with Robert Donnell from P5 Marketing. Hi, Robert.

Robert: Hi, Dr. Stephie. Great to visit with you again.

Dr. Stephie: We were just sitting here and discussing why executives really need an executive coach. We actually did a great job and came up with 15 reasons for why you cannot coach yourself. We wanted to share that with people. So, here it goes. Number one, it’s impossible to bring a fresh perspective to yourself.

Robert: Bingo. That’s a very important lesson.

Dr. Stephie: That’s right. So, that’s definitely a big important part of having an executive coach. Number two … it’s even better … you can’t extract your own brilliance. So, this is something that we love doing at Top-Notch CEO with our top experts; geeks as we call them lovingly because we are geeks after all. And Robert is, too, by the way, whether he admits it or not. Anyway, we often really don’t know our own brilliance; or we are sometimes surprised that other people don’t even know all the stuff that we take for granted. So, you can’t extract your own brilliance and make it available to others. Sometimes it’s also really hard to know which of the many things you know is most important. We call that Brilliance Extraction™ actually.

Number three, it’s difficult to come up with thought-provoking questions that challenge you.

Robert: So true.

You Can’t See What You Can’t See. That’s What a Good Executive Coach Will Do For You.

Dr. Stephie: Very true. Then number four, you can’t see you own blocks and blind spots. That’s just like physics, isn’t it?

Robert: That’s one of the most important. You can’t see what you can’t see. That’s what a good executive coach will do for you.

Dr. Stephie: Yes. Just imagine yourself: You’re the best truck driver ever and yet how much stuff can you fit into the blind spots of that truck. It’s just physics. All right.

So, five, accountability systems without executive coach don’t work really as well. You lose traction and speed if you don’t have that. I can even say for myself, if I hold myself accountable it works pretty well, but not nearly as well when I really need something absolutely done with complete certainty. I may have difficulty with a particular thing; perhaps I tend to procrastinate on it. That happens even with me. Then I definitely set up (external) accountability.

So, next, number six, you don’t know what you don’t know.

Number Six, You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know.

Robert: Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding. That’s a big tip right there.

Dr. Stephie: Well, it seems obvious, but often we forget it. We think we should be able to identify what is missing if it’s missing. If we don’t think something’s missing then it’s not missing, but that’s not necessarily true.

Robert: Right.

Dr. Stephie: Okay, #seven. Even the leaders who love change have habits, which might require some work to change. So, think about this. The habits that you have now got you to where you are today. If you want to go somewhere beyond that, there’s the very distinct possibility that you need some extra habits, or that some habits may need to be changed to get to that next level. An executive coach can help with that most definitely.

All right, eight. It’s lonely at the top. I have talked with many CEOs who said, “Yep, that is a truism.” So, you need unbiased feedback from an experienced non-stakeholder, someone who’s not in your organization, who’s not really invested first hand in what’s happening there. An experienced executive coach can do that.

Okay, Robert. Number nine.

Robert: Number nine.

Dr. Stephie: Learn that the things you’re struggling with don’t just afflict you. For example, in our coaching circles, we’ve experienced it many times that CEOs have said, “One of the benefits is that I don’t feel so alone with struggling with something.”

So, what’s next? #10, confidentiality and trust, create the space to say out loud to your executive coach what you wouldn’t even say to yourself. What do you think about that?

Robert: I think that’s powerful stuff. I think as a CEO, we’re trained not to ask for help. We’re trained not to feel like we even need help and this gives you space where you can get some coaching and get a lot smarter.

Dr. Stephie: Yeah. Most of us, especially if we’re in a position of great responsibility, we don’t want to admit that there’s something we don’t know, or we’re weak at, or it’s sometimes hard to let your hair down, so to speak.

Robert: So to speak.

# 11, You Reserve a Time to Work On You and Your Business or Work, Which Otherwise Likely You Would Spend On Working In Your Business or Work

Dr. Stephie: Let’s see. Here’s another one. Number 11, you reserve a time to work on you and your business of work, which otherwise likely you would spend on working in your business or work. So, working on your business versus in the business. That happens a lot of times with very busy business owners, executives, and CEOs.

Robert: So true.

Dr. Stephie: Okay, number 12. You likely wouldn’t take the time to celebrate or even notice your own progress and success, which is why we have ways to celebrate that with you.

Which brings us to number 13, it’s hard to encourage yourself when you feel down.

#14, it’s hard to “kick yourself in the behind” when you need it. Then, the executive coach will actually know when you need what.

Robert: A good one.

Dr. Stephie: A good one, a great one. All right, which brings us to number 15. When it comes to strategy there are no single right answers usually, but better answers are found with a fresh perspective and with synergistic thinking from and with your executive coach. I guess we should say, “With your executive coach.”

The Title Says It All. You Can’t Coach Yourself.

Robert: All of those … it’s interesting. As you were going through the list, I kept going back to the title. I think the list shows how important an executive coach can be, how powerful a tool an executive coach can be, but the title says it all. You can’t coach yourself.

Dr. Stephie: No matter how great you are, right? I mean, even if you are an executive coach yourself, you can’t coach yourself.

Robert: Well, I’ll ask you. Do you have a coach?

Dr. Stephie: Yes, I do.

Robert: All right. So, if a coach needs a coach, then an executive needs a coach.

Dr. Stephie: An executive coach, right.

Robert: An executive coach.

Dr. Stephie: Well, on that note, we’ll say, “Ciao.” Ciao. I hope you guys enjoyed that. All right. Bye.

Robert: Thanks for sharing.

In summary, here are all 15 reasons for hiring a top-notch executive coach at a glance:

#1: It’s impossible to bring a fresh perspective to yourself.
#2: You can’t extract your own brilliance.
#3: It’s difficult to come up with thought-provoking questions that challenge you.
#4: You can’t see you own blocks and blind spots.
#5: Accountability systems without executive coach don’t work really as well. You lose traction and speed.
#6: You don’t know what you don’t know.
#7: Even the leaders who love change, have habits which might require some work to change.
#8: It’s lonely at the top.
#9: Learn that the things you are struggling with don’t just afflict you.
#10: Confidentiality and trust create the space to say out loud to your executive coach what you wouldn’t even say to yourself.
#11: You reserve a time to work on you and your business or work, which otherwise likely you would spend on working in your business or work
#12: You likely wouldn’t take the time to celebrate or even notice your own progress and success
#13: It’s hard to encourage yourself when you feel down.
#14: It’s hard to “kick yourself in the behind” when you need it.
#15: When it comes to strategy there are no single right answers usually, but better answers are found with a fresh perspective and with synergistic thinking.

Dr. Stephie