Time and Effort: The Key to Success in a Coaching Program

One of the biggest misconceptions people have about business and executive coaches is that we are like doctors. They are under the impression that, like a physician, they can come to us with a problem and we can “cure” it without much effort on their part. It’s as if they believe we can prescribe a pill that will make their career circumstances or organizational problems better, or that a surgical procedure will solve everything.

I believe a better metaphor, though, is to say that we are like personal trainers. When you go to a personal trainer, he or she will spend time with you asking you what your health goals are, along with the challenges you face, and then help you develop a customized plan to get there.

As a coach, I can assure you that I have no pill for you and I don’t do surgery. Like working with a personal fitness trainer, the key to success when you’re in an executive coaching program is the time and effort you put into it.

Look, I understand that executives and entrepreneurs – the people who tend to be my clients – lead busy lives. In most cases, they have already achieved a level of success in their careers by the time we start working together, and that brings with it demands on their time and attention from many different directions.

Often, though, the demands start spinning out of control, which can lead to feeling that work has overtaken every aspect of one’s life. They feel that they are so bogged down with tasks and demands that they can’t really focus on long-term goals. So they come to me and one of the first things I tell them is that to achieve their goal of spending less time on tasks that don’t really have that much value, they first have to spend two to three hours per week learning how to do that, on top of everything else they have on their plates.

That’s when they say, “I’m barely getting everything done as it is. Now, you want to add more to my plate?”

My response? Yes.

Think of it this way… the reason you thought about coaching in the first place is because you want to make improvements in your career and life. Perhaps you feel that you have no time to live your life, other than work. Maybe you feel like you’re not living up to your full potential. Even if you seek out coaching because you have very specific goals you want to achieve, you understand that your life needs to change in a way that makes it better. You want to be happier.

That’s a pretty substantial change, and it will take time and effort to get there. And if you think about it, it should take some effort to get to where you want to be. Because, as the old saying goes, “If it were easy, everyone would do it.” Everyone would be a CEO, or the owner of a highly profitable business. Everyone would be a millionaire. Success at anything in life is supposed to be the product of hard work, resourcefulness and effort, with very few exceptions.

So know that, if you seek out executive or business coaching because you want to change your circumstances for the better, you will also have to make changes within yourself. You’ll have to dedicate yourself to the program, which includes spending a few hours a week on it. After all, if you don’t make those changes, all you’re doing is committing yourself to maintaining the status quo until you do.

Coach Sanjay Parekh has more than 25 years of experience in business leadership, strategic planning, sales and marketing, human resources and effective team-building. He has worked primarily in manufacturing, starting in his family’s business, and eventually joining a multi-national corporation with operations in 18 countries, serving as a Regional Executive and Senior Management Member. Today, his passion is sharing his knowledge, experience and business acumen toward the goal of helping others enjoy the success they deserve!


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