Case Study: 6
A Day In The Life of a Client
Part 1: Introduction - Why choose coaching? And why Jules?
Why I’m choosing coaching.
I've had peers tell me that they've worked with leadership coaches, but I've never understood what I would get out of it. It sounded cool, but it also sounded like a luxury, and something that I could likely do on my own.
I think I’m generally a leader of my peers, or at least seen as a leader by my peers. As I’ve thought about this, I think it is more the willingness to put myself out there, and not saying ‘no’ when presented with opportunities (such as Board Chair of an organization that needed a turnaround). Some times this is simply that I’m willing to work harder than others – and this can be either because of the satisfaction of accomplishment or fear of letting others down. This is probably a cliché, but in school/group projects, I was the guy that did all the work (and would be mad/jealous that I did all the work).
In addition, I am SURE that I’m not as effective as I could be, and through my career I seem to have hit an advancement wall. I’m not sure if this example will make sense to others, but I’m good at taking detailed notes, but I can miss the forest for the trees. In addition, this may sound like an oxymoron, but while I am willing to put myself “out there” – I am very risk averse, and suffer from analysis paralysis when it comes to making decisions. Finally, while I am pretty good at executing the direction of others, I’m not good at setting direction.
I have tried “reading” many books (I put it in quotes, because it is actually Audible). The top of mind most valuable are: Leading Change (Kotter), Good to Great (Collins), and the Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck (Manson). In addition, my Prosci certification was powerful and felt transformative at the time. These have all increased my tactical toolbelt, but they have also all made me more self-aware that I have blindspots. This is where I think/hope coaching can help me the most. I have also become increasingly aware that I have made many of my career decisions in order to avoid making decisions – going with the flow. It has been easy, and I have been successful at it (and I don’t want to ignore the promise of the required emotional intelligence) but it leaves me wondering what is possible and what I need to shoot for so that the end of my career is rewarding.
In the back of my mind, I had been wanting to work with a "leadership coach" for a while. This is based on a) people I respect saying they had worked with a coach, and b) my personal awareness that I have blind-spots which a coach could help me identify and work on. With that said, I didn't understand what coaching was/wasn't, and I wasn't actually looking when I first met Jules.
I was between jobs, and decided to attend some Organization Development sessions with our local chapter (PNODN) for my own personal and professional development. I was literally networking, and meeting everyone I could. Jules was one of the other attendees, and when she mentioned she was a coach, I wanted to learn more. After a few clarifying emails, we scheduled a coffee and an initial demo session (so I could actually experience a session). She also directed me to client testimonials to give her some credibility, and (I didn't say this to her) but meeting her at an OD session indicated that believes in, and is dedicated to the craft.
I was intrigued and hooked. We started sessions the next week.