One afternoon, after successfully running a meeting with her leadership team, and everyone had left the room, my client, turned to me with a huge grin on her face.
I’ll never forget what she said to me.
“I think I got this,” she said. “You’re FIRED!”
We both started laughing.
I know it sounds odd, but getting myself fired is the goal.
When we began our year-long coaching relationship, my client was an 80% buyer and 20% CEO at her company. Her sights – and my task as a coach – were set on turning that around: after a year of working together, it was her goal to become an 80% CEO and 20% buyer within the company.
In the course of a year – those first four quarters – that ship was running well, but she was hesitant to take the training wheels completely off.
We committed to another year of work together, more focused and determined to steer and evoke the confidence and skills she possessed. She had what it takes, she simply needed to believe she didn’t need me there to hold her hand, even in those “just in case” scenarios.
During that second year, early on in the second quarter, I was no longer running meetings. She manned the meetings with her leadership team, while I offered coaching in the background. She was no longer a buyer at all – she was 100% CEO, and her skills and performance were improving day by day.
As a coach, I don’t get paid to tell people what to do, or to hold their hands for four, ten, fourteen, twenty years.
I get paid to evoke in leaders and CEOs enough traction and momentum that they establish habits necessary to no longer need a coach.
I get paid to come in and poke, nudge, prod, and challenge.
Once goals are met, clients are generally more passionate and driven to continue that traction and momentum we worked so hard to establish. As with anything else, goals are often adjusted, and further coaching can be utilized on an as-needed basis, in different or new areas – often once a year, for specific events, or on a shorter-terms basis.
As a coach, I know my “players,” the leaders and executives I collaborate with, already have the answers within. It’s my job to ask the questions that help my clients decide what they are going to do, and then hold them accountable.