Great leaders tend to have top leadership coaches and mentors stewarding the growth and development of their leadership skills. Top CEOs and CXOs who desire to stay ahead of the pack invest not only in their own personal and professional development, but they also invest in the leadership development of the senior executives and managers. You’ll find that most of the world’s top corporations so strongly believe in leadership development as a key success metric that retaining top leadership coaches has become the norm over the past few years.
I believe that most reasonable people will concur with the following statement: The quality of the professionals you choose to surround yourself with will have a direct impact on the level of success that you achieve. So my question is this: Why do so many people surround themselves with mediocre to low-end professionals? I followed an interesting discussion thread the other day while online which was something of a bashing session on “twenty-something life coaches.” The thread poked fun at the thought of being mentored by someone who has yet to really even begin to experience life. While I tend to agree that you’d be hard pressed to find a twenty year old who holds the credentials and experience to offer sage advice, to be fair I’ve also witnessed the other end of the spectrum, which is the devastation that can occur when you place your trust in someone solely based upon experience without consideration for talent.
While you might be lucky enough to survive in business with little or no advice from others, you will certainly not maximize your potential for success by doing so. All CEOs and entrepreneurs need advice in a wide variety of constantly changing areas…That being said, as long as I’ve been in business I’m always somewhat perplexed as to why people hire certain professionals…Why would you hire anything other than the best talent available at any given point in time? It is not uncommon that I’ll run into a CEO at an event, or receive an e-mail inquiry that asks me for a referral to an “affordable” CEO Coach or Leadership Coach. The presumption being that my services must be unaffordable…My response is usually something along the lines of “it is a question like that which tells me you’re in need of a top leadership coach, not an affordable one.” To anyone reading this article, if you believe you can’t afford someone like myself, Marshall Goldsmith, Ken Blanchard, Ram Charan, etc., that is precisely the reason you should engage one of us…
I try and surround myself with the best advisors I can find and recommend to my clients that they do the same. Few things in business will get you in as much trouble as not getting advice and counsel when needed, or worse yet getting poor quality or incorrect advice. I would much rather pay an expert $1,500 dollars for 30 minutes of their time and get what I need rather than pay someone $100 dollars an hour who is faking it until they can make it…Questionable advisors will take much longer to get from point a to point b (if they get there at all) and will likely cost you more money at the end of the day when contrasted with their best in class peers.The nature of my business is that I often succeed other advisors who have failed in their assignments, and I have witnessed first hand the carnage that can occur from following flawed advice. Ask yourself the following questions and see if under close examination you really like your answers:
- How do you decide when to seek out an advisor?
- Do you use advisors to reactively triage and trouble-shoot, or to be proactive in accomplishing certain tasks?
- What do you look for in your professional advisors?
- Why would you hire anything other than the best advisors possible?
- What is more important to you…price, experience, or talent?
- Is cost a greater consideration than results?
- Do you have a team of skilled advisors in all key areas of your business?
- Do you have a go to advisor who helps manage and coordinate other professionals as, if, and when necessary?
Don’t let price or even geography stand in your way…seek the best talent possible and your business will flourish. Top CEO Coaches or Top Leadership Coaches have earned their stripes for a reason. If you were to poll your peers and ask them to name the top 5 international experts in Capital Formation, Intellectual Property Law, Tax Planning, PR, IT, Advertising, M&A, Coaching, etc. and your advisors don’t make the list then I would question your decisioning. In most cases the reality is that you get what you pay for…