“This is going to sound crazy given the conversation we had but can we pick this up again next week?  I haven’t had a chance to speak to my colleague yet and I’m up to my eyeballs after a couple of days off.”

I got this message a few days after I’d had a chat with a non-profit CEO. She was looking for leadership coaching and was truly excited about what might be possible.

During our call, she shared how overwhelmed she was. How there weren’t enough hours in her day. How she was desperate for space and time to lift her head above it all and see things differently.

I really felt for her.

And now – she didn’t even have time to think about taking the next step to starting with her encouraging new coach.

Yes, it did sound crazy. And I totally understood.

I know what it’s like to be a CEO

CEOs are busy, busy. busy. Your to-do list is crammed with a million and one things. Speaking engagements, meetings, calls and appointments take up every minute of your day. Everything is urgent. It needs doing now and it’s impossible to step away from the fire-fighting.

There’s no time think about whether coaching might be right for you, let alone book in sessions – which will no doubt pile on more jobs to not get around to.

Nope, you really don’t have time for coaching! You just need more hours in the day, right?

Is this how your ‘if I could just’ thinking goes?

“If I can just get my head down and knock off x, y or z, everything will be fine.”

“We just have to get through this busy few months. Then it will be different.”

“I just need to delegate more.”

“My head is far too full to think about anything I don’t really need to do.”

“Surely I can manage this on my own?”

Wonky thinking

I hear this a lot. I think it too sometimes. But – when you see things like this, nothing changes. More work comes along, your working life remains hectic, and the cycle goes on.

Which is where the coaching comes in.

Coaching will break this cycle and help you (and your team) make the very most of your time without burnout, stress and overwhelm.

Truly. My own (totally unscientific!) research shows that coaching will give you back way more time than you put in.

A) because it gives you that powerful sense of spaciousness to think creatively about what matters, your goals and priorities. (How often do you get that?)

And B) because you get to explore how to work smarter rather than harder. (It’s almost impossible to get around to that on your own)

Instead of taking away your time. Instead of it being another meeting stuffing up the diary, great coaching miraculously seems to create it.

Five reasons why

1. Working with a coach will boost your motivation, upskill you where there are gaps, keep you focused and help you work smarter by getting more of the right things done.

2. A coach will work with you to build your self-belief so your limiting thoughts and ‘favourite bad feelings’ (which you may not even be aware of) don’t hold you back from taking the brave action and creative risks which really make a difference.

3. A coach will keep you accountable to moving forwards with your goals and to your self-care, so you don’t sabotage yourself with unhelpful behaviour, such as working all hours.

4. A coach will help you identify your own unique set of awesome strengths and ensure you use these to the absolute max.

5. A coach will support you to create a positive and inclusive working culture, so the whole team is thriving, happy and productive  – and making the biggest impact possible.

Coaching feels spacious and empowering. A far cry from the hectic day-to-day of gritting your teeth and getting through.

You could keep doing what you’re doing

Yes, you could get up at 5am for the next month to plough through your to-do list.

Yes, you could ‘save’ an hour by cancelling a one-to-one with your colleague.

Yes, you could get through half a dozen emails while you’re in a slow-moving meeting.

But truly? Honestly? Are these the most effective actions for you to take as a leader? How impactful are they? What kind of a message are your modelling?

A coach will use that exact same hour to help you never to do those things again.

Coaching is not just a ‘nice-to-have’

Great coaching really is nothing less than a miracle worker.

It creates space to think big, to challenge the status quo, to believe in yourself and reach your important goals faster. The corporate world gets this, non-profits, not so much. It’s seen as as ‘nice-to-have’.

I just wish more mission-driven leaders saw coaching as a total ‘must-have’. How can you do this incredibly tough job alone? Seriously! You need this kind of support if you’re to lead at your best. You deserve it. Your organisation deserves it.

Please, don’t let anyone persuade you that coaching is an indulgence or a luxury. It’s a hard-working and judicious use of your precious time and money.* 

What next?

So, can you find 30 minutes to talk? I bet you can! Email katie@katieduckworth.com and we’ll set up a no-pressure chat about getting my one-to-one support.

*If cost is holding you back this recent blog will set you straight on that too. 😉