Here is one powerful way that I stand out as an executive coach. I have a unique compensation system – I only get paid if my clients get better. And, “better” means my clients achieve positive, measurable change in behavior, not as judged by themselves but by their key stakeholders. This process usually takes about 18 months and involves an average of 16 stakeholders.
My coaching approach has been described in several major publications, such as Forbes and The New Yorker. Here it is in brief:
My mission is to help successful leaders achieve positive, long-term, measurable change in behavior: for themselves, their people and their teams. When the steps in the Marshall Goldsmith coaching process are followed, leaders almost always positive behavioral change — not as judged by themselves, but as judged by pre-selected, key stakeholders. This process has been used around the world with great success — by both external coaches and internal coaches.1
I always use the same proven process. At the beginning of any coaching relationship, I get an agreement with my coaching clients and their managers on two key variables:
What are the key behaviors that will make the biggest positive change in increased leadership effectiveness, and
Who are the key stakeholders that can determine (six to eighteen months later) if these changes have occurred?
Then I get paid only after my coaching clients have achieved positive change in key leadership behaviors and become more effective leaders. Unlike many other coaches, I do not get paid if my clients do not get better. And, as noted above, better is not determined by me, it is not determined by my clients, it is determined by my client’s key stakeholders. It is in this “pay-for-results” fee arrangement that I truly stand out from other coaches.
Paying only for results is a good way to test if someone really believes what they’re teaching you. Ask them one question, “Do you want to bet on it?” If they say, “I believe it but I wouldn’t bet on it,” they don’t believe it that much. If they say, “Here’s the money,” they believe it! My coaching process is based on something I believe in and I bet on it every time!
Many coaches are paid for the wrong reasons. Their income is a largely a function of “How much do my clients like me?” and “How much time did I spend in coaching?” Neither of these is a good metric for achieving a positive, long-term change in behavior.
In terms of liking the coach, I have never seen a study that showed that clients’ love of a coach was highly correlated with their change in behavior. In fact, if coaches become too concerned with being loved by their clients. They may not provide honest feedback when it is needed.
In terms of spending clients’ time — my coaching clients’ are all executives whose decisions impact billions of dollars — their time is more valuable than mine. I try to spend as little of their time as necessary to achieve the desired results. The last thing they need is for me to waste their time!
How do you stand out? What makes you special? What are you willing to bet on? I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas. Please send me a message on LinkedIn! I am looking forward to your comments.