The Ideal Client in Executive Coaching

As almost all coaches and business leaders, we have a set of criteria that identify who we choose to work with. So, as an Executive Coach, I often get asked, who do I consider my ideal client? Or rather, what characteristic does the executive I wish to work with and support possess? That characteristic is…

Commitment.

Yes, you read that right. It seems pretty obvious, doesn’t it? Well apparently that’s not the case. Think about it like this. Just how in our economies, scarcity seems to be the fundamental economic problem – in which we have unlimited wants with only limited resources – and so we have strategic decisions and choices to make to receive the optimal results we desire. And just like that, while I work with my clients, I make sure I work with and support those that already have a fire in them ready to burn for the success that they’re after — since my time is unfortunately limited.

Please do not get me wrong. I would love to support as many people as I can, I am that passionate about what I do. I love it. I enjoy it. I love to see my clients get the results that they’re after and the feeling that I get by knowing that I supported them in reaching towards their goals and aspirations is phenomenal. Seeing their visions come to life is a truly rewarding experience, and I am forever grateful for that.

But as we all know, there are only so many hours in a day, and I truly want my clients to achieve the success and goals that they’re after. But as my time is limited, and results matter, I can only support a certain number of individuals over a certain period of time. But how can an Executive Coach decide who is their ideal client? Well, that’s where commitment comes in.

I’ve had countless individuals requesting me to guide them in their journey towards establishing peak performance. It’s critical to not just know what to do — but have a concrete action plan that will assist you in achieving your goal. I am a firm believer in knowing that knowledge itself sitting in a textbook, or in your podcast, or whatever medium you use to obtain it — isn’t powerful entirely on its own. It has potential power for sure though. It’s what you do with it that will determine its actual power.

For instance, having worked in academia, I have heard all too many times hopeful undergraduates say “I’m going to work at McKinsey & Company as soon as I graduate!” – or any other top engineering, consulting, or financial firm there may be. But their transcripts and co-curricular records (or lack of) tell a completely different story. Truth is, many people are hoping that the stars will magically align and somehow success will fall into their laps from the sky above. But no. That’s not how it unfortunately works. It’s a sure recipe for disappointment.

Our actions must align with what we claim we truly want. How many people wish to be the next Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, or Richard Branson, for example? Exactly. Way too many. And why aren’t they of the likes? One big reason is that they’re simply not committed.

Now I’m not saying that you should wish to be exactly like someone else (originality is very important also!) But we all know too many individuals who dream of success —  but they will not put in the required readiness and effort to get there. The moment they’re presented with a solution, they will make excuses such as “Oh, but I can’t really afford that…” or “I don’t have enough time to incorporate that…”. Now, would we really be making excuses if we wanted something really bad, no matter what? No. I don’t think we would be.

As an Executive Coach, those are the type of clients I do not work with. They want success but their actions don’t commit to that. They aren’t willing to put in the time or money. And if they’re not committed, I know most often it will not bring in the results that they want. And results matter — since that is what I’m here to help you achieve. Commitment isn’t something I can provide you. It’s either within you or it isn’t.

And thus, lack of commitment translates into a waste of our most valuable and scarce resource — which is none other than our time on this planet.

What characteristic does your ideal client possess? I’d love to hear your feedback!

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