Executives Do Not Want To Be Coached: They Don’t See The Value

by | Jul 5, 2021

A general perception in the work environment when someone has reached that executive status is no longer the need to be coached. People are coached through their career with the finish line of a VP, or higher title is seen as the finish line. Now it is up to them to coach those within their teams to become more productive.

That mountain top is the limit those individuals put on themselves. Maybe it is ego or a sense that with the title, they are the ones that know everything and no longer need that added guidance. There is no need to have that second set of eyes or support work through issues. There is no value in getting coached. 

On paper, that makes sense. Ken Bower wrote Leadership Coaching: Does It Provide Value? in the Journey of Practical Consulting in the fall of 2012 Vol 4 issue 1 going into that scene where he was asked to provide an ROI for coaching.

As he initially writes, he demonstrated, through qualitative means, that there is business value in leadership coaching. Unfortunately, most executives care most about is the dollar value of what they are getting, which does make sense as all businesses need to have a good understanding of what they are getting out of where they spend money. Trying to explain why money is spent without giving numbers to prove success can be a tough conversation to have.

So Ken decided to try and come up with a way to show that value. He went through a lot of research and started to find numbers. The information was detailed and did give positive data on the importance of coaching. From the start, those numbers are still considered primarily qualitative, yet some quantitative data was creeping in.

Soon he started to find what he was looking for: an algorithm. Reading through this article, I found that it is not that executives don’t want to be coached; it is giving them the information in the right messaging that they can use. Everyone wants to progress and improve. There will always be higher goals than a mountain top.

Here is what he came across:

  • Monetary value = Estimated annual economic value of performance improvement x Estimated percentage improvement due to coaching x percentage confidence in this estimate.

  • the ROI of coaching is calculated as ROI = ((Benefits – Costs) / Cost) x 100

  • Based on (Dembkowski & Eldridge, 2003).

He also found other variables that could play into determining ROI.

  • Establish Business Objectives

  • Tie Communication about Coaching to Objectives

  • Build a Three-Way Partnership

Studies out there prove the ROI of executive coaching, Anderson, M. C. (2001). Executive briefing: Case study on the return on investment of executive coaching. Retrieved from http://www.findyourcoach.com/roi-study.php. Found a 529% ROI.

BOWER, K. M. Leadership Coaching: Does It Provide Value? Journal of Practical Consulting[s. l.], v. 4, n. 1, p. 1–5, 2012. Disponível em: https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=bth&AN=85205118&site=eds-live. Acesso em: 5 Jul. 2021.

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