This week, we invite you to meet Chris M. King, a high-performance executive coach and motivational speaker.
Not everyone is familiar with executive coaching. Can you explain how you empower business leaders, entrepreneurs, and executives?
There are many types of coaches with many approaches. Some will implement systems and processes, while others teach skills or offer tools. While that is some of what we do, our approach is more about what we remove than what we add on. Empowerment isn’t really our goal. Our goal is to remove the barriers that stand in their way – which is a lot more difficult than just teaching skills. When we do that, empowerment is the natural result.
The social sector is distinct from the business sector in a variety of ways – it has no stockholders, only shareholders; often times the clients are not able to advocate for their needs like customers might; and there are unique financial and structural incentives in their models. How does your coaching address these special qualities about our sector?
The beauty of our model is that it has little differentiation between the two sectors. In our work, how you relate to the issue IS the issue. So we can help either align themselves with the desired outcomes.
When do you know it is time to hire an executive coach?
Generally, whenever something isn’t working. Hiring a coach is like hiring a lawyer. The kind you need and when you may need one depends upon the situation.
Being high-performance executive coaches, we get called in when there are inefficiencies in teams and/or individuals or when real innovation is required. Each person is carrying an operating system in their head, much like your phone or computer. That OS is driving everything that person thinks, feels, and does. We can hack and re-code that system to optimize it to produce up to – and I’m not overselling this here – a 500% increase in performance and/or a 700% increase in innovation. We do this by accessing “the flow cycle” – what athletes call being “in the zone.”
If someone isn’t ready to hire their own coach yet, what online or free/low cost tools do you like to suggest as they begin their journey?
Books, podcasts, or webinars are great. Again, which ones will depend upon what the organization or individual is experiencing. Be wary of the stuff that is just marketing fodder.
What is something that you have read recently that has especially resonated with you?
Often times, working with a coach can create ripple effects in other parts of your life or unexpected but nonetheless positive outcomes. Can you share an anecdote of how this happened with someone you have worked with?
That is usually the case. In an effort to conserve energy, the brain creates patterns so that when it learns to do something in one area of life or business, it applies it in as many places as it can.
I’ve been working with “David” for about a year. He is applying our work together in his business to coaching his 10-year-old daughter in soccer, and also with his wife as she navigates her mother’s health issues.
Two days ago, he told me that his wife was experiencing a lot of anxiety about what might happen with her mother. He told her, “Honey, focus on the step you’re in. All that’s happening now is that she’s getting a test.” After that, her anxiety mostly vanished in the moment and she could think more clearly.
The same day, his daughter was very attached to the outcome of making the soccer team, creating anxiety. He told her to slow down and focus on her skills. Ignore the distractions. Get present in the moment. He essentially told her that making the team wasn’t the goal, but the result of following those instructions. Following those instructions was the goal. That eased the fear. And yes, she made the team!
David had been working on this with regard to growing the business, which through our work together had been exploding over the past several months. Focusing on the now as well as shifting from the fear of the loss to the excitement of the win shifted everything.
If our readers are able to make one small change today, what are a few things you would recommend to them?
Go for a 20-minute walk daily and think about anything that isn’t work-related. Time outside provides novelty, complexity, and unpredictability, which are all “flow” triggers. The conscious mind will pass any issue off to the unconscious mind to continue to process. The answer to the problem you haven’t been able to figure out is likely to jump into your consciousness seemingly by itself.
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