10 Warning Signs Leaders Should Not Ignore
Guest Author: Alli Worthington
Imagine you had a leadership thermometer that measured your leadership health. Would you find you were cold and indifferent or overheating from burnout? Although there’s no such gadget, there are signs leaders should not ignore that could determine if it’s time to invest in yourself.
Play to Win
When you play to win in business or leadership, you need to get serious about your success. Success doesn’t come by accident; you need to find a coach or a coaching group. From the most successful professional athletes to multimillion-dollar leadership owners, people who are the most successful in their field have coaches.
Here are ten signs that will help you know if you are ready to join a coaching group.
10 Signs You’re Ready for Professional Coaching
1. You Feel Stuck
At some point in every leader’s journey, everyone will feel stuck and unable to move forward to the next level. Some people stay stuck and never reach their potential, and others push beyond the obstacle.
For those who want to succeed, that’s where leadership coaching becomes extremely valuable. The best leadership coaches will devote their time to know you well and understand your organization inside out. They will be able to help you develop the best strategy to move forward. If you don’t succeed, they don’t succeed.
An outside perspective, especially of a professional coach, is often just the help you need to get unstuck.
2. You Need an Expert Confidant
Whether you’re a solo entrepreneur or the leader of a large team, you’ll discover that you need an expert confidant to help guide you and your organization.
If you’re a business owner, you’ve probably already learned how difficult it is to move forward without a “think tank.” The key to survival is surrounding yourself with wisdom and support! A professional coach is someone with whom you can hash out all your potential problems, opportunities, and strategies.
And, if you’re an executive who is leading a team, you know that having an expert who isn’t part of your team can be so valuable. Not just because of the outside perspective they bring, but because you can’t confide every leadership concern with the people you are called to lead.
Investing in a professional coach is like having an expert or think tank at your fingertips.
3. You’re Not Sure Where to Focus Your Time and Energy
Whether you’re doing it all or leading a large team, it’s easy to feel like you’re doing the job of 10 people. There’s always some fire that needs to be put out, a deadline to meet, and choices that need a decision. Deciding where to focus your time and energy is one of the most critical aspects of running an organization.
You know you could spend your time more productively, so you need someone to help you map out a strategy that will help you maximize your time and your energy.
4. You Suffer from Shiny Object Syndrome
The struggle is real. It is so easy to get distracted by the latest software, the newest leadership course you should take to experience overnight success or the most recent slick advertising campaign.
At its core, shiny object syndrome is typically a sign that you have a million ideas and a million things to do, and you’re just looking for something that is going to make running your organization (and your life) easier.
A professional coach is going to cost you half as much as all those shiny things and is worth twice as much to you and your organization. Did you know that organizations that invest in a business/leadership coach have a return on their investment of over seven times the initial investment?
It’s always smart to invest in making your life easier. Just do it wisely.
5. You Aren’t Getting the Results You Want
Maybe you’re the world’s best planner, strategist, and decision maker. You have no trouble coming up with new ideas to make your organization successful, but you still struggle to get the results you want.
In my experience as a business coach, I have discovered that leaders who aren’t getting the results they want typically struggle from implementation. They have great ideas, but they lack real accountability to stay on track and make progress in the right things – the things that matter to grow your organization.
6. Digital Marketing Freaks You Out
Digital marketing can be one of the most significant areas where organizations and leaders waste time and money. Professional coaches will help you focus and prioritize, but they are also digital marketing experts who can help you boost your sales and profits in the digital arena.
In this area, the best professional coaches should act more like a business consultant and be able to tell you precisely what digital marketing strategy to take and how to implement it.
7. You’re Frustrated with Your Growth Rate
You’re working more and more hours, but your growth rate and your profits aren’t reflecting the work you’re putting into the organization. Growth isn’t automatic. If you are going to grow, you need a wise coach with a plan!
The best professional coaches will help you evaluate where the organization is now and find the highest potential for future growth and profits. They can guide you every step of the way.
8. You Need Someone Who Will Keep It Real
Friends, family, coworkers, and subordinates are rarely going to feel comfortable confronting you if they see you going off track. They have too much to lose to be brutally honest with you.
You need someone who cares enough and is invested enough in your organization to tell you the truth (and to be someone with an unbiased opinion). Your coach’s bias is only toward your success!
9. You Secretly Have a Lack of Confidence
Many leaders and business owners lack confidence in who they are, the direction they’re headed, and if they have the right expertise to run the organization.
The best coaches serve as a mentor, cheerleader, and drill sergeant. They’ve been through the highs and lows of business and leadership and can help guide you. They are there to remind you of your strengths, encourage you through the hard seasons, and give you a swift kick in the pants when you need it!
Because of that, you can feel confident that whatever comes up in your organization you can depend on them for wisdom and guidance.
10. You Feel Overwhelmed
When you add up all that you are doing and consider the nine signs above, it’s easy to see that you might feel overwhelmed. That’s probably the understatement of the year!
When you start to feel overwhelmed, that’s a sure sign that you need an outside perspective and experienced help to overcome the obstacles.
Research shows that 90% of small businesses fail in the first five years, and I believe it is because the founders of these organizations didn’t pay attention to the warning signs listed above. That doesn’t have to happen to you. You’re reading this because you want your leadership to grow, to be successful, to help other people, and give you the lifestyle you desire.
If three or more of these signs resonated with you, minimize leadership stress and invest in yourself and professional coaching.
Note from Jenni: Alli has been a long-time friend and one of the first people I call for leadership advice and strategic consulting. If you have a desire to develop your leadership gifts then join us for our upcoming “Women in Leadership Coaching Intensive” at the historic and scenic Syme-Gilbert House in Neenah, WI. (You will love it!)
Keep leading well!
Jenni Catron & The 4Sight Group
Alli is the author of Fierce Faith: A Woman’s Guide to Fighting Fear, Wrestling Worry and Overcoming Anxiety and Breaking Busy: Finding Peace and Purpose in a World of Crazy.