Do You Need to be an Executive to Have an Executive Coaching Career?

Thinking of an executive coaching career? Do you have what it takes? Is it a financially viable career option? Is it right for you?

Executive Coaching

The Evolution of Executive Coaching

Executive coaching has come a long way in the past few decades. The evolution has been stunningly fast. If someone mentioned executive coaching only a few decades ago, it would inspire the question: “A coach? Isn’t that for athletic teams?”

During the next decade, coaches were thought of as corporate shrinks: “There’s something seriously wrong in this corporation and we need someone to determine the pathology.” The next step in the evolutionary process was: “Why do I need a coach? Am I in trouble? Am I about to get fired?”

The last ten years for anyone with an executive coaching career has been: “Great a coach. Will this help?’ Just recently it’s become: “I want an executive coach. How long can I work with one?”

Executive Coaching Today

The job of an executive or CEO can be extremely challenging. Even though it has become more rewarding with excessive salaries and bonuses, the global economy and the rapid spread of advanced technology has made the job more challenging than ever.

Though executives of old managed to handle their jobs without coaches, the executive of today has more pressures than ever. In 1995, CEOs lasted, on an international average, 9.5 years; they now last 7.6 years. The Harvard Business Review reported that 2 out of 5 CEOs fail in the first 18 months. It sure looks like coaches are needed! Eric Schmidt, Chairman and former CEO of Google, says his best advice to new CEOs is to “have a coach.”

It sure looks like executive coaches are in high demand, and that executive coaching careers are on the rise. So, what do you need to become an executive coach?

Do You Need to be an Executive to Have an Executive Coaching Career?

The best executive coaches often have business backgrounds, but it is not necessarily better to have been an executive. There are certainly no requirements to begin an executive coaching career – no educational or experience requirements. However, with a background in business, whether it is as a small business owner or as an employee in a large corporation, you will understand some of the basic environments in which an executive works.

You should certainly take an accredited coaching program that focuses on executive coaching. You should have the basic skills that coaches possess – strong listening abilities, a capacity to formulate and ask the right questions, and an innate ability to empathize with the client’s circumstances.

Can you enjoy an executive coaching career without having experience as an executive? Certainly. Does it help to have business experience? Yes – it does. If you don’t have high-level business experience, the road to a successful executive coaching career may be a long and winding road, but it is certainly possible to reach your destination.

To be the best executive coach you can be:

  • • Honestly assess your abilities and traits and see if you have what it takes to be a coach
    • Get the best possible training that fits your budget and schedule through an accredited coaching program
    • Learn all you can on your own – through books, DVDs, webinars, and seminars.
    • If you lack business experience, consider taking business courses online or at a local college.
    • Work on your listening skills – it’s what coaches need to do best!
    • Enjoy your career – it is both financial rewarding and personally fulfilling.

Hope you took some great value out of this post today! I’d love to hear your feedback, so make sure you leave a comment with your thoughts or questions. And also, you can click on the Twitter button below to retweet this article… Thank you!

Fred Philips
Business Coach
Writing Team, Coaches Training Blog Community

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  1. Sherill says

    Although possible, I believe that the best teacher is experience, so you would be a better executive coach if you are or have been an executive.

  2. Honey says

    In any career in life, knowledge and skills in a chosen field are always your best bullets.

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