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Welcome to the Bula Network Executive Coaching Program For City Management*
*These online coaching sessions are generic and intended to serve people in both the public and private sector. This first session concludes with a coaching assessment that is specifically designed for the public sector of city management. Future sessions here will have a broad application. They’re designed to serve you and help you explore ways to craft your own improvement.
Executive coaching: It’s NOT what is pictured. I’m often asked, “What exactly IS executive coaching?” It’s a fair question since so few people ever experience it. Well, more accurately, so few small to medium sized businesses or organizations experience it. Fortune 500 companies are very familiar with it. And many CEO’s are, too.
However, it’s not the exclusive domain of the largest organizations or the most powerful people in industry. That’s why I’m so excited to welcome YOU to the program. Let me tell you what you can expect and simultaneously I can explain to you what executive coaching is all about.
The goals of executive coaching vary depending on the client, the sponsor and the challenges. YOU are the client. YOU may also be the sponsor if you’re the person who has commissioned (and is paying for) the coaching.
The challenges are just like you, unique.
• Strengthening your self-management
• Interpersonal effectiveness
• Leadership impact
The goals can encompass business/organizational strategy, talent acquisition/retention and a thousand other goals. This is not a one-size-fits-all. And it’s not about fixing you, or anybody else. Nor is it about me doing things for you. It’s about one thing…
Executive coaching is about leveraging our relationship so we can explore. This is a journey of self-discovery. It has to be…because I have no authority or right to determine the values or culture of your organization. It’s HIGHLY likely that the reason we’re working together is because my values and the cultures I’m most attracted to exist in your situation. I don’t often knowingly enter into a situation where I know values and cultures aren’t aligned in ways that fit my values and core philosophies. Even so, it’s not my role to contradict the people (or person) you report to. Nor is it my job to convert you to any particular views I may have. This isn’t about ME. It’s about YOU.
Have you heard of Plato’s Allegory Of The Cave?
In short, it’s the story of prisoners chained inside a cave where all they see are the shadows on the cave wall. Everything they think about life is based on what they perceive to be true. Obviously, their perceptions are based on shadows, not reality.
That’s how our lives are sometimes. We know what we know. We see things as we see them. It can be difficult to see things differently.
Together, we’re going to explore alternatives that may be more effective and helpful to your work, your career and your organization (including your direct reports).
Clarity. That’s always a primary goal because a lack of clarity often prevents us from thinking differently, which results in our failure to act differently, which can stymy our ability to be our very best.
Coaching Will Not Make You (or try to make you) Something You’re Not
Some people are afraid that coaching will demand them to change who they are, but that’s not true. Not when it’s done correctly.
Think about any sport that involves a team. Basketball, baseball, football, soccer, volleyball – you name it. Just think of one.
Each of those sports has players who perform a unique role. They don’t all play the same position. They don’t all possess the same skills.
No right thinking coach would take the pitcher of a baseball team and try to make him into a first baseman. He’d work to help the pitcher be the very best pitcher possible. Likewise with all the other players, including that first baseman.
I must give you one small – yet very large – disclaimer about “changing you.” You, your sponsor and your direct reports expect to see improvements. We’re not going to disappoint them. We’re not going to disappoint you either. It’s like me losing quite a bit of weight 25 years ago. I was on the road too much. Eating poorly. Not exercising. And I packed on some extra weight. When I decided to take better care of myself I began to lose weight. I didn’t tell anybody. I just started losing. After a few weeks people commented, “You look like you’ve lost some weight.” My confidence soared. I continued to lose. More people commented, “Man, you’ve really lost some weight.” It was still me. I still laughed at the same stuff. I still got frustrated at the same things. I was just becoming a better version of me.
This Process Is All About You Becoming The Best Version Of YOU
Only one thing will foil our success. Only one thing will derail us in this journey.
More accurately, your lack of willingness. But I don’t think that’ll be a problem because you’re smarter than that. You want to be your best. You’re already a high achiever because executive coaching clients are always high achievers. The world-class athletes have coaches. The people who try to go it alone are the people you’ve never heard of…because they’re failing.
My job, as your executive coach, is to speed up the process. I want to help you achieve higher performance faster than you might alone. I also want to help you achieve higher performance than you might alone. So, it’s about helping you go further, faster!
I’m very excited about us beginning this journey. I want you to be excited, too. So let me end this first session by making you some promises.
- I won’t betray your confidence.
- I’ll never embarrass you (well, not intentionally).
- I won’t quit on you or ever disappoint you.
- I’ll always be honest, be competent, give more and make it right!
If we’re meeting in person (right now that’s limited to people living/working in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area), then you’ve got all my contact information. I want you to call me when you need me. Unfortunately, I can’t promise I’ll always answer, but you understand that. I’m not just sitting around waiting on you to call me. I will call you no later than the next business day. I work hard to call people back the same day, but that’s not always possible. As for email, I’ll make you the same promise.
For my virtual clients, you already know our level of interaction based on the program you’ve purchased. I take your investment very seriously and promise to be as responsive as I can.
Now, take a deep breath. Loosen up and prepare to enjoy the journey. The process is very important. I want to share a podcast I recorded for another website I have, Leaning Toward Wisdom (this is a hobby project where I basically use storytelling to provoke thought, convey some wisdom I’ve learned along the way and to entertain a bit; it’s not necessarily autobiographical, but I do present it in the first person to make it interesting and to create better engagement with the audience). It’s episode 4010 and it’s entitled, “3 Tips To Create A Process Toward Your Own Greatness.” Click here to go the page where you can listen to it. It’s about 38 minutes long and you can follow along with the blog post, too because I’ve got some photos and illustrations. It’s all about the power of the process.
I believe in the process. I want you to believe in it, too. If you don’t yet believe in the power of the process, that podcast episode may help me convince you.
Then, I have one more piece of homework for you. Click here and complete this assessment. This assessment is specifically for people involved in the public sector, city management because I’ve purposefully made today’s session specific to YOU. The rest of these sessions are generic and intended for clients across all spaces – non-profits, public sector and private sector. Additionally, some of you will be getting sessions specifically designed just for you. In either case, I want this to be a dialogue so reach out to me if you have any questions or feedback.
Talk to you soon,