Our Master Corporate Executive Coach Certification (MCEC)™ is offered through our “colleague” organization the MEECO Institute.
Competencies, as they currently exist for our field of Corporate Executive Coaching do not support the Association of Corporate Executive Coaches’ (ACEC) ™ http://acec-association.org/ goal of coaches being “enterprise-wide business partners™” with their organization clients and are therefore not designed for ultimate and ongoing success.
PASSIVE INCOME/ EXPENSE, ACTIVE INCOME/EXPENSE
Nowhere in the coaches’ business plan are the recognition, explanation, and importance of passive income as a source of branding and revenue stream. These include items like affiliate marketing, Creating an intellectual property and turning it into products, using brokers/ agents publishing, media, digital marketing, etc. Unfortunately, the mindset for coaches and 99% of the coaching associations encourage their members to focus solely on “active income.” Sadly, I cannot tell you how many coaches do not have a website or a quality digital footprint, instead of the rational that “I don’t need a website,” or an “I don’t need to be on Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook, my clients are not on those.” It goes back to the adage you don’t know what you don’t know because you don’t know it because you refuse to accept the power of word of mouth and how that is stimulated. Your corporate clients have led the way to the invasion of digital marketing. The response I often hear is but they have people to do that, and my response is that is not a good enough reason for the lack of know how. The CEO that does not know the impact of their companies digital impact is in serious trouble.
Marketing plans don’t necessarily have to be written but they do have to exist, and they need to grow ahead of the business. They need to contain areas for both “active income/expense” and “passive income/expenses.” Creating an intellectual property and turning it into a product is the mark of smart business planning. Examine the top coaches; they don’t restrict themselves to coaching. They don’t trade their time for dollars; they build in active leverage, this why the MEECO certification supports this type of growth. This kind of expansion goes to the core of being a Master-Level Executive Coach and helps our members in establishing themselves as real thought leaders.
There is an art to attracting clients and positioning one’s self as a thought leader. When I read most coach’s websites or read their blogs, I cringe. You have to know how to establish yourself as an expert, attract interest, and close deals. Instead of only reading coaching books, marketing old classics should be at the top of the list along with some of the new classic books on digital marketing, while they should be adding to their reading list branding books like “Blue Ocean Strategy.”
ROE/ ROI/ SOM
The ability to manage expectations, produce a return on investment for your client; understand their influences, challenges, the share-of-market and competitive frame are essential to success as defined by ACEC. Sadly most coaches have not heard these terms, do not know how to establish and measure succeed factors, and do not understand the criticality of each term yet each term relates to providing high-level client value.
The MEECO Institute recognizes the value coaches can add as an “enterprise-wide business partner” Therefore, to attain an MEECO certification we vet the coaches clients for these factors. Additionally, the clients have to be at the executive or c-suite level of Fortune 1,000 companies; they cannot be students, friends, or relatives.
A simple formula to compute ROI is defined as at least a 5-10X return on your fees in results within a predefined period. Mastering competencies as defined by most credentials in our field does not always translate to having knowledge in the areas mentioned above. Granted it is not easy to measure these areas due to the difficulty of isolating the input/output effects of coaching, however, with the growing area of neuroscience in our field I am hopeful that cleaner and clearer markers can be able to be established.
Many schools of thought believe that asking “powerful questions” is one of the pillars of successful coaching. This type of questioning sounds good conceptually, but it assumes that the questions will be the on point and lead to positive outcomes. Questions like “If I was in your shoes and asked for advice, what would be the first thing you’d tell me?” “What are you waiting for?” may sound complacent or accusatory rather than solution oriented. The Master coach knows how to present questions related to building trust and relationships from a position of strength and realizes that weak questioning can be interpreted as the coach being fearful of approaching the tough questions that need to be asked to arrive at the goal. Questions asked of those clients in the c-suite need to be provoking, stimulating, and challenging; difficult feedback needs to be delivered in real time without pause.
THE BUSINESS SIDE OF COACHING
The area of managing a business has not been one of the pillars of measuring for excellence and preparing for success. The lack of education in this area is why coaches tend to not to focus their business time and dollars for gaining additional knowledge or not managing their calendars to take advantage of educational opportunities. Further, when they do they attend conferences they attend the wrong types. They tend to go to the same conferences over and over and spend time networking with the same thought process. They do not focus on the mechanics of understanding the current influencers and dynamics of running their business.
THE PRICING OF COACHING
The concept of short-term engagements has been prevalent in our field. Coaches pride themselves on being able to get in and out of engagements boasting their success after 3, 6, 9 and 12 months of engaging with the client. The truth is that short-term commitments lead to short term success for both the client and the coach. How is it possible to claim success with these short-term engagements when behavioral scientist tell us that it takes 1 to 3 years to change behavior. The answer is simple it is not possible; the coaching pricing model has to change.
For the coaching side of the equation, comes the realization that it takes one year to cultivate a client, then why would you design a coaching practice based on continuous change. Do you change doctors every year? Do you change accountants every year? Do you change insurance carriers every year? Do you change lawyers every year? No. When your doctor says to come back in a year for a check-up, do you think no thanks I’m fine or do you realize that there is a lot that can go wrong in a year to alter your great health? Coaches need to think like other professionals where long-term relations are respected, expected and valued.
The above is not to say that being able to conceptualize the engagement is not critical; it is, what I am saying is that we need to add a component for sustainability for the client and the coach. Associations in our field offer competencies about contracting and managing the coaching plan. However, an essential skill of top professionals is not only conceptualizing an engagement so that there is a clear, efficient pathway to results. Many coaches do just a few coaching sessions at a time for clients, instead of setting up an ongoing “wellness plan” for optimum and continuous results. They simply don’t know how to look beyond the “here and now” to a full-blown, robust engagement structure which truly effects triggers.
THE COACHES PORTFOLIO
While many coaching associations worldwide subscribe to one coaching style/methodology, we at the MEECO Institute find this ludicrous for a coach claiming to be at the master level. We believe that an Executive coach’s portfolio must contain various coaching methodologies and different tools. Contrary but necessary to our field, it may also include consulting and counseling skills. Think about it when you go to your trusted doctor or professional do they recommend the same course of treatment for everyone? Or do they recommend a course of action that is particular to your needs? Does your accountant only run numbers or do they discuss with you the components of the figures, your goals, and then recommend a course of action. The same course of action does not fit all. Coaching like other professions must be situational based, which is why we do not dictate how to manage your portfolio, we look at what is in your portfolio to ensure a broad breadth of knowledge.
Today there is no longer a justified reason to support only one delivery system for coaching. With the advent of on-line face-to-face coaching, there is little justification in a coach to do on-site coaching other than to establish additional relationships as part of their continuous marketing plan. However, there is need to be aware of and put in place legal and security systems to help protect both the client and the coach.
Even with in-person coaching, it is appalling and shocking that associations and training programs are misguiding or not informing coaches about the legal conditions under which they are operation instead they focus only on ethics as though this is enough knowledge. This lack of information is not the case in ACEC. The problem is that standards are created by coaches sitting in an environment and having a dialogue based on the coaching world. Unfortunately, this has little to do with the legal statutes of a country or state. Hybrid models where there is a shift from coach to trainer to the facilitator to mentor, or the current supervisory model propose a much more severe legal quandary.
Need I say more?
There are so many coaches out there that teeter on being a master level executive coach but can’t quite make it and can’t figure out the missing course of action. Being a member of the Association of Corporate Executive Coaches means networking with coaches who have either achieved mastery or are within striking distance. Often the missing piece has a strong passive income portfolio. The rational “I am too busy” tells me there is a problem lurking in the future and a present day lack of knowledge as to the criticality of this area. Translated this is saying I’m too busy to make more money.
In 2018 ACEC and the MEECO Institute, will have a focused mission to bring in-depth knowledge to our members in the areas of passive income, legal aspects of coaching, new pricing models and more. These elements are consistent with our brand which is we focus on the business side of leadership and coaching.
Our Master Corporate Executive Coach Certification (MCEC) is offered through our “colleague” organization the MEECO (Measuring the Use of Executive Coaching, Employee Engagement and Corporate Culture in Organizations) http://meeco-institute.org and is built on accomplishments and not clock hours.