A global head of leadership development recently shared with me that his CEO had committed to an executive coaching process.
“That’s great news. This will be a positive example for everyone the company”, I replied.
“Well, he is doing this coaching, but people aren’t supposed to know about it. Naturally, we do know about, but we do not talk about it. He wants to keep it a secret.”
This is not just sad; it is bad for your business.
There is nothing to be ashamed of by asking for help. When senior leaders tell others that they are getting involved in executive coaching, because they are interested in continuous improvement, and that it starts with them – it sends a motivating message across the company.
None of us is perfect. When we pretend to be perfect, hide our imperfections, and discourage people from giving us feedback and ideas to improve, we lose followers and our ability to influence people.
Most of my bosses were open with me about their strengths and their shortcomings. They encouraged me to give them feedback as I saw fit. This triggered a deep sense of personal responsibility to act in the same way. These experiences with my bosses, at the early stages of my leadership career, changed my leadership and my life.
When you hide where you need help, you hurt yourself and your company.