Beware of the Wannabe’s

I’ve noticed lately a dramatic increase in the number of individuals calling themselves “coaches”. In many cases they have been “certified” by well-known knowledge experts who in fact are excellent coaches and teachers. For example there are individuals today being certified by Brian Tracy’s Focal Point Coaching. Others are pursuing certification through the John Maxwell Team.

I’ll be the first to admit that I have used and learned from material from both Tracey and Maxwell. And, I know and respect some of their coaches. In fact, I have referred folks to them. Why? Because they have credibility. But just because someone has become “certified” doesn’t mean they’re any good at what they do or are able to transfer their “certified” knowledge in a practical and effective way to their client.

In many cases these “wannabe” coaches are themselves in a steep learning curve. The last thing you want to do is engage them and pay them, while they learn. 

I think it would be safe to assume that anyone of us who engages a coach would like to have an individual who was actually successful as a coach and has been equally successful as an entrepreneur or leader prior to them becoming a coach. 

From my own observations many of these “wannabe” coaches are really very good at saying the right things and posting interesting quotes but the real question is do they have the right experience to help you? Do they have the black and blues and battle scars of business? More importantly are they able to transfer that knowledge to you to help you become a better you. In many cases, they do not.

If you’re seriously thinking about engaging a coach to help you grow and find and achieve your level of success then I think at a minimum you should consider the following: 

  • What are their credentials?
  • Do they have a great reputation based upon their accomplishments or do they have a reputation that’s great in their own mind. 
  • Can you connect with them? 
  • Can they truly establish a relationship and rapport with you to guide you over the barriers that you are facing? 
  • Are they someone you can trust and talk to about your biggest business or personal challenges? 
  • Do you want to work with someone is going to address what you need in a unique / just for you approach? Many of the wannabes are going to try to force your issues into their solution versus helping you develop your “right” solution.

You want to work with someone who values truth over feelings and is willing to tell you what you need to hear over what you want to hear.

I place a tremendous amount of value on the relationships I have with my clients because they have engaged me to help them become a success. In that regard, I have no fear whatsoever in telling them in a respectful and professional way what they need to hear even if that means they decide to terminate the relationship. 

You want a coach who will challenge you and not cuddle you. You want your coach to be able to push you to use the skills and talents you already have. Any coach who offers you a silver bullet or a one-size-fits-all solution is akin to what we used to see in the old western movies – the snake oil salesman.

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