The topic was risk and its importance to the process of building or creating something. Whether as an entrepreneur or intrapreneur, uncertainty would be part of the formula.
As the attendees weighed in with the ways in which they had taken risks, a handful of the 30 or so in attendance shared that the risk they had taken was to leave a six-figure career to become a leadership coach. Leaving the six-figure career was not the surprising part to me.
To become a leadership coach was.
This was not a forum on leadership coaching; it was one on entrepreneurship.
Yet 1/6 of those in attendance are now leadership coaches. As one who also left a six-figure career and is a leadership coach, it would be casting stones in a glass house to take a stand against such risk-taking.
But I am, and from a different point than you may imagine.
Each person must define risk in their own terms. That requires knowing your vision for the long-term. My sincerest hope is that each of these high-achievers has done that. My rant is not on the risk they are taking – but the risk they may introduce to others.
Coaching…Risk? Let me explain.
As President of the Houston Chapter of the International Coach Federation (ICF), the most respected and globally recognized credential of professional coaches, I see many newbies to the coaching profession.
I was one of them over 10 years ago. Not one of those claiming to be a leadership coach at the entrepreneurs’ forum had I ever seen at one of our local chapter events where we provide continuing education to those who are credentialed and inform those seeking professional recognition from a rigorous training program.
Professional coach training may not be for every aspiring or established coach. I am not blinded by the pursuit of professionalism. What concerns me is the risk. Not for the new “coaches” – but for those who may engage them.
Anyone Can Call Themselves a Coach…
If anyone can call themselves a coach, how do consumers – who range from individuals to large corporations – distinguish between those qualified to coach and those who are not? You can:
- reference the ICF Global website for insight on hiring a coach
- download the e-book we have prepared on the topic
- ask around for references and referrals from other individuals and organizations you trust
The Code of Ethics that is part of credentialing is key to addressing potential risk that may arise in a coach relationship. Unfortunately, there are aspiring coaches unaware of the risk they may present to clients and not bound by a code of ethics and standards of conduct. Mitigate this risk by working with a credentialed coach.