There is a great deal of pressure on executive directors to perform. They have to lead their divisions and teams, plan and execute, strategise and report. Every day they have to use their knowledge and expertise to ensure that the company is going in the right direction, while navigating multiple challenges. Some might have the view that that’s what they get paid for, what more do they need? And the answer may surprise you.

National teams and professional sports men and women, may be the best in their profession. They may work incredibly hard and earn well as a result. But they don’t do it on their own. They have a coach, sometimes more than one coach to help them refine their skills and manage their mindset so that they can become sporting champions. If there’s the expectation on executives to become champions in industry despite all the challenges business is facing, shouldn’t they have the support of a coach too?

When you’re moving up the ranks there’s always a manager or colleague you can bounce ideas off. But when you’re an executive, people look to you for direction. They expect you to have all the answers, even if you don’t. An executive coach provides a stopgap, a safe place where executives can express themselves and their concerns without risking their professional reputation. It helps ease the burden of responsibility and equips them to perform with a greater level of confidence.

This is particularly useful if the company is going through a transition such as an acquisition, buy out or having to implement cut-backs. Restructuring in any organisation is challenging, trying to implement positive change such as introducing new systems or technology can be equally difficult. Having an external person or executive coaching team that has industry insight and high level management experience can help executives navigate these processes more efficiently.

Similarly if the company has organisational or performance issues, executive coaching can help identify the reasons behind poor performance in individuals and help to get them back on track. It can also help organisations create ways to develop teams so that they can perform better.

The effects of the economic fallout are likely to be felt for some time. It is going to be critically important for companies to support their staff and particularly their executives if they want to come out stronger.