Coaching has a business-love relationship. The founders are visionaries: they start with an idea, a talent, a dream, but not necessarily know the business. Because being an entrepreneur does not require a license or training – Jeff Bezos is an engineer and computer scientist; Elon Musk is an economist and physicist, and so on.
In any other industry, when someone with raw talent – an athlete, a singer, an actor – advances their career, the first thing they get is a coach. Once they get their first Olympic gold or Grammy, it does not stop.
The coaches do not leave their sides until they hang up their gloves. Tiger Woods is noted for working with many coaches who have changed their tactics and are outpacing their performances.
In any other industry, when someone with raw talent – an athlete, a singer, an actor – advances their career, the first thing they get is a coach.
Despite a culture that pushes founders to the edge of their physical, mental, and personal boundaries as they build their company, we insist they fly solo. They are led to believe that reaching out for support is a sign of weakness.
This stigma is a big part of the problem. We look at business magnitudes, assuming they left for a C-suite from a college hostel without breaking a sweat. But we do not see the vigorous kicking that goes below the surface. Once I become a customer, even the best leaders are distorting themselves at least 30% of the time. I know for a fact that the top Silicon Valley billionaires have nurturing, upbringing, attention and life coaches, but they – like half of my own clients – are reluctant to embrace it in the open.
The chancellor knows that they do not invest in business; They invest in the person. Record amounts of money are still being funneled into mental wellness startups, but investors also need to direct that awareness towards the well-being of their founders. By giving all your portfolio founders access to a coach, you will prevent them from putting their energy into your business to deal with real problems, and you will without a doubt improve your returns.
1. Business is not always the main problem of a founder
I am the founder and CEO of StartUps and more than half of their main life challenges No Related to work. They are being pulled in many directions – some have cancer, others are having an affair, some are undergoing IVF, others are still dealing with past grief and sorrow.
And when a problem is related to work, it is often a communication or psychological issue: how do I face my fear of failure? How do I lead a 50’s team for the first time? Should i trust my gut?
All of this is happening in the middle of Series A, hiring and laying off employees, acquiring, and deciding whether to close the bridge or close the business. Imagine how much emotional energy and hours it really takes for founders – or anyone – to face those intimate issues emotionally, with investors or in board meetings.
One of the most recurring concerns the founders have shared with me is that they feel alone.
Chancellor, when you choose to fund someone, you are also getting married on their past, their family, their personal issues. Full package. Ask yourself – Do you currently know the major distractions in the lives of all your portfolio founders? If you don’t, then start with the assumption that something is going on in their life apart from work and make them available at any time.
If you are committed to helping founders manage their fears, limiting beliefs and blind spots, then you are committed to their potential as a company and industry leader. A healthy leadership is a healthy company.
2. Return to Coaching (ROC)
With elite football coaches, the benefits of business-coaching are highly visible without the expense of million dollars. The founders start making better decisions for the first time. They hire the right talent, instead of hiring, firing and firing someone within a month.
They have more honest interactions with stakeholders, avoid conflict and allow more people to make meaningful contributions to the growth of the business. They have the proper mindset of fundraising, and their attitude matches the money they are asking for.
This is before making physical improvements. My founders have lost weight, stopped smoking and drinking and have more energy to build a business. If a founder works with chronic fatigue, which are many, it will not be long before their body cracks. I get calls from clients caught in panic attacks before big meetings, struggling to stabilize their fractured nerves.
You can do good to your founders in various ways. Similarly your firm can offer marketing or PR services to portfolio companies should be part of the coaching package. Firms can make executive coaches available at retainers. Whenever someone needs them, you can choose a full-time resident coach.
At the very least, firms should provide a list of recommended coaches. Some coaches are specifically experts in leadership coaching, female founders or health, while others cover a variety of personal and professional skills.
Investors will sometimes offer a handful of sessions to their founders, but are forced to decide between their personal health and the health of the business – other people (including your firm), if they wish to continue. Has stolen millions of dollars. It should never be a case of one or the other.
My hope is that in the future, the Chancellor will earmark a percentage of his funds for mental welfare, especially for the founders and officials.
Some chancellors have already taken the 1% pledge, but it is Europeans who are leading the charge here, with funds from Estonia to Ireland generously covering all founding coaching fees and other support programs. Let me talk about how 10x development is possible without burnout.
3. Cut through stigma to enable founders to create the most coaching
The founders themselves are resistant to hiring a coach because they are worried about what their investors and board will think of them. They tell themselves: “If I was normal, and good enough, I wouldn’t need one.”
It is not just a matter of their inner voice. When a client of mine joined a Silicon Valley startup, he asked his superiors if coaching could be part of his comp package. He wondered why he needed a coach.
In other industries, attaching someone to a coach is a proof of their value. Investors should have this conversation: You are good enough to give us money, so we are going to give you someone to support you in your journey, so do not pretend that you find it at every step Can.
There is also a negative connotation around the word “mental health” that we should recoup. Those two words inspire people to think about depression, suicidal thoughts, or addiction. Who is mental United NationsHealth. Let us talk more about mental well-being and founding well-being, which focuses us on the goal we are working towards.
Eliminating stigma can begin with an open dialogue between investors and executives about wellbeing, as well as inviting an instructor to talk to their founders about what these sessions are, and why everyone Has to achieve something. By breaking taboos, you’ll enable the founders to complete that experience, rather than maintaining appearances.
If we start making coaching mainstream today, then we can eventually consider it mandatory for all founders.
4. Lead by example
Finally, business leaders and investors need to set an example for the startup community, and especially for people at the beginning of their journey, that it is okay to ask for help to improve themselves.
Many CEOs, such as top CEOs, are coaches. If more directly owned, they have so much power to normalize coaching, and even make #IHaveACoach fashionable. After all, we are talking about the same industry that has made the Meditation Room trendy and Kombucha an office feature.
Why not make coaching a central topic at future investor conferences, or as a VC firm, publish a study of how portfolio founders who follow a coaching program saw greater commercial success?
For example: For years, Union Square Ventures has invested in providing value to its founders and has built a team whose responsibilities include developing leadership training, promoting mentorship circles, and connecting founders to coaches . If you let the founders see your commitment to human issues, it would not be for them that humans are becoming weaker.
These approaches are also important self-promotions for the chancellors’ status as the next generation of ethical investors. With so many alternative funding options available, the founders are demanding patriarchs who give them more than just capital and who view welfare and diversity and inclusion as unfit to succeed.
Founder health and startup health cannot be separated from each other. At some stage, all investors know this. So let’s give those who are shaping the world of tomorrow the tools to be more comfortable in their skin and to become more adept at leading teams to achieve greatness and incredible returns.