I used to be overwhelmed when a new client would seek coaching to have a complete overhaul of their personality.

When we embark on a new coaching process most clients are in a situation where something has to change, and fast. Now, don’t get me wrong, this doesn’t mean that you have to be in crisis mode to look for a coach. Actually, the opposite is true. It is wise to have a coach on an on-going basis and move through the calm and the crazy times with focus and direction. Many successful leaders have one or more coaches they connect with regularly.

For a person to sum up their goal as “to be a different person” within 6 months or a year, can be mind-boggling for me as a coach. Not to mention, slightly tempting to think they’ve come to the wrong place. It sounds so unrealistic. That is, until I start asking some questions to find out more, to find out what they are experiencing to bring them to this place and how they want things to be different.

As they describe how things are falling apart with their work relationships, their productivity is down, stress levels are way up, they wonder if they’re where they’re supposed to be, slowly things start making sense. My clients are usually amazed at what they find out about their real objectives and needs moving forward. What they initially may have thought was an all-consuming sense that they are not who they need to be, becomes a more manageable, thoughtful, exciting, doable plan. They discover some very specific areas to address embedded within very solid strengths and building blocks which have become clearer through the process.

They do emerge different people. More focused leaders who know what is vital to them, empowered to interact differently with colleagues, to collaborate and contribute more genuinely, to feel and lead more like themselves. Like the leader they want to be.

There is no “magic wand”. But there is something transformative about the openness to learn which wells up in a decision-maker who is in a situation where there is impetus, even strong messages (pressure) to invest in their leadership presence and influence.

Where there is that kind of ownership, openness and motivation, there is great opportunity.