Finding The Right Coach For You: What’s Your Motivation?
Man thinking about leadership issues

Written by Brent Mullins

May 28, 2022

One of the significant gifts of coaching is seeing leaders embrace a vision or a dream they had never dared say out loud and later turn it into a reality. That moment when something that started as a whisper turned into a “hell yeah” I’m doing that; the spark caught, and the flame ignited.

I’m called to the work of coaching, and yet there is a reality that I begrudgingly acknowledge; I am not the right coach for every leader, and not every leader is right for me. I don’t coach every potential client because I know the cost of the wrong investment, having worked with over ten coaches myself.

If you want the staggering number of benefits coaching offers, there must be chemistry, competence, and an intuitive knowing in your bones that you’ve found the right partner. So my aim is to profile which leaders get the most from me and what you can expect if that’s you. (If it’s not you, you’ll know.)

Leaders who optimize coaching

A leader interested in coaching is after something they don’t have but are eager to get. They value having a person in their corner as they get in the ring with their challenge. There’s a hunger that makes settling for less feel empty if not distasteful; paradoxically, the numbness of not feeling the drive that built their success can be just as motivating.

That hunger powers their growth to next-level performance, healthier relationships, and increased overall well-being. They share one or more of these three motivational pillars; the big challenge, independence, or scaling up.

The Big Challenge

Leaders who are motivated by “the big challenge” want the kind of opportunity that puts them or keeps them at the center of the action, “the room where it happened,” so to speak. They like being out of their comfort zone or teetering on the edge as they pursue the thrill of achieving a first. A genuinely cutting insult is being called a bureaucrat. Gasp! Never!


The next column in the house of motivation is autonomy. These leaders want to take on a blank canvas challenge without anyone telling them how to get a particular result. Being forced into processes, models, or someone else’s methods feels wildly restrictive. These leaders are fond of saying, “Tell me which hill to take, not how to take it.”

Scaling Up

The third pillar of motivation is scaling up. Scaling up can mean advancing or moving the needle forward with greater influence, authority, scope of responsibility, promotion, and commensurate rewards. These leaders are often high-achievers with competitive traits who enjoy authority as it empowers them to create the positive workplace and experience they envision.

Do You Connect With These Motivational Drivers?

If any of these three pillars speak to you, you might be thinking, “Duh! Doesn’t everyone feel that way?” The answer is NO. And you’d be surprised how few people in the workplace share these motivational drivers.

In my experience, when motivation is absent, you will likely have a mediocre coaching experience. That might look like:

– Engaging in coaching as an intellectual pursuit vs. chasing something you crave
– Wanting a coach to fix something about you
– Not being that interested in doing the hard work (for example, facing a long-held fear)
– Being unwilling to be radically honest with yourself or your coach
– Not following through with the actions you choose
– Wanting to stay in your comfort zone.

The three motivational drivers above serve as the power for working through the challenges, sometimes intense challenges, that coaching addresses. If they speak to you, let me give you an idea of what it looks like to work together.

A Coaching Engagement

Alignment: The first two to three hours together is discovery, where we establish a partnership and how we’ll optimally work together. There’s a deep dive into your core values and what you consider most important at work and in life. The meaningful experiences and value-based stories you share help refine your goals, and what success looks like for you and the organization.

Coaching: Throughout our coaching sessions, we’ll create a confidential space to use information from your leadership experience, interviews, assessments, and feedback to help us move toward your objectives. Given an executive leader’s remarkable time demands, sessions typically run bi-weekly for 45 to 60 minutes; we’ll go to 90 minutes when it makes sense to continue. I encourage weekly meetings to begin so we can get a fast start out of the gate. Coaching engagements are six months to start, and there is no cap on the number of your 1-on-1 coaching hours. I’ve no interest in miserly tracking hours; I’m here for your results.

Completion: Coaching is not a lifelong commitment; a healthy partnership significantly increases your independence and eliminates any idea that you are dependent on a coach. When we complete our engagement, you deserve to appreciate and celebrate the grit and grace through the voyage that helped you achieve your goals. We’ll take stock of how much more you can access your innate strengths and creativity, how your mindset has evolved, and translate beliefs into behavior for a sustainable path forward.

Summing It Up

World events and disruptions in our lives highlight how important other people are in our life pursuits; no one ever really goes it alone. So, if you are hungry for a leap forward and this blog resonates with you, please take advantage of my offer for a no-cost coaching session. We’ll both get to see if there is chemistry and whether or not we decide to move forward; I am confident you will gain valuable, actionable insights.

Remember – you don’t have to jump into the deep end to be successful; consider what you could achieve if you embraced moving 10% out of your comfort zone? And later 10% more? Let’s talk about your motivational drivers and how we can move you forward.

If you’re ready to get started, book a 20-minute ‘getting to know each other’ call right here.

About The Author

Brent Mullins is a Certified Executive Coach serving successful senior leaders in global organizations to create positive, sustained change and achieve breakthrough performance. Brent’s extensive real-life experience includes executive leadership serving as Global Head of Human Resources at Fortune 200 companies and 25+ years in leadership roles. His expertise in navigating complex differences in assumptions, values, beliefs, and core culture is at the heart of his work.

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