The old joke goes, "The trouble with the rat race is that even if you win, you're still a rat." So it's no wonder more and more fast-track executives, sick of spinning their wheels on the rodent track, are starting to seek out business coaches to help them get back to the basics and learn to enjoy more fulfilling professional and personal lives.
Business coaches synthesize the best concepts from business, psychology, spirituality and sports to help individuals and teams of executives focus on finding and achieving their goals in life. Successful coaches push clients beyond what they could have done on their own, and provide the tools, support and structure needed to accomplish their dreams.
According to Coach University in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, the largest coach training facility in the country, the demand for business coaching and coach training has more than tripled during the past year--due to a growing trend among professionals in industries across the board to better align their personal and professional goals.
While many business coaches have years of experience in a specific field, such as law, accounting, banking or communications, a growing number of younger coaches find their age is an asset. "My clients tend to be younger people who want someone their own age to relate to--people who graduated from college a few years ago and aren't feeling fulfilled in their jobs," says 29-year-old Jeff Horn, a former information systems consultant who became a Memphis, Tennessee, business coach in 1997.
More than anything, professionals who want business coaches are looking for someone to help them clearly see their choices and be their champion--which often requires the spirit and energy of youth. "I came up against a lot of people who said I needed more life experience and wouldn't be able to coach older people, but that has certainly not been the case," says Melissa Daimler, who started Palo Alto, California, Actioncoach.com two years ago at the age of 27. "Many of today's workplace issues are directly correlated to issues important to the younger generation, such as new styles of management and leadership, flexible hours and balanced lifestyles."