May 9, 2019

Three Characteristics Of A Good Executive Coach!

My first meeting with my new executive coaching client got off to a slow start. Luckily, his Color Code Personality Assessment prepared me for what was in store. See Tom, a chief executive of a not-for-profit organization, is a primary yellow with a secondary white personality, possessing very little red. This means that while brilliant, charming, and creative, Tom lacks attention to detail and follow through on tasks. In true yellow fashion, the meeting caught Tom off guard, resulting in his logging into the “Go To Meeting” bridge 20 minutes late.

Tom and I spent the first portion of our first session together discussing the importance of intentionality and setting aside time for his development. I have received the benefit of great coaching in my career. Initially, that coaching came from my excellent supervisors at Capital One when I was a Senior Manager of Operations in the credit card division. Later in my career, I had the benefit of executive coaching from a third party. My coach helped me to put together a vision for my development that changed the trajectory of not only my career but my entire life. That is my goal for every coaching engagement that I enter. I want to help people and organizations discover their goals and expedite their journey towards those goals.

As an Executive Coach, my client and I will initially begin with a drafting session. In engineering, “drafting or slipstreaming is an aerodynamic technique where two vehicles or other moving objects are caused to align in a close group reducing the overall effect of drag due to exploiting the lead object’s slipstream”. My goal is to use specific tools that will help you “get clear” about your goals and take intentional steps towards executing against those goals.

The best coaches have three distinct characteristics:

  • Access to the best tools.

    As a John Maxwell, Coach and Speaker as well as a Color Code Personality Trainer, I use these materials as an intricate part of my practice. Having access to the right tools will be a huge benefit to the student in their development.

  • Asking the best questions.

    Any good coach will also be a good listening and know how to ask the right questions to spur thought provoking answers in their students. As a former corporate executive, I use thoughtful questions to help clients reflect as I hold them highly accountable to striving for their stated goals.

  • Have a caring heart.

    Your coach is teacher and mentor. They should be thoughtful to your current position and your ultimate goals. Your time is just a precious as your coach’s time? and your sessions should be the most passionate and engaged time of your week. I like to tell my clients; this time is all about you!

    Tom just renewed for 3 more months. In our first 90 days, he has rolled out a strategic vision to his organization, tackled many of his issues managing his deliverables and is well on his way to completing his degree work. Even his wife has commented on his renewed confidence and sense of purpose. He even manages to show up on time for our weekly sessions now. If you feel like your life may need a jolt of focus, you may consider finding a qualified coach today.

Guest Bio:

Darren C. Lyons ( is a 20-year customer experience professional with expertise in diverse industries including retail, credit cards, auto loans, telephony and property and casualty insurance. As Director of Global Customer Care for a large retail organization, he managed the relationship of seven BPO Partners in ten cities across five countries increasing Customer Satisfaction scores over 50% in a six-month period.
Through his affiliation with the John Maxwell Group, he is a trainer, speaker and coach with international executive coaching clients in 3 countries. He facilitates several training seminars in including “The Color Code Personality Assessment”, “The 5 Tools of Priority Management,” and Mastermind Groups (
His book, A Day in the Life in a Skilled Nursing Facility, is available at
His next book, With Worn Out Tools: Navigating The Rituals of Mid Life will be available this spring.
For speaking engagements, please contact Darren at d[email protected].

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