Why CEO Eric Schmidt Believes Every Leader Needs a Coach

Blog 29Everybody needs a coach—at least according to Eric Schmidt who is currently the Executive Chairman of Alphabet, Inc. If you don’t recognize his name, let me remind you that Eric was on the board at Apple from 2006-2009. He became incredibly noteworthy when he served as the CEO of Google for a decade from 2001-2011. He’s a smart guy (with a bachelors from Princeton University and a masters and Ph.D. from U.C. Berkeley). What does the man with a net worth of $11 billion have to teach us? Lots, of course! But his thoughts on every leader having a personal coach are compelling.

In watching an interview with him on YouTube (https://youtu.be/a7qnTMvw92U) I was most struck by his insistence on the importance of every entrepreneur and executive of having their own coach. He shared how he has his own personal, private coach! He said, “Everybody needs a coach!” A Life Coach. A Business Coach. A Success Coach of some sort.

This brilliant man noted, “Every famous athlete, every famous performer has somebody who is a coach… to give them perspective.” He continues, “One thing others are never good at is seeing themselves as others see them. A coach really really helps!” I was so impressed by his candor and humility. Such a liberating perspective! How gracious to remind us all that we do our best work with the help, assistance, and partnership of others.

Let’s face it, we all want to think that we’re brilliant, or at least smart enough to do what we’re called to do on our own. But we’re not. We are not enough by ourselves, that is, if we’re looking to be the best at our craft, to do something amazing in our field, or to make a significant mark in the world. If Erich Schmidt has a coach, then I trust everybody needs a coach. I have a few coaches myself. I even have a coach to help me better coach. I value the perspective. I’ve seen the rich return on this investment. How about you? I’d enjoy hearing your thoughts.