To fit in with the ranks of upper management, some CIOs need a little help from the sidelines.
"People mix up coaching, mentoring and consulting," says Rich Fettke, president of Fettke Success Development Group, in Lafayette, Calif., and spokesman for the International Coach Federation (ICF), the world’s largest association of personal and executive coaches. The differences? According to Fettke, a mentor has the same business experience as the client. A consultant tells clients how to be more effective. And a coach works with the client to reveal and build on his or her strengths, improve performance and enhance quality of life. Today even psychotherapists, escaping the vicissitudes of managed care providers, are calling themselves coaches.
"Coaches look at the business side and, at the same time, look to see whether [clients] are working too many hours, examine their time-management effectiveness, their fitness and their life relationships," says Fettke. "A coach can be skilled at coaching, but not as experienced as an executive. As a coach, a big part of my job is to be a resource —to have an extensive database of people I can refer to, so that I can call in a mentor when the client needs one."