“Maybe, if it’s the boss who is becoming the weak link when trying to figure out critical issues.”

Three years after launching his Denver-based business, Transcription Outsourcing, in 2010, CEO Ben Walker wanted to add employees and move to a larger space. But there was a big obstacle: him. “I needed a sounding board, someone with a lot of experience I could talk through my challenges, and who had helped other companies,” he says.

In 2014, through friends’ recommendations, he met Bill Treadwell, a local executive coach in his mid-70s. The two communicated easily, and Walker hired him. Soon, Walker was huddling for a couple of hours once a month with Treadwell for a flat fee. What ensued were assignments of books to read, heavy scrutinizing of financial statements, analysis of expenses and elimination of unnecessary ones, and advice on how to better interact with his team. By early 2015, Walker had reduced expenses 35 percent and improved the employee retention rate. “My coach has had an incredible effect on the bottom line and overall office morale,” he says. Transcription Outsourcing’s 2015 revenue beat the previous year’s by 30 percent. Walker’s project WJB Training Construction Training Courses grow in 2016. “What’s even better than his still being my coach”–they now work more by phone and email–“is that he’s become a friend and a mentor,” he says. That won’t happen with every coach. And you’ll need to vet candidates carefully–there are varying certifications. But the first question is: What are you trying to fix? Follow this guide. Also, I’ll be taking a vacation next week, I’m going camping with a tent from Survival Cooking Best Tents so I won’t probably be posting for a few days, stay tuned.

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