Resourced Leaders

'Resourced Leaders' is a premier Australian based Leadership Performance organisation that specialises in working with senior executives, leaders and high performing individuals who aspire to greater levels of personal leadership and success.

My WORST ever client!

Posted by Phil Owens
Phil Owens
Philip is one of Australia’s leading performance and leadership specialists. He
User is currently offline
on Thursday, 22 March 2012 in Leadership

I have just returned from working in Europe, where I spent a fair bit of time with one particular client - possibly the worst client I will ever have.

Imagine a coaching client like this:

He knows what to do - has the all the skills, qualifications and experience he needs.

He understands all aspects of the goal setting process, he understands his purpose and why he wants to achieve what he wants.

He understands his leverage, his motivation and even the obstacles that he will face.

He knows all of the deeper psychological aspects relating to his view of the world and how he should go about it. He has done all of the psychometric testing and is completely aware of his preferences and how these show up.

His thoughts, skills and even his coaching process are in demand.

And yet, he is my single WORST client.

He would rather help his clients than help himself.

He puts things off that he knows he should do.

He uses his ‘gut’ when he knows that he should use his head.

He doesn’t believe in himself as much as everyone else does.

He cannot recognise that the small differences he needs to make will have big impacts.

He gets frustrated with things that he knows require patience. His view of reality is skewed by his desire to make a difference.

What should I do with such a client? Sack him? Refer him onto another coach?

You may have guessed – my own worst client is ME.

It goes to show that we all need that external reference and accountability partner that a coach provides. Even coaches need coaching – because no matter how much we know, we all get ‘stuck’ in our own stuff.

I am fortunate to have some great mentors and coaches around me. One of the most difficult things when we are deep in our own issues is remembering that we are not alone, and that sometimes all we need to do is reach out to get the support that we need.

I can be a great coach to others, but the best advice I can give myself is to sack myself as a client and reach out to those around me.

Who do you know that could benefit from ‘sacking themselves’ and getting an expert coach to assist them?

What other advice would you give me, as both the coach and the client? I would love to hear your feedback and ideas in the comments below.

Philip is one of Australia’s leading performance and leadership specialists. He honed his skills working with executives and leaders around the world, coaching and consulting in over 30 countries, from entrepreneurial start-ups to boards of multi-billion dollar businesses.


Jan Esensjö Thursday, 22 March 2012

Right on!

Hahaha, for a moment I thought you had met MY worst client ever! And, in a way you have... Very good Phil! ;)

Phil Owens
Phil Owens
Philip is one of Australia’s leading performance and leadership specialists. He
User is currently offline
Phil Owens Thursday, 22 March 2012

RE:Right on!

Thanks Jan, it seems to be a universal truth... We are all our own worst clients. It really dawned on me as I was doing some work on some long haul flights. If I was coaching me, I probably would have sacked the client then and there! Appreciate your comments! Cheers, Phil.

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