IN 2005, Ali Riaz, then president of a search technology company that would eventually be sold to Microsoft, was having dinner with one of his board members when he admitted that he was struggling with managing everything that running a fast-growing, cutting-edge company entailed, as reported in the New York Times.
“I said, ‘I feel like there must be a better way to deal with the inflow of pressure,’ ” Mr. Riaz said. “Kids getting bigger, parents getting older, business is growing — just using hard work and natural-born talents was getting hard. I wondered if there were techniques I could use.” The board member suggested he get a coach and offered to make an introduction. Mr. Riaz, a smart, driven entrepreneur, thought this was a horrible idea.
“I was a little like, I don’t need a psychologist, buddy,” he said. “We Type A entrepreneurs don’t talk about this kind of stuff. We solve problems and push ahead.” Mr. Riaz quickly saw that she had some insight into how entrepreneurs think and how to help them. “I realized at the end of our first conversation that in order to work with her meant work,” he said. “In my 25-hour day of work, I realized I didn’t have time to work with her.” A few months later, he changed his mind.