Andy Murray won BBC Sports Personality of the Year in 2013, and continues to play at the top of the world stage of tennis. Would you imagine that Andy or any other succesful sports personality would be without a coach?
For many years high performance and success in sports, dance and music have been associated with good coaching practice, and now business organisations are using coaching to get the best performance from their people. A manager/leader can likewise improve their performance and therefore that of their team:
“The key issue facing future leaders is unlocking the enormous human potential by winning people’s emotional support … our leaders of the future will have to be more competent, more articulate, more creative, more inspirational and more credible if they are going to win the hearts and minds of their followers.” Peter Hawkins 2011
To better understand how a qualified organisational coach can help, I thought it might be just as important to clarify the role of a coach.
- A coach is trained to get the best out of you as a person, understanding your abilities and unlocking your potential.
- A coach is not a consultant, consultants come and deliver systems and programmes. Organisations often struggle with traction once the consultancy finishes and organisations need to implement. Coaches enable people and capabilities to develop and grow within the organisation. Self reliance, not dependency is the objective.
- A coach does not automatically qualify to be able to help just by themselves having been high achievers in the same arena. It helps if they can empathise, but they must be skilled at what they do – coaching you.
- There is no difference in business to individual success, being successful comes from being able to unlock your potential – coaching is recognised for making the difference.
Diagram from “What Coaches can do for you”, HBR, Coutu & Kauffman (2009)
Common situations where I am asked to intervene as an executive coach.
- Rapid evolving or changing business means making quick decisions, adapting to new changes and making sense of dynamics.
- Managing modern organisational complexity means managers need to master a range of people, organisation, communication and performance skills.
- Dealing with poor performance in a quick and direct way is often aided by an outside coach.
- Supporting new leaders getting their first months in office off to a great start.
- Improving decision making of senior executives and their rerlationships with key stakeholders. I provide a safe, secure and challenging sounding board.
- Greater employee committment and alignment leading to strong business benefits.
In 2013, Stanford University Executive Coaching Survey Results said that nearly two-thirds of CEOs do not receive outside leadership advice – but nearly all wanted it! It can be lonely at the top for any leader and the opportunity to be challenged and developed through coaching could have positive effects. The boards of companies were also keen to see talent development among its key managers.
Engaging an executive coach could be game changing for you, your team and your business.