Business Coaching = RESULTS
Updated: Feb 8
It’s hard to convince a prospective client that coaching will be a benefit. Nevertheless, business coaching is the most valuable tool available to a CEO.
Yes, I’m a business coach. No, this isn’t a sales pitch.
I started, grew, and sold a multi-million-dollar business. After that, I decided to become a business consultant. A good friend and colleague recommended I take a certified life coaching course, and so I did. After understanding the magic that coaching can provide a coachee, I regretted not hiring my own business coach so many years before.
Let me explain why the right coach can provide you with so much more than any other avenue you’ve tried to grow yourself and your business.
This graph illustrates the points I want to make. It shows the performance of the CEO, the path of performance improvement, and the final achievement.
CEO’s will be much better off if they hire a business coach. Let me explain.
Goal identification is the process of creating your vision. This can be your personal vision or the vision of your company. According to research, about 70 percent of CEO’s describe themselves as “introverts”. While introverted thinkers are inherently visionary, they get stuck inside their heads too much. When they create their goal or vision, it is a vision that is owned almost solely by themselves. If CEO’s involve their employees in goal identification or visioning, they will have a more collectively owned goal, but it is not necessarily a “better” goal.
A coach doesn’t jump right into creating goals without better understanding the values and foundational desires of their client. These foundational issues are critical in setting the “right” goals. Don’t get me wrong, the CEO still chooses their goal and vision. However, they will choose that goal based on full awareness of what they are trying to achieve to ensure that their final goal is aligned with their value system and is not clouded by extraneous desires of employees.
Choosing this right goal eliminates wasted time and effort.
You may have noticed in the chart that the paths take slightly different directions in time. And, they have much different shapes. In our initial coaching session, I often see that my client’s efforts are fully not aligned with where they want to go. This means that the initial part of our relationship is a shift in direction (vertical lines). The right goals are set, priorities match values, and return on investment is maximized.
Working ON Your Business
We all have daily stressors or fires that we’re putting out that tend to pull us toward them. In coaching terms, we call this “reacting”, instead of “intentionally acting”. If a CEO is working IN their business, they will be participants in crisis management. This constant crisis management prevents you from achieving any of your meaningful goals for the business and yourself. This worker mentality keeps you on the orange path in the graph.
To create a team atmosphere, many CEOs turn to their employees for advice on which direction the company ought to go. This is a great tool to create buy-in by employees. While this effort will create a better goal and foster collaboration, it will not ultimately get you to where you want to be. Why? Because employee agendas are not always aligned with the company’s vision and mission.
While alignment with your employees is crucial for success, most people are mostly focused on their personal goals… not corporate goals. Your employees will pull your goal to an employee-centric location to support their self-interest.
If you’ve been in business, you understand the importance of achieving success in a timely manner. The clock is ticking as soon as you open your doors. You must make payroll every month. You must keep revenue coming in from customers monthly. The longer it takes to reach your goals, the more money you will spend trying to achieve those goals. Regular coaching sessions keep you focused on your goals and accountable to make change. Therefore, you will achieve your goals much quicker in a coaching process.
The illustration that I’ve included in this blog post can work for any specific issue. The goal could be spending less time at work. The goal can be customer satisfaction. In most cases, the goal is profit and revenue. Let’s say that you achieve $10M in revenue with a coach in a year … or $4M in revenue on your own in two years. Can you now see how a coach creates value that will surpass their coaching fee and your time invested in coaching sessions?
What about business consultants?
Business Consultants are a great resource. In most cases a business consultant will work on one specific area of your business. For instance, a sales consultant will help your salespeople become better at their job to close more sales. A financial consultant may help you set a budget and stick to it to improve profitability. Business consultants cost a lot but will often fix what they’re hired to fix.
As you can see in our graph, a business consultant will help you achieve a positive result much faster. However, that result is less sustainable for two reasons: 1) it may have been a cookie-cutter solution that worked for someone else, but not for your business; or 2) the CEO rejects part of the solution because their view is not in alignment with the consultant’s view.
Business Coaches are helping you grow as a CEO. While consultants patch spots of your business, the ultimate creator of success or failure is the CEO. If the CEO creates a poor culture, or makes the wrong decisions, or becomes emotionally erratic, the business will suffer. Business Consultants don’t try to “fix” the CEO because that is the person who decides to hire or fire them; and they can lose a lot of money for their honesty.
Yes, the CEO also pays the Business Coach. However, the paycheck is a lot lower; and the threat of a loss of a coaching contract is much less than a fee-for-service consulting agreement. These two characteristics of coaching and consulting allow a business coach to help the CEO without worry of recourse. When the CEO is consistent in vision, mission and core values, the rest of the company will follow.
How does Business Coaching Achieve All These Benefits?
I will partially answer this question. The answer has to do with the experience, expertise, and ability of the coach you hire.
A coach who has experienced what you are about to experience, can help you avoid many of the same mistakes they made in the same situation. In professional circles, we label this type of help “mentoring”. Rather than relearn costly mistakes and then change course, you can learn from stories and move in a positive direction saving you time, money, and headache.
Expertise is slightly different than experience. It is the ability to understand nuances of your industry. In my case, I focus in the green energy industry. I understand how grant programs work, financing energy projects, the technology related to renewable energy, control systems, and energy efficiency, and a host of other critical pieces of information in this industry. When coaching a CEO in this industry, I can give my clients information that they may not have to give them an advantage over others who must learn that same information the hard way.
This is the most important. Unlike any other business helping professional, a coach’s job is to grow his/her client. This growth often happens through a shift in mindset. Mindset challenges tend to be invisible to most CEO’s and so they value these changes the least. A good coach uses open-ended questions to help their client see the right path to take without telling them what path to take. This “seeing” sticks with a CEO much longer than advice. When advice is given to a Type-A person, they will often criticize it for a variety of reasons. When you change the foundation of why you think what you think, your positive change will be permanent.
The Rest of the Story
I stated that I would “partially” answer the question of, “How can business coaching achieve all these benefits?”
This blog post is a bunch of words. You may have taken some of these words to heart and are interested in learning more about business coaching.
To genuinely understand how business coaching will benefit you, you must experience it. Most business coaches offer a free discovery session or a complimentary coaching session. In this session, you will see the benefit offered by the coach or not. They will either reveal a truth that you couldn’t see before; or not.
I offer such a session, but as I said, this is NOT a sales pitch. I urge you to check out at least three of these complimentary coaching sessions before you hire a business coach.
If you want to better understand how I coach my business owner clients, please visit my website at www.mmbizcoach.com. If you want to schedule a discovery session with me, there is this link on my website.