THE POWER OF COACHING FOR BUSINESS GROWTH
By George Clarke – Leading Business Coach and Franchisee of ActionCOACH SA
According to a national survey by Coaches and Mentors of South Africa (Comensa), 90 percent of coached clients rated their relationship with their coach as good to brilliant with 61 percent rating the experience invaluable. Most organisations surveyed say they embraced a coaching culture only in the last one to three years.
Having a business coach is no longer a luxury, but a necessity. It’s possible to survive without a coach, but it’s difficult to thrive. Based on sound sales, marketing and business management systems, coaching sees business revenues and profits increase – often quite dramatically. The coaching process is structured to provide business owners and executives with short-term assistance and long-term training via a mentoring approach. But it’s far from an easy way out. A coach can see the wood as well as the trees. They will listen, make you focus on the game, make you run more laps than you feel like running, tell it to you like it is and give you ideas you hadn’t thought of.
A coach can be a marketing manager, a sales director, a training co-ordinator, partner, confidant and a mentor. The crux is that there are no guarantees. As he business owner, you are the player and it’s up to you to take the field. A coach will push you, cajole you, help you, be there for you and even do some things with you – but you have to do most of the work. Only you can be accountable for your success.
It’s interesting to note that business owners are usually the ones who are holding their businesses back. Usually a business reflects the mind-set of its owner. Most start with a huge passion for what they do. Then they hit problems, what I call, the three legs of the potjie – time, team and money. A lack of time, people skills and usually cash-flow. The other problem is destination mastery. As a business owner, if you don’t know where you are going, you sure won’t know how to get there. If you have no plan for your life – and very few people do – how do you know how your business will serve you? Most people serve their businesses instead of the other way around.
Business owners often don’t have the opportunity to take a step back and look at the whole picture. So a coach does this for the business owner. They give objective feedback and focus on the reality without any of the emotion. A business owner needs that independent perspective.
Business coaching takes what seems like an impossible business goal, and gives clarity of perspective. A coach walks the path with a business owner. They cut through the emotions and focus on the business objectives. After all, businesses are made up of people and people have relationships. Where there are relationships, there are always problems.
Business coaching assists with every sphere of the business to ensure that proper systems are in place and to make sure the business owner remains focused on the company’s objective, which is to succeed, to be profitable and to grow.
The more gifted people are, the bigger their need for coaching. Leading surgeons and medical specialists, for example, are experts in their fields, but this does not mean that they know how to run a business. Accountants, lawyers and
engineers also haven’t acquired the business skills to run their practices. You can’t go to university to learn how to run a business.
The core of every business is the same. It’s about driving up revenue and serving a need profitably. Business coaching unpacks this for the business owner, takes what’s complex about running a business and breaks it down to its simplest components so that the business owner can move forward.
Information and availability is no longer a differentiator in business. Everyone has the same amount of information at his or her disposal. The difference is in the person who can find four or five key insights and implement that information at twice the pace of his or her competition. Business owners also have to find a way to free up time and do more work instead of spending time in meetings. People have to learn how to get their priorities right, otherwise they become like rats on a treadmill.
The higher you are up the food chain, the less people you have who you can talk to. So who do you bounce ideas off? You’re the one being held accountable. You’re at the top… Business is a lonely place today. People need somebody to talk to – and that’s where executive and business coaching comes in.
The business world is changing at such a pace that if a business owner doesn’t grow and develop with it, they won’t get further. Businesses need an effective process to assist with direction and break through to the next phase.
For further information contact George Clarke, Executive & Business Coach and Franchisee of ActionCOACH on 083 474 2212 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.