It’s sometimes comforting to tell ourselves that as experienced managers, MDs or CEOs, we’ve heard it all. Finding the right business coach who can objectively assess your leadership style and add skills to your repertoire, will help you realise even more potential and increase your bottom line. There are almost too many positive outcomes of business coaching to capture in a short blog but here are 7 of my favourites.
Think critically & creatively
When we’ve been at our jobs for a while, it’s all too easy to adopt a stagnant mindset – we’re comfortable doing business the way we always have. An executive coach will ask you thought-provoking questions which will encourage you to assess your business practice as though you were an observer. Business coaching offers a fresh perspective which can bring dynamism and drive to your business, spurring innovation.
Hear objective opinions
Those working directly with or for you may have reasons to be compliant, worried about expressing disagreement, either to keep you onside or to avoid friction. An executive coach is employed for a fixed term contract with the express purpose of challenging you in the most useful ways. They assess your leadership practices honestly and objectively, offering useful advice when they feel something is not helpful in reaching your goals.
Grow your self-confidence
Having interviewed 80 high-profile business figures for my book Fast Track to the Top, an attribute common to them all was confidence. They believed in their own ability to get results. But this is not always a natural characteristic of all leaders. Confidence is not an innate characteristic and can be learned. Business coaching will help identify your own skills, strengths and abilities, as well as enabling you to develop some strategies to navigate tough times. This can do wonders for your self-confidence and for your business. Confident leaders hire people better than themselves: those without confidence hire sycophants.
Boost your networking opportunities
As well as being more inclined to seek opportunities after a revitalising coaching session, you may be able to enlist the assistance of your business coach to help you to network. Meeting other like- minded senior executives has been shown to be an effective business development tool. The majority of my cohort of 80 CEOs certainly cited networking as major leadership toll. But good networking takes skill. If you are a wallflower at such events or indeed avoid them altogether, coaching can have you working the room after one coaching session. Why not ask a coach for some networking advice?
Nurture your stars
Top employees can also benefit from executive coaching. Those who feel challenged and rewarded are less likely to leave, and are more productive. Employee retention and productivity are key factors to business success – companies spend millions every year devising schemes to keep employees on side. Frequently we hear that opportunity for growth and personal development are two of the biggest reasons high performers stay where they are. Offering business coaching to high performing employees could be a huge incentive.
Learn when to take risks
When you have an expert coach who will challenge your business acumen, you’ll learn which decisions might be reckless, and which are founded on evidence based decision making. This is not to suggest that business coaches can see into the future, but they will be able to identify whether you have assessed a potentially risky move from all angles and can then take a timely decision.
Contrary to what many prominent business people believe, nobody is superhuman. That means that you can’t perform everyone’s job for them cramming more hours into the day than exist. An executive coach will help you identify which aspects of your leadership role require the most focus, and which can be delegated. Keeping a watchful eye over all dealings of the business may be important and drilling to the detail may be required on occasions, but leading strategically is essential.
I met Peter Lederer, Chairman of Gleneagles Hotels, at a dinner recently and in chatting about leadership as one does, he told me that strategic leadership “is an ability to paint the picture of what success looks like and articulate it.” Business coaching delivers these skills, so you can set the vision for your organisation, prioritise goals for success and implement change without resourcing to expensive consultants. You are the leader. It is your vision. Implementation is up for grabs.
Looking for ways to improve your business in the coming year? Get in touch. Our approach to coaching is based on your individual skills, bringing together your goals with those of your organisation, to create sustainable change.