Everyone Needs a Coach!

by Edward Henkler on March 7, 2013

In my previous post, I suggested that Theory E folks rely on the knowledge and resources that already reside in their company to resolve challenges and implement change.  As a business coach, that might seem an odd advertisement as it seems to suggest that a coach isn’t necessary.  Let me give you two reasons why, even if you are strongly reliant on internal resources, that you need a coach.

#1: If you look at the world of sports, all of the top athletes have coaches.  These individuals have risen to the very top of their professions, yet think it is an absolute necessity to have a coach.  Why is that?  It is certainly not because the coach is more skilled at their sport.  It is because the coach can observe and, if they coach others, they can also identify best practices.  Many coaches are quite competent at the sport they coach but even that is not necessary.  The only thing that is required is that they are keen observers, know what it takes to succeed, and are experts at training regimens, diets, mental strengthening, etc.

 Businessmen in relay race

Perhaps you don’t think this is equally important in business?  You’re in a race with the competition and only the most nimble will succeed.

The first reason you need a coach in business is because a coach is not emotionally invested in the business or the employees.  They want you to succeed but, if you don’t, at worst they may lose a portion of their fees.  You, on the other hand, might be risking all of your money and assets (ideally your lawyer has shielded you from this level of liability).  The coach will also not have been involved in hiring your employees, so they won’t hesitate to suggest that someone be placed on a performance improvement plan, moved to a different role, or perhaps even released from service.  It is your business and you need to make the final decision, but the voice of an experienced coach in your hear can be very helpful.  This is especially true at the CEO level as it is clear you can’t discuss certain issues with anyone on your staff, especially if the topic is senior leadership team changes.

#2: You might argue that your employees know their business better than the coach ever will.  I agree with this point completely but….are you suggesting that some of your employees aren’t working very hard and can readily take on a major new task such as an enterprisewide change initiative?  My suspicion is that your employees are already working at their full capacity, which is the beauty of the coach.  For the Theory E leaders, the coach can readily engage the employees while handling the heavy lifting and administrative chores associated with the initiative.  The senior team and the employees stay engaged but not to the point of distraction.


The bottom line: You need a business coach!

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