How Sharp is Your Ax?
As businesses begin to move in the “new normal” which has yet to be defined as we emerge from the deepest recession that most of us have lived through, competition will be fierce and innovation will be rewarded. There’s no better time than the present to prepare by making sure your employees, systems and strategies are on the cutting edge. More and more enterprises, from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies are putting a priority on the input of a business coach.
Abraham Lincoln quipped, “If I had 8 hours to chop down a tree, I would spend 6 hours sharpening my ax.” Working with a business coach sharpens your ax for the task at hand. A study on the impact of executive coaching by Manchester Inc. showed an average return on investment of 5.7 times the initial investment according to executives who estimated the monetary value of the results achieved through coaching. Among the benefits to the companies that provided coaching:
- Productivity (reported by 53% of executives)
- Organizational strength (48%)
- Customer service (39%)
- Reducing customer complaints (34%)
- Retaining executives who received coaching (32%)
- Cost reductions (23%)
- Bottom-line profitability (22%)
So what’s in it for you? A winning sports team wouldn’t even consider proceeding without a team of specialized coaches, and most team members supplement that by training with a personal coach. High performance in business demands the same attention to strategy and mastery.
Here’s seven ways that time and money invested with a coach will position you on the cutting edge of your field:
Clear Insight: A scotoma is a blind spot and we can all be afflicted with them. Leaders are known for strong focus. Strong gifting can also blind you to your weak spots and that’s where a fresh pair of eyes can be invaluable.
Synergy: The whole is more than the sum of its parts and two heads are better than one. “Team brain”, distinctly different than a committee, is much more likely to produce “out-of-the box” solutions.
Accountability: There’s no doubt that measurable progress is a high priority when meeting deadlines that have been mutually agreed upon by coach and client.
Fine Tuning: It’s often easier to become 1% better in a multitude of tasks than 100% better at one thing. Sometimes, the difference in success and mediocrity is in the details.
Encouragement: Human nature dictates that you are far more likely to beat yourself up over your minor mistakes than celebrate your small victories. Everyone needs to be reminded of what they’re doing right. A coach specializes in encouragement.
Pest Control: In the Rainforest Business Model for Success, we refer to time-stealers as pests and pathogens. Good housekeeping in your business necessitates a clean sweep – a coach is trained to spot the bugs.
Getting Serious: You value that which has cost you something. When you hire a coach, you pay attention because you’re paying for their input and expertise . What you spend your money on speaks loudly about your priorities. You are the most valuable commodity in your company. Does your investment in yourself reflect that?
In lean times, expenditures are scrutinized and prioritized. If you haven’t worked with a coach in the last year, I would wager to say it’s cost you something. There’s a proverb that was penned thousands of years ago that’s as true today as when it was written; “Form your purpose by asking for counsel, then carry it out using all the help you can get”.
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