With the resources on leadership available everywhere today, from books to workshops to podcasts, it seems like we should all have this thing figured out by now, doesn’t it? So why don’t we? Why do we need executive coaching in this day and age?
Business coaches provide something you just can’t get any other way. One-on-one feedback, advice and perspective allow individuals to be their best professional selves. And even successful, experienced businesspeople can find they benefit mightily from outside help when dealing with challenging times.
A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.
Strong leadership is a strategic differentiator to help you grow your business. Executive coaches can help you develop your team members and ensure you have the right people in the right places.
When done well, coaching and mentoring is about first helping the person understand better who they are, what they want and why they do the things they do. Then, the coach can begin to help the individual grow and further their personal and career goals. By ensuring your leaders are plugged into the work, focused on the vision and operating as their best selves, you provide strength and support to every facet of the business.
Nowhere is the criticality of strong performance more evident than for small business owners. When your staff is small, a single underperformer can have a significant negative impact on the business. By hiring a business coach or coaching and mentoring your team, you show the entire organization that you are committed to the success of the team, but also to the success of each individual. Bringing in an outside expert allows you to objectively evaluate leaders and help them—and, by extension, help the business—be successful.
Times change. Your people should, too.
These days, virtually every industry is seriously impacted by rapid changes in technology, global markets and the economy. Companies who fail to keep up can find themselves dangerously behind very quickly, and the same is true of individuals. Long-term goals can go by the wayside very quickly when faced with serious challenges and changes.
When the industry pivots or economies change, business owners are poised for great success or significant difficulties. By coaching and mentoring your team members during good times, you are much better positioned to stay ahead of developments and capitalize on changes for business growth.
Business coaches can help your team stay focused on constant personal improvement, industry expertise, and support for the organization’s vision, all of which are critical in the face of business challenges and will help your team see their way through to success. A high-performing team is better equipped to keep pace with change by anticipating challenges and responding quickly and wisely when those inevitable shifts do come.
Failure is inevitable. Recovery is not.
It’s been said that “there is no failure except in no longer trying.” And yet, this very common advice can be incredibly tough to put into action. Most of us find it quite difficult to push past failure. There’s a reason we celebrate those who overcame failure to ultimately achieve success—it’s hard!
What if Walt Disney had believed the feedback from his editor that he “lacked imagination and had no good ideas”? Or if Thomas Edison had allowed the teachers who told him he was “too stupid to learn anything” to keep him from inventing the phonograph, the movie camera or any of the other 1,000+ inventions for which he holds a patent?
While there is value in heeding good advice and objective input about our strengths and limitations, we have to really know ourselves and our capabilities and understand how to overcome setbacks and difficulties.
Coaching and mentoring allow for review of past failures in order to identify potential lessons and also prepares an individual to respond to future setbacks. In the moment, an executive coach can provide needed perspective to keep an individual grounded and prevent “emotional spiraling” or overreacting. A coach can help the individual create actionable plans designed to avoid defensiveness, quickly address the issues at hand, and take responsibility for any less-than-stellar outcomes.
When someone fails and then recovers well, people remember it. And they don’t remember it for the failure but rather for the person they saw come out of that situation better and stronger than before. They’ll remember that person for showing personal ownership. And they’ll remember that person for being willing to try again. Business coaches can help determine if your team members bog down in failure or recover to be better than ever.
Your team needs to trust each other.
Studies have shown that teams who trust each other perform better than those who don’t. Teams who trust are able to focus their energy on shared goals rather than guarding their personal interests. They generally deal better with ambiguity and vulnerability, allowing time for the group to build consensus around action plans.
But when trust is missing, teamwork becomes so much more difficult. It’s very easy for a culture of competition to take over, minimizing any opportunity for collaboration. When individuals’ motives are in question, the team is much less likely to take action quickly to address business issues.
Even if your team implicitly trusts you, if they don’t trust each other, results will suffer. Trustworthiness is generally evaluated on a mixture of 3 factors: capability, desire to do good, and integrity. Through missteps or misunderstandings, your team members may have developed skeptical feelings about one another on one or more of these factors or even formed silos within the group by taking sides.
If your team is lacking trust and the resulting camaraderie, reach out for help to address this critical issue right away.
The Bottom Line
You, your team, and your business can benefit from executive coaching. If you’d like to get started coaching and mentoring your team, download our free Guide to Coaching Leadership.