How and when to hire a “Coach”

When you are in the frame it’s difficult to see the picture.  Everyone needs someone who can see things in us that we can’t see.  Believe me those hidden things exist.   Couldn’t we use a professional or personal “boost” now and then?  A re-boot perhaps?  Or maybe even just the “boot”.  There are those obvious times when you should find a coach to get your business back on track but, what about when it’s less apparent?  Here are a few scenarios when a good mentor can help you get past the white water into smooth sailing.

The Hamster Wheel:  Are you spending more time working in your business and not on your business.  Once in this position, it’s difficult to get away from it.  Review your business plan, your systems and your mission.  To optimize your output you must do what you do best.  As leaders that may mean navigating the course and not manning the oars.  You are obviously good at some things that you do.   Work in your strengths.   Get a coach to help you stay on target.  Find someone to help you focus on “why” your in business.  Re-define your mission and values. We all get “stuck” once in a while.   A good coach will ask you great clarity questions, require you to think on priorities on becoming more effective and efficient and stop the spinning in place.  Put you back on course.

Work and Life Priorities:  Usually for “drivers” the first things to suffer are our relationships, our health and friendships.  We may not even realize it at first.  Someone who can see in you the things you can’t see in yourself is a tremendous resource for keeping you on track.  Helping to hold you accountable to yourself and the important things.  You can win without getting ALL of the market share.  Who are your customers?  Identify them.  Focus on the 80/20 rule.  20 percent of your decisions give you 80 percent of your results.  The rest?  Simply wasted effort.  What are your strengths and weaknesses?  Coaches can bring you to a pinnacle of making the right choices when you can’t see the results of your current actions.

Leadership challenges:  Leaders foster and nurture the talents and skills of others.  There is conflict in modeling the behavior we wish to see and actually doing others jobs for them.  How will others experience growth if they never fail or struggle?  Don’t take on the responsibility of never letting others down.  It is a masqueraded fear not based on reality.  A coach can help you re-define your role.  Prioritize.  Re-focus on building a coherent culture exclusive to your business that will inherently cure many ills and provide more freedom.

Transitions:  Regardless of where your business is; perhaps you are nearing retirement or starting a new venture. Guidance from outside the circle of influence can be valuable.  Asking the questions you don’t want to hear and perhaps motivating you to seek out questions of your motives unaware can give value to the long term.    Let’s help you focus on the secure distant outcomes and not simply the short term satisfaction.  Pain in the short term can bring about lessons and learning.  Pain in the distance unforeseen can be destructive.

Insufficient accountability:  Share your fears, weaknesses and vulnerabilities.  Not simply your wins and successes.  Great coaches can see “masked” fears disguising themselves and causing falsehoods, undesirable actions or non-action.  Actions have a cost as does complacency and non-action.  Seek out and hire a coach with experience in leadership.  Effectiveness will require a sort of intimate honesty and transparency.  As with most challenges we are motivated by emotion to take action and usually it is the catalyst for taking painful but at times positive steps upward.   Think it through.  A partner, mentor, coach can provide clarity and prevent perhaps any mis-steps.

Wouldn’t another set of eyes be great.   Make the phone call.  Seek someone out.  The best of the best have mentors and coaches.

John Nimmo

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