When I was younger (“When I were a lad”), I frequently thought I had to accomplish it all myself. I had to prove myself – even if it was only to me. Surely I was smart enough and competent enough? So when organisations talked about bringing in consultants and others to help us achieve more, I thought, “Why would you want to? We can do it on our own!” And I was good at getting others to come up with ideas and create new outcomes. Typically, the results were far superior to anything advocated by the consultants, change experts and teams of people brought in to improve conditions.
But I was missing something really important:
No man or woman is an island and the greatest performance comes out of those who have someone to help them along the way.
One of the clues came for me in the form of my own doctoral research. I was observing people who were stellar in their profession. Really, no one else could touch them. Yet, as I learned about their histories, their gifts and their talents, I found that every single one of them had someone in their history who had encouraged them, been an exemplar and propelled them to achieve higher levels of performance. It wasn’t that they became carbon copies of those people – it was that those mentors, leaders, models and ‘coaches’ encouraged, assisted (even with a word of advice from afar) and inspired them to become great at what they did.
Sometimes those people protected them. Sometimes they gave them responsibilities and let them shine. Sometimes they gave them a kick to get going. Sometimes they just saw something in that individual and gave them a chance. But it always ended up being from a desire to encourage success.
And that’s one of the reasons why I became an executive coach – because I knew I could help individuals, teams and organisations to achieve greater and greater levels of success for themselves, their businesses and their loved ones.
Coaching Can Help In Ways We Wouldn’t Have Ever Considered
I recently was talking with the senior manager of one of my coaching clients. We were reviewing the client’s achievements over the few months I had worked with the person. Results were stellar: both the client and the manager rated the individual’s improvement on the order of 3 times better than previous performance. The client had gone from 3s and 4s in a number of areas to 7s and 8s. In one area the progress was from a 2 to a 7. The client had grown from a 7 to a 9 in terms of working relationship with the senior manager.
And that’s when the manager confided, “You know, before this program, I was really wondering whether or not [this person] could continue in this management position. But now I’m really thrilled and [the person] now has what it takes continue to do a great job – the kind that I need.”
As my daughters sometimes say, “Boom!” (My wife and I actively discourage that, just so you know.)
It was never stated in the initial discussions. It had not been raised with HR. It wasn’t even directly related to the objectives of my coaching agreement. But that’s the impact that my work with this person had.
I’m grateful that I was able to help this client in this unforeseen way. During the program, we encountered a number of significant work and personal crises that the client had to work through. And the people, families, and workplaces involved are all the better for the time we worked together.
That growth would never have happened through attending courses. It would not have happened spontaneously. It was our work together that accomplished it. And the return to the organisation and individuals concerned was worth infinitely more than their investment.
Coach Others To Success
You can coach those around you – people who need the encouragement, the strategies and the techniques to help them succeed in their professional and personal lives. Realise that by doing so you are creating a winning situation for everyone involved. It’s not up to you to do it all alone, nor should you hoard all that greatness for yourself. Share it! People will benefit from it.
And if you want stellar coaching results for yourself and your organisation, give me a call…
Leave a comment: What’s the best coaching you ever saw? What were the results? What could you do to emulate that?
I am running a stellar coaching event with Tom Moody, international cricketing coach and legend, in Perth on February 5. Details and registrations are available at www.lamplighter.com.au/viewStory/TomMoody . Join us for a unique coaching experience.
© 2014 Peter J. McLean. Follow the blog at petermclean.co.