Criticize former President Richard Nixon all you want for Watergate, but he did at least one thing right while he was in office. On Sept. 19, 1972, Nixon signed Proclamation 4157, which officially made Oct. 6 National Coaches Day each year.
What separates the winners from the losers? At the most elite levels it’s not talent, because everyone is supremely talented. Coaching is what makes the difference.
Coaching isn’t just important in sports, it’s the X-factor that makes a big difference in your business results as well. If you look up the words teach and coach in the dictionary, they share the same definition: “to provide instruction.”
As entrepreneurs and leaders, you should embrace coaching instead of attempting to manage your people. You'll see dramatic improvements. People drive your numbers. Your numbers don’t drive your people. View the organization as your team and your employees are your players. Just like in sports, every day is a performance review. Do this and watch your results soar.
I believe everyone should both have a coach and be a coach. Every athletic and business success I’ve enjoyed has been the result of great coaching. I'm not alone in this belief. When asked in a CNN interview what the best advice he ever got was, Alphabet executive chairman Eric Schmidt said it was to find a coach.
As we enter the fourth quarter, ask yourself if you are really coaching your people or just managing the numbers. Are you being coached yourself? I’ve found that great athletes and executives don’t merely have a coach. They want a coach.
Elite competitors in any field have the self-awareness to realize you can’t see the picture when you’re trapped inside the frame. Great coaches see things in us that we don’t see in ourselves. It’s what they do and this is precisely why you should invest in having an outside set of eyes objectively look at your situation from a different vantage point. It will pay big dividends.
How big an impact does coaching have? A Bersin by Deloitte research study revealed that organizations that are effective at coaching are:
- 130 percent more likely to have strong business results
- 33 percent more effective at engaging employees
- 42 percent higher in employee productivity
A similar study by The Human Capital Institute and International Coaching Federation found similar results, indicating that a culture of coaching has a strong, positive impact on results.
Did you ever wonder why coaching causes a dramatic improvement in these numbers? I can tell you from experience it can be attributed to trust. When you know your coach (boss) is trying to bring out the best in you, not just for the company or its bottom line, it engenders a great deal of trust. He or she is holding you to your highest potential, which we all crave at some level.
High performing organizations realize their leaders should be coaching, not managing. As my coaching mentor liked to say, “You manage inventories. You coach people.” The best way to manage people is to invest time in them. It doesn't even have to be a lot of time, just purposeful and consistent.
Borrow a page from the playbook of one of the best leaders who takes a real coach approach to his role, my friend Gary Goldberg, CEO of CleanBrands. Gary checks in with his employees each day and ask them how they are really doing and what he can help them with at that moment. When I asked him about this he explained that there are people who won't speak up and ask for help in meetings but one on one are open and will share their challenges and concerns.
The employees at CleanBrands don’t work “for” Gary so much as they work “with” him. They’re invested in their company’s success because their leader invests the time in his people each day.
If you want your team’s buy in, you’ve got to put in the time, daily. Remember, it’s the people that drive the numbers.
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