The United States men’s Olympic basketball team won its second consecutive gold medal. A team of NBA superstars put their collective egos aside for a talented coach and leader.
The interesting part of this situation is that the coach is a college coach – Mike Krzyzewski of Duke University. Coach K, as Krzyzewski is known throughout the sports world, demonstrated how a great coach can make a big difference with elite athletes.
Why the coaching profession has become so important
The coaching profession has exploded in recent years. A recent study of the International Coach Federation (ICF) claims that 60 percent of coaches have experienced increased business in the past five years. There are a number of reasons for this increase, but one of the main reasons is that coaching is no longer considered something only poor performers need. Professionals in all industries and experience levels are realizing how a coach can help their professional pursuits just as much as a sports team coach can improve the performance of top athletes.
I have experienced many benefits from a variety of coaches as I have started my own business. As early as 2009, I worked with a coach to clarify the right ideas to pursue with my company. Since that time, I’ve worked with coaches to improve my sales, branding, and marketing. I realized my technical skills could only advance my business so far, and I found the right coaches to bring the best of my other business skills to the forefront.
Why we need coaches to achieve our full potential
The following reasons are why hiring a coach can benefit your own career.
- Coaches provide an unbiased, objective viewpoint – CPAs are trusted because we provide an independent analysis of internal controls and business operations. We are not intimately involved with the day-to-day operations of the businesses we serve, so we bring a fresh set of eyes and viewpoints to our clients. Coaches serve the same purpose for our own careers. We are so busy serving clients and doing our jobs that we often miss the key factors that can advance our careers. Kevin Miller, founder of the Free Agent Academy, calls this, “Wisdom in the multitude of counsel.” Working with others helps us advance farther than we could alone.
- Coaches can hold you accountable for specific goals – My greatest benefit from working with coaches has been the accountability they place on me. As Jason Blumer, founder of the Thriveal CPA Network and owner of Blumer & Associates in Greeneville, SC, says, “People choose to be held accountable. Until you become one who chooses to be held accountable, you won’t be able to see the dysfunction in your firm. You have to have people looking inward to identify the problems you can’t see. The problems are there … you just can’t see them. Invest in a coach.”
When I worked with my branding coach, he presented specific assignments with clear due dates for completion. Since I wanted to serve a specific niche and clearly communicate my unique differences, I followed his assignments and turned them in on time. My marketing message has become much clearer through this work.
- Coaches can become your biggest supporters – If you run your own firm or are a senior executive at a company, things may be lonely at the top. While we can leave our offices to interact with our teams, it’s still difficult to make the big decisions at your organization. Having a coach with no ties to others in your company can be a great way to validate ideas and share experiences that you may not be able to share with others.
Even the best leaders benefit from coaching. Michael Hyatt, former CEO of Thomas Nelson publishers and author of the best-selling book “Platform: How to Get Noticed in a Noisy World”, openly discusses his coaches in his blog. Hyatt has hired coaches for speaking, personal training, and work-life balance. As a successful publishing CEO, Hyatt has more resources than many of us have. However, many of us have the opportunity to hire a coach for a specific purpose or attend a group coaching session at an affordable cost. The key is to recognize the benefits of a supportive outside voice to help us achieve our personal and professional goals.
The best teams and athletes have not done it alone. They have normally had a great coach supporting and challenging them. As professionals, we owe it to ourselves to find the right coaching to maximize our own potential.
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