By Ken Gosnell
Business coaching has taken off in recent years. Just as counseling did in the 80s, coaching has moved mainstream.
The International Coaching Federation (ICF) defines coaching as “partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.” Coaching is a distinct service and differs greatly from therapy, consulting, mentoring, or training.
Business coaches offer leadership and management training along with niche knowledge in particular areas. IBISWorld estimated revenue would increase at an annualized rate of 1.6% to $10.3 billion over the five years to 2018. Many business leaders recognize the need for coaching in their organizations and entrepreneurs would be wise to follow suit.
Coaching benefits leaders
Coaching is unique and different from counseling and even mentorship. Coaching is a goal-directed and action-oriented approach to helping dreams become a tangible reality. Coaching aims to help a person move forward, face their fears and step out of their comfort zone. It is also about taking a hard, honest look at what does (and doesn’t) work in life and business.
Entrepreneurs, specifically, need a coach. There is no other group of leaders that so desperately needs skill development and self-awareness of habits, traits and decisions that impact their companies. Good entrepreneurs lead good businesses, and great entrepreneurs lead great businesses. Coaching can help good entrepreneurs become great.
Every business owner needs a coach
High performance athletes need coaches. Top athletes will tell you that talent and training are not enough. To become a high performance athlete you need self-awareness, confidence, motivation, self-discipline, and the refinement of many more traits, qualities, habits and skills. The same can be said for high performance entrepreneurs. Here’s a look at a five reasons why.
1. Entrepreneurs are often isolated and alone
Entrepreneurship can be a lonely business. In the startup world, stakes are high and entrepreneurs often find themselves alone navigating new territories. Business coaches partner with entrepreneurs to give them a broader view of their businesses, identify the reality of scenarios and detach from the emotional rollercoasters of the moment.
Coaching Question: Do you have someone in your life and business that helps you to see a bigger perspective?
2. Entrepreneurs are at the mercy of too many opinions and perspectives
One great benefit of coaching is access to the experience and perspective to help you move past pointless activities that will not lead to a desired goal. Startup founders, in particular, can easily be swayed by the opinions and expectations of others (i.e., family and friends) as to what should and shouldn’t be done.
While it is wise to be sensitive to the right expectations, you must be shrewd enough to identify pointless activities and expectations that don’t benefit your business or personal development. When the lines are blurred, a business coach can help to see the difference and act accordingly.
Coaching Question: Do you feel like you are working hard, but not accomplishing much? What activities do you need to be working on right now that will produce greater results?
3. Entrepreneurs must practice accountability
The number one task of a coach is to keep the people they coach accountable in order to reach certain goals and objectives. This is true in the sports and needs to be true in the world of small business. Unfortunately, it is often difficult for an entrepreneur to be accountable when they work alone. A coach provides a safe haven for entrepreneurs to express areas that stop them from achieving significance and success. A great business coach provides accountability.
Coaching Question: How much more could you accomplish if you had someone to hold you accountable?
4. Entrepreneurs will soon be called on to coach their team
These days, top business leaders receive coaching. It is a badge of honor. Many of the most respected and admired U.S. corporations spend significant money to invest in coaching for their managers. Entrepreneurs must also equip themselves to be great coaches as they take on new hires and grow their team. What better way of doing this than by first being coached themselves?
Coaching Question: Do you have a coaching plan for your team?
5. Entrepreneurs are expected to model continued growth and development
The late Muhammad Ali, three-time world heavyweight boxing champion, once said: “It isn’t the mountain ahead to climb that wear you out; it’s the pebble in your shoe.” Coaching creates a powerful alliance between the coach and the client to identify and remove the pebbles in your shoe. The relationship is designed to enhance and a lifelong process of human learning, effectiveness, and fulfillment. Coaching helps people learn more about themselves – what works and what does not. Then, they learn how to change.
Coaching Question: What would it feel like to have constant support in your life to help you achieve breakthroughs?
Ultimately, great coaches are passionate about teaching. They are often life-long learners of their respective industries in order to properly train entrepreneurs for peak performance. Today, business coaching incorporates both skills and mental training. These aspects are invaluable to entrepreneurs who want to succeed on new levels.
Ken Gosnell is the CEO and Servant Leader of CXP (CEO Experience). He serves leaders by helping them to have great experiences that both transform them and their organizations that enable to go further faster. He has worked with hundreds of CEOs and leadership teams to enhance strategic, operational and people accomplishments. He is an author, coach, and strategic partner with CEOs. Ken is the creator and facilitator of the Christian CEO Linkedin Group and creator of the CEO Experience Impact Assessment. He is married to Shonda, and they have four children. Connect with @ken_gosnell on Twitter.