Gareth Marshall

Business Athlete: The importance of a coach

You could be limiting your career success!

The business playing field is getting increasingly competitive with the game changing constantly. You need to be future-fit to remain competitive. 

So, If you are serious about achieving your goals, you need a coach!

Just like in sport, a coach will help you push through your limitations. We are ALWAYS capable of more than we think when we really push ourselves. They help you identify any weaknesses and focus on what’s important. By remaining focused you are able to accelerate your personal growth and improve your performance. All athletes and sports teams use them so why do we limit ourselves in business?

Most coaching strategy books describe the role of a sports coach as one that “enables the athlete to achieve levels of performance to a degree that may not have been possible if left to his/her own endeavours.” Just as this is true for sport, this is true for business.

Here are the key areas where a coach can help you:

  1. Identify blind spots. They will be honest with you and give you an external perspective. This will help you identify and develop areas in your personal and business life that you may have overlooked where you are underperforming. 
  2. Build your personal Brand: This will help you define who you are and how you want to be seen by your fellow competitors.
  3. Set clear goals. Your company may be pulling you in one direction, while your manager is giving you different advice based on other criteria. Your coach will help you determine what’s really important to progressing and help you stay focused on that.
  4. Hold you accountable. Coaches keep you on track and moving forward toward new levels of achievement. Having someone to answer to will motivate you to act.
  5. Gain leadership skills. Coaches model skills that are valuable for today’s leaders. After you work with a coach for a while, you can start to adopt those powerful questioning techniques, which helps you become a better listener. This is just one of the many ways you can  integrate a coaching style into your own leadership approach.

When looking for a coach, you need to look for someone who you trust and respect. You need a person who can give you honest feedback and also partner you on the journey. Ideally, you need to identity someone who you look up to or who holds the position you ultimately want.

It is good to keep in mind though, regardless of how good a coach is, you need to be coachable. This involves you being ready to learn, open to new thinking and sometimes being out of your comfort zone.

The result though will see you being future-fit for any challenge.