In many ways, coaching in the business world is similar to coaching in the world of professional sports. In both cases, a coach can act as the catalyst for getting a unique mix of talent and ambition to perform at the highest level possible. Whether you are looking to market yourself better, increase profits or lead a better life, a good business coach can help.
First and most importantly, a good business coach will create an action plan that’s tailored to your unique strengths and weaknesses. Maybe you are looking to become more productive at work, or maybe you are looking for a better work-life balance. Each of these requires an action plan that reflects what makes you special.
In the same way, a professional sports coach needs to recognize the unique talents and abilities of the players on a team. The coach’s goal is to find the right mix of tactics that will maximize each player’s ability. For example, on the basketball court, a team of quick, fast but undersized players may develop a style of up-tempo play that eliminates the height advantage of opponents in order to win games.
A good coach will also help you stay focused on the goal you’ve set. A business coach will plan, strategize and keep you accountable to that plan. A big part of that is being able to break down one huge goal that may seem unattainable into a series of smaller goals are within reach. This helps you to recognize and reward milestones, as you get closer and closer to reaching the end goal.
The same is true in the world of professional sports. How many times have you heard a coach say in an interview, “We’re just focusing on one game at a time right now”? As a team, you start to make mistakes if you look past an opponent. The most successful teams are those that may have a big goal in mind – getting to the championship game – but are also able to visualize all the smaller steps that are required to get there.
Finally, a good business coach will empower and inspire you to reach your goals. At times, a coach must be a cheerleader, a psychologist and a mentor. That’s because there’s a strong link between your mental and psychological state and your ability to complete a final goal, whether it’s launching a new startup business or creating a new work-life balance.
Coaches in the world of professional sports confront the same issues. They can sense when a team needs a little extra practice, or when it’s necessary to give a big pre-game “pep talk” to get the team ready to play at its highest level. In the sports world, as in the business world, momentum is key. If a team thinks that it’s “on a roll,” it will perform better than if it thinks that it’s mired in mediocrity.
The important point in all this is that a coach must be willing to take on different roles at different times. And, most importantly, a coach must be as fully vested in your success as you are. When you can find that kind of coach, there’s no limit to how successful you can be in business and in life.