Have you ever considered having a business coach? Sometimes executives think this is a sign of weakness. It’s actually a sign of strength. A seasoned coach is unbiased and can help you navigate your blind spots. That’s why all great sports players have a coach. Tiger Woods. Serena Williams. Roger Federer. In business many CEO’s partner with 10XCEO, Vistage or other executive coaching firms. So, why shouldn’t the next generation of business leaders also have a coach? A business coach will help you unlock your full potential — especially as business practices in our world are quickly changing.
It’s lonely at the top
As you move up in the organization it gets lonelier … and lonelier. Your boss says “go figure it out, that’s why I promoted you.” Your peers are busy with their own problems. New responsibility means that you will lack some crucial business expertise, whether you recognize it or not. You need objective feedback. You need someone to ask critical and thoughtful questions that help you see and learn beyond the boundaries of your experience, resume or CV.
- David was feeling good about his continued professional growth from Marketing Director to VP and now CMO. As a Director he had mastered social media tools and while VP introduced a marketing automation suite. But as CMO he now had to deal with internal politics while aligning marketing and sales. David brought in KickStart Alliance to coach him on diplomacy, tact, listening and communication skills required for success. The relationship advanced, helping David to become a better manager, team leader and communicator.
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On-the-job-training takes time. In a start-up or early stage business it’s only you. In a larger more mature company, resources are scarce and training got cut along with beer on Friday. And now everyone is working from home. A business coach is your advocate to increase productivity, set action plans, achieve work-life-balance, manage time, please your boss, get needed visibility and provide unbiased advice. He or she also offers you a safe place to vent frustrations.
- A SaaS company hired in a team of junior marketers. KickStart Alliance was brought in to coach them on how to create and execute a rolling six month corporate marketing plan, accelerating success though applied learning. Working with a team promoted group collaboration that extended into cross-functional cooperation with sales and partner organization, optimizing efficiency and effectiveness.
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Bridge the gap
You are willing to take on anything. You are a quick study, a fast learner and willing to do your homework. But something may be outside of your comfort zone. A business coach can bridge the gap quickly with relevant expertise. You have just taken on new P&L responsibility; you understand profit and loss statements but a business coach can help you optimize for growth.
- Michelle was excited to join this systems company to help take it to the next level. She was an experienced CEO but this was a new industry and market. Moving quickly, yet thoughtfully was important. Michelle asked KickStart Alliance to be a sounding board and coach to help rebuild this dysfunctional team. Michelle and her coach did an organizational assessment, gathered input from employees, managers, partners and customers to develop an actionable growth plan. Through the use of facilitated organizational meetings Michelle was able to listen more carefully to organizational needs, employees became empowered, partners felt valued and customer loyalty strengthened. Together this helped the company elevate their standing in a competitive market, differentiate themselves and accelerate growth.
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What’s your SWOT?
What are your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats? Product management, customer support, marketing and sales have all done a SWOT analysis at one time or another. Now it’s time for you to do one on YOU. It will help you determine what you want from a business coach and what is important to you. What strategic insight from a business coach can help you capitalize on opportunities and eliminate weaknesses? What coaching expertise can help you further leverage your strengths and minimize threats?
- Al, a mid-level director in a technology company, aspired to elevate himself higher within the corporation but had not made significant progress. Al approached KickStart Alliance for guidance and coaching. His coach helped him build a 3-5 year roadmap combining both his professional and personal goals. This included self-assessment of his current strengths, areas of development, and potential barriers for the future.
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Invest in your future
Finding the right coach takes work and networking. You are looking for someone with relevant experience; someone that you connect with. Respect and trust are built over time but trust your instincts for empathy and honesty in the interview.
Some companies will pay for business coaches, others will not. Rates will vary based on the level of experience of your business coach. Agreements can be hourly, annual contract or subscription. Meetings can be face-to-face, video, or via phone, conducted regularly to meet your business needs. It’s like putting fuel in your car, it helps you go places. The investment in a business coach has high ROI – rapid-outcome-improvement as well as return-on-investment.
For more information
We provide a wide range of coaching and mentoring services for VP and up-and-coming sales, marketing, and customer success executives and managers. Check out our bios and technical areas of expertise.
- Mike Gospe: Corporate vision & guiding principles; Marketing leadership; integrated go-to-marketing; customer & partner advisory leadership
- Donna Weber: Executive leadership; Customer onboarding & enablement
- Karyn Holl: Marketing & Sales leadership; Voice of the customer
Depending on the nature of the engagement, we can be a sounding board and behind the scenes coach. In other cases, we work collaboratively on specific projects (such as: integrated launch planning, customer onboarding & enablement, and business planning exercises). All of this is to empower you; to make you the hero of your own story.