Connor McDavid has a coach and he’s arguably the best hockey player in the world. Kevin Durant has a coach. Most great artists have coaches. And many people in business today have coaches. My brother, past managing partner of a major law firm in Canada had a coach. Many senior executives have coaches. And I have a coach.
Who is your coach?
It doesn’t matter how good you are or where you stand in your profession – you should have a coach.
A quick search of a definition reveals ”The coach develops specific skills for the task, challenges and performance expectations at work.”
In the book The Keys To Our Success in which we collected one chapter from 25 different project managers asking of the question “What is the one nugget that you take into every project that makes you successful?” my contribution was entitled “Never Going Alone”. In it, I stress the need to find people around you who can complement you, fill in the gaps and potentially help you get through those tough periods in your career.
As a project manager, or business analyst, or leader, we are constantly challenged by people, circumstances and change in our day-to-day work. We cannot be expected to deal with these issues on our own. In fact, our senior management team does not expect us to deal with these issues alone. As I look at my team members in the past, the most impressive and the most successful of them sought out advice through coaches, mentors or simply close advisers on a regular basis. And they freely admitted to this. This screams strength and confidence to me.
The smartest of us know where we are weak, know when we need help and seek out people who can provide that support.
Coaches come in many different flavours: formal or informal. The formal coach is most often hired on a contract basis, and they are paid for their services. The formal type of coach is typically a general business coach but extremely valuable in any type of environment. The informal coach could be a friend, family member or peer who agrees to meet on a fairly regular basis to help you when required.
In either case, this advice, or relationship, is extremely valuable.
So, think back to that moment most recently when you were stressed or confused or had to make a big decision and ask yourself: how different that journey could have been if you had someone to talk to, immediately, or within a few days.
Or ask yourself where you will be in 3, 5 or 10 years and how you are going to get there. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a coach to help you plan that journey and hold you accountable for the action items required to get there?
Regardless of how great or confident you are, I guarantee a coach in your life will change things dramatically.
Once again I ask, who is your coach?