Business Coaching: Making Better Decisions Faster
Day in and day out, leaders of midsized companies must make difficult judgment calls that affect their business: on strategy, key operational problems, customer issues, personnel matters and much more. Great decisions, made in a timely fashion and executed well, make a business grow stronger, and faster.
But many decisions aren’t easy to make. Seemingly essential facts may not exist, and the firm may not have the resources to collect them (as do large firms with big research budgets and numerous internal experts). If the facts are in place, it may be hard to predict the likelihood of bad side-effects. Or the right next step may not be clear at all.
Increasingly, many leaders of midsized find themselves confronting decisions that are in whole new territory, with insufficient experience to make them. Responding to day-to-day urgencies with little time to think, they often feel unequipped to make far-reaching decisions. Some turn to their board of directors, but others hesitate to bring issues to that board for fear of appearing indecisive. And still others don’t have a board. Others join peer groups to gain input, but such groups only focus on each member for a short time and often don’t listen well enough to fully understand the context.
What We Can Do
Some of our clients bring us in as coaches – to the CEO and executive team members. Like a sports coach, we observe our clients carefully, watching, listening to them. Through careful questioning, we help them zero in on their most challenging problems and help them think through the answers that are often already in their heads.
In doing so, we help them take advantage of their strengths and work around their weaknesses. It sounds simple, but as highly experienced CEOs and senior executives, we know what questions to ask, and where to dig to uncover highly effective solutions. During our sessions, we’ll also advise you on the choices you have (where appropriate), letting you know what we would do if we were in your shoes.
Most of our coaching is related to making the business work better. This is very different than executive coaching, which is more focused on an individual and improving his or her performance rather than the business itself. (We can offer executive coaching if requested.) We do not offer life coaching as this is more of a personal service.
We also have consultants who are deep functional experts, and who can work with your CIO, CTO, CMO, Chief Sales Officer, and CHRO. Many of our CEO clients ask our functional experts to give them second opinions in areas where they may not have enough knowledge yet to endorse a functional leader’s plan.
What we strive to achieve in every coaching project: clients moving from high uncertainty to complete clarity on a key decision and how to execute it.
How We Do It
We tailor our coaching to every client’s unique needs and constraints. Some clients want once-a-month coaching sessions while others want them more frequently. Some clients want to us to work with them in person, while others prefer the phone or desktop video conferencing – or a mix of all three.
In some cases, we focus on what the leader is working on (or concerned about) at the time of the session. In other cases, we review KPIs and key projects and use the progress (or lack of it) to guide the discussion. Every leader is different, so we start by listening and learning, then build a coaching approach that optimizes the results. With most of our coaching packages, our clients have a retainer arrangement with us, so they can call or e-mail us at any time with challenges that pop up. We do all our coaching on a fixed monthly fee depending on frequency and length.
Require Others to Earn Your Trust – CoolSystems
CEOs must carefully assess the gap between expectations and reality, whether it’s taking a new CEO position or buying a company. Learn from Tom Oliver at CoolSystems who worked his way through a difficult situation he walked into.
Showcasing Your People – K/P Corporation
Rich Barbee, CEO of K/P Corporation, changed the company focus from equipment and physical capabilities to personal service and incredibly gifted employees. Your people’s core values mean more to your customers than the size of your printing press.