Yes, Everyone Needs a Coach
“A coach is someone who tells you what you don’t want to hear, who has you see what you don’t want to see, so you can be who you have always known you could be.” – Tom Landry
Behold top Olympic athletes after they’ve just won gold, as they hold their medals in awe, and wonder at their supreme achievement. You’ll always hear them thank one person: their coach.
You can be the greatest athlete in the world – yet without good coaching, your potential will never be realized. Similarly, I didn’t just decide one day to become a keynote speaker. I asked questions of, and listened to, others who’d successfully built a speaking career. Without their guidance, my work as an inspirational speaker would be far from inspirational.
A coach shapes, focuses and directs talent to achieve success. A coach pushes you to the brink, walks through fire with you, and listens when you break down and just need to talk. A coach is there for you … and you know they always have your back.
I’m no Dallas Cowboys fan, but can’t argue with the wisdom of their longtime coach. Tom Landry led the team to two Super Bowl titles, and 20 consecutive winning seasons, during a two-decade span when my beloved Green Bay Packers were lost in the wilderness. The stoic, fedora-wearing leader knew a thing or two about coaching.
Here’s something I’ve learned over the years: Everyone should have a coach. You don’t need to be an Olympian, or even an athlete. Regardless of profession, we all need someone to hold us accountable … steer us right when we go wrong … and deliver the straight, unvarnished truth about how we’re doing.
I didn’t always think this way. Early in my career, I saw asking for help as a sign of weakness. Buck up, man! Dig deeper! Tap your inner strength! You’ve got this!
Looking back, I see how wrong I was. I could have succeeded much faster with a good coach or two on my side. My ego and vanity had other ideas, though.
Do yours, too? Don’t listen to them. Accede to the wisdom of smart people. There are plenty around.
Business owners, especially, need coaches. A sales coach to help with revenue generation (an always-critical need). A business coach to guide operations. A financial coach to advise on big-dollar decisions.
These people shouldn’t have tunnel vision, either. My work as a sales coach isn’t just about training people to “sell.” I teach them how to use LinkedIn. Focus on making cold calling successful, instead of scary. Mentor up-and-coming sales reps.
Most of all, I’m “there” for sales teams, through good and bad. Businesses are collections of individuals. All have different needs, at different times. A good coach adapts. He or she should have skill sets – especially listening – beyond their advertised area of expertise.
No one is an expert in everything. Most organizations face challenges on many fronts. Coaches should be specialists. If someone tells you they can advise on every aspect of your business … well, take their card, say “Thank you,” and toss it at the first opportunity.
Coaching businesses and organizations is a tremendous honor. Being asked to help guide their success isn’t just flattering. It’s an extension of trust that’s incredibly gratifying, as well as humbling.
Humility is a good quality for anyone to possess. Understanding we don’t have all the answers leads to seeking outside, objective advice. Very, very few of us end up being Olympians. All of us, though, can use coaching to ultimately find our gold.
Paul M. Neuberger is President of The Starr Group, Founder/CEO of The Cold Call Coach, and a globe-trotting inspirational keynote speaker. Don’t miss his three-part webinar series, Paul’s Emergency Sales Kit, filled with timely instruction and advice for salespeople during a challenging period. Or, for an even deeper dive, try Cold Call University. Contact Paul at 414-313-8338 or via e-mail at email@example.com.