me for just a moment. - I would like you to imagine that you are at a very
important meeting to decide the future strategy of your company. You can see
your Top Team of 20 people around the table. None of them earn less than £70,000
you look around the faces consider these
would leave if they got a better offer;
· ► 18 don‘t trust you to develop them or their careers;
of them think they have good relations with their staff;
(note: only half their staff agree )
5 say that they attract talented people to work for them ;
· ► only 3 of them know who the high performers working for them are;
of them are being bullied or have been bullied by their managers ;
of them think work is the most important thing in their life ;
14 feel valued and appreciated;
of these figures bothers you most? The number of people who would leave, the
ones who don’t feel valued, the ones who have been bullied?
effect do you think this has on your ability to:
an inspiring long term vision,
projects in on time
inspirational role models that reflect and live your company values?
it couldn’t happen to you - right? Your new management mantra is ‘our
people are our greatest asset’.
You have innovative and creative HR policies; you recruit and retain the right
people with the right skills and you put them the right place. Your company can
survive and thrive by successfully deploying its people assets.
check - ‘mind the Gap’
you’ve ever used the London underground you’ll recognise the gap as that
space between the platform and the lip of the train - and it differs depending
on which type of train comes into the station. Many commuters while dashing for
the train, talking on their mobile, and just generally living their lives are so
task focused that they fail to attend to other details - like the gap. They fall
over, get hurt and complain about the gap - not their lack of attention.
where is your attention? On your HR policies or the day to day practicalities?
Do you know if there is a gap between what you think is happening and what is
happening to each and every single employee - in every meeting, in every
communication, on every day.
a mantra is just something you say (normally just a sound to help you focus on
nothing!) you will be judged on what you do.
to your Top Team - 12 would go if there was a better offer and 6 of them don’t
feel valued -could this be attributable to a gap between what your company says
and what it does?
the gap is due to the corporate message: ‘we
value you and appreciate you - just a long as we need you’ that emerges
loud and clear after several years of down sizing and structural reorganisation.
Professionals are newly cynical about corporate life and have strong beliefs
about how their careers should be managed. As a result more and more
professionals are going it alone as independents and taking responsibility for
negotiating their own deals and managing their own development.
so we have a highly skilled, talented and mobile group - who go where they want
and when they want. They go where: the work is interesting; the rewards packaged
in a way that suits them and, increasingly, where their family and ethical
values are in alignment with those of the companies they choose to work for.
these are the very people you need for the big innovative project or the
challenging enterprise transformation. So how do you court them and woo them to
your side and your cause?
might help to think of your time together in the same way as having a short term
personal relationship - you both want mutual satisfaction and fulfilment and,
although you’re unlikely to get married, you want to stay friends when its all
real life we make this happen by trying harder, we are more attentive to their
needs and we listen more closely - not surprisingly this tactic works on a
corporate level too. One way to get and keep the right faces for your Top Team
is to use the latest North American executive perk - the executive mentor or
personal coach. And no, we’re are not talking fitness trainers here.
is executive mentoring?
CEO of this Top Team (did I forget to mention you were the CEO - sorry!). As CEO
you are already highly intelligent and successful - people think you have it all
but do you ever have days where some of the following happens:
· ► you just want to discuss a new idea or concerns about a new strategy - without the rumours starting and the share prices going volatile;
· ► all the day to day stuff is boring and you want to get back to the creative side you love;
company’s running you - you’re not running the company - distracted by
trivia where is the next new vision going to come from?
you can’t figure out how to change from command and control to being a
you wish people would just do as they are told
you can’t spend the time out for training but need a new angle;
· ► when having it all is simply not enough - you feel there has to be more;
everybody seems to be the competition and it really is lonely at the top.
is where executive mentoring and coaching comes into its own. Mentoring and
coaching recognises that even the very best individual can improve and can
improve quicker with direction and focus. Coaches will help you identify
what’s really important to you and help you get to where and who you want to
be. The key is that you must want to change and be prepared to put in the effort
- it’s all about a better life
rather than a better life-style.
can you expect to get?
and total confidentiality -
lets face it who else is going to tell you the whole truth and who can you truly trust not to mention it to their best friend / worst enemy.
a mentor/ coach has your agenda on the table - no ones else’s .Your success is their business - it’s what you are paying for.
sounding board for new strategies - ;
you may need help to clarify the vision to understand its impacts good and bad before going public
you clear and focused -
mentors hold your strategic vision and don’t let you get distracted by short term goals;
performance and creativity -
creates just in time and just enough learning enabling performance to be enhanced and encourages a learning culture;
time - ;
mentoring gives you personal time to focus on what you need both in terms of business skills and personal ambitions. When was the last time you had a meeting where you, your wants and your needs were the only thing on the agenda
role model leadership behaviour - ;
allows the senior team to demonstrably live the cultural values
a greater sense of the value of people and respect for them.
alignment - ;
puts you back in touch with who you want to be and how you want to live
· ► integrating business and personal life for balance;
goal setting -
go beyond smart - look for the well formed outcome you want, consistent with your values;
actions and choices -
catching up and getting ahead of the business;
as a superb manager you may need to transform management skills to leadership skills.
the difference between coaching and mentoring?
tends to be more business oriented and organisational results based. It also
tends to be face to face. A lot of coaching can be phone based - you never need
to meet your coach in person - unless you want to.
the key difference is that mentors can and will give advice and make
suggestions, whereas coaches tends
to focus on eliciting the solutions from you - we know that you have all the
answers, you might just not have realised it yet.
work because the focus is on the individual to achieve what matters to them. All
coaches and mentors believe that people are incredible and have vast resources
available. And they’re not alone
we did the things we are capable of doing we would literally astound
ourselves." -- Thomas A. Edison
enables them to believe in you 100% they know that you can do it if you put your
mind to it. They will encourage and support you every step of the way and they
won’t make judgements about your choices. Want to give it all up and live on a
desert island? Coaches are happy to help you achieve that - if it is what you
– her or his business is your success in whatever endeavour you chose (caveat:
its got to be legal, ethical and moral!)
that’s why it works - each person is treated uniquely and respected for who
they are, not who they should be, or even whom they could be.
who are provided with coaches by their companies feel better, and perform better
according to a recent article that also says that coaching has an ROI of
600%. So, good value for money.
of Tiger Woods the golfer, there is no doubt that he has huge natural talent and
that he is awesome - he has a coach. Are you better at what you do than Tiger is
at playing golf?
does it work? - The Process
coach and mentor has a tool kit of techniques they use depending on what you
want to achieve and the kind of person you are. As I said it will be uniquely
tailored but for a rough idea of what’s behind it all, read on.
What’s important to you; what are the key areas in you life / business e.g.: family; career; money, leadership etc.?
priorities - ?
possibly using a balanced scorecard or wheel of life pie-chart. Where do you want to focus your energy
Where do you want to be in key areas?
analysis or reality check
baseline - ?
Where are you now in each key area. How satisfied are you in each area
what’s missing or below desired satisfaction levels.
resources to close gap - ?
What do you need to do or learn
interested parties - ?
Who can help? Who needs to be told
when things need to happen -
When do I need to have completed and activity in order for my goals to come true?
will I recognise when I have achieved my goal?
will I know how far I’ve come? .
Am I better read, have more time, less fights with Board? Chose something you can measure that is appropriate
I need to change my goals?
Is this really what I want?
I want to go further or add new goals?
More please, higher, faster, further?
Convinced - How do I get it?
how do I pick the right coach or mentor?
consulting companies and individuals offer executive mentoring and coaching as
well as a raft of other services.
is easy keep talking to mentors and coaches until you find one that you like and
and Co. were voted one of the top 100 visionary companies in the UK and the
award was based on client testimonials. They specialise in CEO mentoring.
coaches can be found from:
Life Coaching Academy who run training and certification schemes www.lifecoachingacademy.co.uk
· The Industrial Society run training course and have a register of coaches www.indsoc.co.uk
· Northern America has the Federation of Coaching
has Peer Resources www.peer.ca
the web search for ‘life coaches’ or ‘mentoring’.
tough I’ll do it alone
enough have a interesting journey.
these books - style is a very personal thing so browse before you buy
Myles Downey - ISBN 0-75282-108-3
Transform your life -
10 steps to real
results byCarole Gaskell - ISBN 0-00-710078-7
Coaching for Performance
Whitmore - ISBN 1-85788-170-2
are hundreds of others - there is something out there to suit your taste and
these web sites
got the statistics by running together the findings of various recent surveys
carried out by the Industrial Society, the TUC and the CBI .
select/global business September 25, 2000 vol. 156 no. 13
employee loyalty in a tight labour market, companies are offering workers
personal coaches as a tool to help them thrive
MAGAZINE - February 21, 2000
the past five years coaching has gone mass-market. In the age of Every Man for
Himself, every man can have a coach--and, in an ever more commonly held view,
COMPANY - March, 2000
world-class athletes can't reach peak performance without a great coach."
WEEK - October 11, 1999
for coaching, having someone listen to you and encourage you, and break
everything down into easy, concrete steps, is rather nice." "It's not
just helping them with hard-core business issues but also helping them with
their personal issues..."
ENTERPRISE - September, 1999
"'Mentors for hire' are a relatively new phenomenon….., coaches use a personalised, philosophical approach that focuses on career and life issues, and follow up to ensure the executive's progress."
Rosie Harrison is an ex Systems Analyst, Strategic Risk Manager and trainer, and corporate business manager. Currently she is working as a life coach and business mentor. She also teaches Tai Chi.