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4 Questions for Developing Your Brand Strategy

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What does the word “brand” mean to you? It is one that is often bandied about, but what it actually is and why you actually need one is something which does not get discussed enough.

In its most basic form, your brand is all of the functional and emotional connotations which consumers have of your business. It is the love people feel for Apple, the safety people feel when in a Volvo, and the joy from each McDonalds Happy Meal.

These associations are why having a strong brand is so important to the success of a business. Business coaches will tell you that to get a loyal following (and make more sales), you must illicit a strong connection to individuals (because target markets don’t work).

In the example of Coke it is the difference between selling bottles of sugary carbonated drinks, and giving people happiness.

No matter what stage your business is at, it is important to consider the effect of your brand on your business. Use the questions below to review and develop your brand.

1. What is your business environment?

Before you start developing your own brand, you need to understand the competition and the marketplace. You need to build a solid understanding of the options which your consumers have in the marketplace and from there you can figure out the niche that you should be focused on dominating.

Then you can question why you are running your business – Are you there to challenge the status quo and just be another standard option, or have you identified a niche which has yet to be discovered? These are the first questions to answer in a brand development strategy.

2. What are your core beliefs?

This should encourage you to narrow down your focus and specialise in a single aspect of your product / service offering. What is it that your business will never compromise on?

Just like BMW’s engine quality and performance, you need to know what key idea your business will revolve around. And once that has been established, your branding begins.

Core beliefs should permeate your whole business, no matter how large or small. This does not just mean the sales and marketing messages, but it is also the team you are working with. If your employees do not share / understand the business’ beliefs and core values, you are likely to face serious difficulties in nurturing your brand.

I have seen this in many companies while business coaching in London, where the team they have hired are not fans of the offering, so they cannot pass on any enthusiasm to the customers. This is why we developed a powerful 4-Hour Recruitment Process that lets business owners not only reduce time wastage in recruitment, but also ensures they hire the right kind of superstars to help them further the business and develop the brand.

3. What gives you your edge?

In other words, what is it that you bring to the table which your competitors do not? What is your “Unique Selling Proposition” or USP?

This competitive advantage is the manifestation of your business’ core beliefs. This is the reason why your customers prefer to buy from your brand rather than any other.

However, when choosing the competitive advantage that you will highlight, there are two things to be sure of first:

  • Firstly, are you sure that you actually can deliver on your promise of competitive advantage? Many businesses make claims about the superiority of their offering, which they are unable to deliver. This can critically damage any work you have put into your brand strategy. Make sure you do not make promises to your customers which you cannot keep.
  • Secondly, is the edge you have actually meaningful to your customers? Your customers won’t care if your car brand has the best sounding horn. When shaping your competitive advantage, choose wisely, and make sure it is relevant to what your audience wants, otherwise you are wasting your time.

4. Who is your target audience?

One of the most important features of creating a successful brand is knowing your ideal audience and catering to their needs. You need your ideal customers to care about your core beliefs and competitive advantage as much as you do.

This is how companies like Apple are able to connect with their consumers at such a deep level – they know who they are talking to. You need to identify that specific person you are talking to – your marketing avatar – and then every message you create should be directed to that person. Businesses operate within their own niches, which means that understanding your specific customer-base is critical.

 

When you talk about your business’ brand, make sure you understand what that actually means. Your brand is so much more than the products and services you are selling; it is what permeates from your employees, to your offerings, and into the minds of your consumers. To be successful, choose your brand wisely, own it, and deliver your brand promises.

Need help developing your brand?

London Business Coaching Strategy SessionDeveloping a brand can sometimes be difficult looking from the inside out. An outside perspective usually helps shed light on key areas to focus on.

Book a free strategic review of your business and find out how we can help you see double-digit growth in the next year.

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The Fampreneurs – A New Business Phenomenon

We all love a business buzzword. In recent years we have enjoyed using our ‘phablets’, becoming ‘wantrepreneurs’ and admiring the endeavours of a new breed of intrepid ‘mumpreneurs’.

Well, now there’s a new entrepreneurial wordplay on the block – the Fampreneur.

As you’d expect – the clue is in the name. Coined in response to research from BusinessesForSale.com, the term describes ‘an individual who starts a new business with one or more family members’.

Of course, family businesses are hardly a new phenomenon – in fact, they are the bedrock of the business world, accounting for 66% of SMEs in the UK today. 

But it is the sheer numbers of blood relatives who are starting up businesses together as an alternative to their exclusive daily grinds that has inspired the birth of this neologism.

‘This new breed of entrepreneur, the Fampreneur, is not a third generation inheritor of an established bloodline business. It’s someone who sees a new opportunity and recognises that the skills, trust and finance he or she shares with one or more relatives means their exposure to risk is reduced while the potential for success is far greater than going it alone.’ says Rufus Bazley, Marketing Director at BusinessesForSale.com.

The recent economic crisis and ensuing uncertainty has been a catalyst to the movement; the gloomy shadow of potential redundancy, wage freezes and restricted opportunities for career growth has prompted many disenchanted employees to dream of being their own boss.

And who better to have alongside you, than trusted family members?

Typically, start-ups have been the reserve of peer groups who meet at university or who find each other in work-related environments. Now, although not quite in the realms of Silicon Roundabout yet, the family dining table is becoming a growing forum for new business brainstorming.

The allure of higher incomes, greater security and more flexible working hours is obvious and in a survey conducted at the beginning of this year, BusinessesForSale.com found that 65 percent of entrepreneurs who expressed a desire to go into business with a relative planned to do so by the end of 2015.

75 percent of those surveyed are also prepared to, or are very keen to relocate in order to realise their lifestyle makeover.

Interestingly, these aspiring fampreneurs don’t seem to value family loyalty as much as experience and relevant skill sets. An impressive 96 percent of fampreneurs had at least a year’s experience in their chosen business sector, whilst nearly a third had over ten years.

‘You’d imagine the primary benefits of starting a business with a relative would be trust and the ability to work long hours,’  Bazley continues, ‘but a key finding is that the fampreneurs are also highly qualified for each job with impressive sector experience and general high-ranking corporate roles, making the businesses they start primed for success.’

However, the process of setting up an enterprise as a family also means that younger members have an invaluable opportunity to learn new skills.

One such family are the Barker/Coots who together have established ‘The Chocolate Wrapper’ – a business selling personalised chocolate bars.

In 2013, the family enjoyed a standard 2.4 set-up with two working parents and two teenage daughters.

As teenage girls have busy social lives and wardrobes to maintain, their parents Kath and Peter were keen for them to start paying their way. The idea for the business grew out of discussions on a family holiday… and a shared love of chocolate.

With Peter’s background in setting up and running businesses and current position as a partner in a growing global events business he was well placed to guide his girls into a 

promising market. Personalised products are enjoying high demand at the moment and the family decided that chocolate bars ‘for all occasions’ was an un-tapped niche.

Their instinct was right and the business has gone from strength to strength, winning the Chamber of Commerce Award for ‘Best New Business’ in 2014 and entering the US market in May 2015.

Peter is pleased with how the family business has brought them together and offered his daughters opportunities that their peer group are finding harder to achieve,

‘The fact that we all have a part to play has been great and we fulfil the orders from home and discuss the business as a family. We wanted to give the girls a hand up as opposed to a hand out and I was sure we could find something that would earn them more than the minimum wage and give them an insight into being involved in a business without compromising their studies.’

As traditional and established routes into the workplace are becoming less vital than the right attitude and skill set (the expense of higher education compounding this trend), the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and kicking in the UK – and, it seems, many families are making the most of the moment.

 

Written by Nicky Tatley, Chief Writer at BusinessesForSale.com, the market-leading directory of business opportunities from Dynamis. Nicky writes for titles across the Dynamis stable, as well as a number of other industry publications, both print and online.

Need to expand your Fampreneur business?

While success can be built in the family unit, once you grow that successful business beyond a certain point, you may need extra help.

Download our 4-hour recruitment process to recruit superstar staff to join the family business.

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3 Ways to Recruit Staff that Fit Like a Glove

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Aristotle said, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” True as this may be, it is the finer details, the reading between the lines of this statement that is paramount to the success of any business.

Behind every company, whether it is a multinational corporation or the smallest of start-ups, the key element and the cog that keeps the wheels in motion, is the talent. Fundamental to this, is the recruitment and retention of the right people for the right job, at the right time- therefore ensuring that the “parts” are in fact, the right parts.

As simple as this may sound, it has been reported that 2 out of 3 new hires proved to be a mistake within the first 12 months. It is tempting to fill a vacancy as soon as possible as a ‘quick-fix’ solution for fear of the adverse consequences involved but the majority of the time, lack of planning and strategy during the process can lead to poorly recruited candidates or mistake hires that can cause even greater problems.

As a result, this negatively affects businesses, including but not limited to the financial burden associated with turnover, not to mention the impact on productivity and morale.

Recruiting the best-fit candidates for roles within your company can be a complex and time consuming process but the key is to simplify the practice and ensure that the time, effort and funds are focussed on all the right areas.

In our business coaching of London companies, we have found that recruitment is one of the most challenging areas for business owners – especially as they seek growth and therefore require the right team to support and rely on. The 4-hour recruitment process that we formulated helps to facilitate this notion, but there are also a number of other ways to recruit staff that you need to keep in mind.

1. A clearly defined, detailed and well written job description 

One of the first things to get right is the job description. This can be regarded as a mutual statement and agreement of expectations – what is expected of the candidate and what the candidate can expect to take on within the job itself.

A clearly detailed job description communicates the direction, defines objectives and clarifies the intentions of the company, not only to the employer and potential employee but also to members within the team that may be affected by the new recruit. The combination of talents that contribute to “the whole” must work together and create synergies in order to bring ideas to life, streamline goals and drive business forward.

An accurately defined job description can also speed up and facilitate the recruitment process to encourage a deeper understanding of the complexities of the job, the skills and expertise required for the role and the level of experience necessary to perform to the best of ones’ abilities. Is the role mapped out so that the best type of candidate can execute the job to high standards and yet still be challenged enough at the same time?

2. Include existing members of the team in the recruitment process

Involving team members in the hiring process can be a crucial part of the puzzle in terms defining the job role. Existing employees can help to determine the skills and manpower necessary and perhaps identify the type of person that is currently missing from the equation.

This can empower existing employees by involving them throughout the recruitment process and principally, the people that will be working most closely with the new hire can essentially help to form and clarify the job description. By including them, this will help you to really understand the fundamental role of each team member and it is likely that each individual will be more willing to accept the systems and strategies that are put in place, knowing that they played a part in shaping it. 

3. Recruitment should be strategic and logical

Getting the right candidate for the job should be well thought out- it should be targeted, planned and executed in a structured and consistent way.  Hiring best-fit candidates has much to do with company culture and finding the people that can bring something positive to the table in a way that flows with the current and not against it.

What is it about your company and the role that will attract and excite potential employees? How effectively have you communicated and marketed this? As much as there is a need to fill the role and satisfy the ‘gap’ in your company, you need a candidate that wants to work for you and for your company because of what it means to them.

This relates back to the clearly structured and well-written job description, which should include the aspects of your company, highlighting the culture, the working environment and everything in between that will appeal to the type of person you wish to recruit.

 

Finally, be as picky as you need to be during the selection process – there is no point wasting your time interviewing a candidate if they do not fit in with the culture of your business and the energy of your company.

Do not feel the need to settle or compromise. Remember that the right candidate may not be actively seeking new opportunities, so you need to be creative, efficient and relentless in the search for the best person for the job. It may seem like a time consuming journey in the pursuit of finding the right candidate but if successful, you will be saving yourself both time and money in the long run.

Need more advice on recruitment strategies?

Recruitment can be made simple. Simplify the process, find the very best candidates and ensure they stay.

This is the 4-Hour Recruitment Process that we have developed with our recruitment partners, SJ Mann Solutions, through years of experience helping our clients recruit the very best candidates.

Click here to Download


How to Master the Art of Executive Coaching

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Are all coaches proficient in their chosen fields?  It depends on how you look at it.  Coaching is, in itself, a discipline which can be mastered, but that mastery doesn’t necessarily have to fully encompass the discipline being coached.  There are many coaches who have been particularly successful as coaches without ever having mastered the material they taught.  Bill Struth, for example, is one of the UK’s most successful football managers in history and yet he never played the game of football on any sort of professional basis. 

So, if you are an executive coach, or are thinking about a career in the field, it is important to understand that it is absolutely possible to be an effective coach without dictating business moves.  The best coaches exhibit a leadership quality in their approach, yet are never domineering, and it is this quality to which executives respond.

Instead of focusing solely on the material with which coaches regularly interact, it is more important to master the ability to inspire creativity, leadership, personal management, positive thought, and the development of strengths.  This ability should then be added to the fundamental responsibilities of a good executive coach, which we will now briefly discuss.

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The Main Duties of an Executive Coach

If you want to achieve excellence in the field of executive coaching it is important to make a point of constantly improving in the following basic sectors:

  1. Relationship Building

Many executives seek coaching of their own free will.  This is a most welcome improvement experienced by the industry in fairly recent years.  Aside from helping to raise the quality of Britain’s business leaders in general, it means that coaches don’t have to break through the defences of executives before they can start helping them.  That being said, it is still important for executive coaches to create a sense of trust early on in the relationship.

Given that it is always easier to learn from someone who you trust, building a relationship early on in the coaching experience is extremely important.  It is vital to set realistic objectives early on in the relationship, and then work towards these in a way that makes the executive feel most comfortable.  Early on, the progress made toward these objectives will demonstrate the coach’s patience, judgment, and proficiency, which are all important for the establishment of trust on the part of the executive.

  1. Instilling Thought Processes

Many business leaders have natural leadership tendencies, which often consist of the thought necessary to motive and inspire others.  That being said, the thought necessary for leadership can take many forms, which can result in difficulties for some leaders.  Some might approach a problem from a certain direction, and continue to try this approach even in the face of resistance.  This can be detrimental to leaders and the tasks at hand.

Good executive coaches should thus equip themselves with the skills necessary to inspire new thought processes in executives (as well as themselves), as opposed to simply offering alternative solutions.  A great deal of attention should be paid to business thinking, and how to best formulate new modes of thought.  Executive coaches can accomplish this by encouraging multi-directional thought paths and calculated risks, as well as inspiring creative thought in executives through the use of open-ended questions.

  1. Support over Guidance

Executive coaching is not about being an advisor for specific matters.  It is instead about providing executives with the right tools to be able to better lead in difficult times, as well as make hard decisions.  Simply put, executive coaches aren’t crutches, they’re support beams.

Instead of telling executives what they could and should do in certain situations, executive coaches are there to ask the right questions at the right time with a view to helping executives make their own progress.  Instead of offering easy answers to difficult questions, this promotes success in executives and allows them to visualise solutions from various perspectives.

  1. Creating Results

Executive coaching is goal-based, whether referring to the coaching itself or its overall outcome.  Executives seek out coaches to assist with building their leadership capabilities and boosting their skill set.  They do this both for their own personal growth and the growth of their businesses.  But, in either case, the setting of objectives that drive results is the best way to accomplish this.

A great coach should help an executive set objectives for the coaching itself by identifying its ideal outcomes and then creating strategies which are best suited to their realisation.  This same model can, and should, be used for the future growth of the executive’s company.  Objectives are not only important for the motivation necessary for forward motion, but also for the measurement of success.

  1. Evaluation

Here again, evaluation is important for the coaching itself, but it is also an important skill to strengthen in executives.  Executive coaches have to monitor and assess the progress made by executives during the coaching in order to work towards their desired outcomes.  But it is equally important for coaches to nurture the ability of executives to monitor and assess their own progress.  Providing an executive with self-awareness is an integral part of executive coaching.

By nurturing personal insight, coaches empower executives to weigh their progress against their objectives.  It causes them to ask themselves where they are in their progress versus where they would like to be.  By applying evaluative procedures to both themselves and their companies, executives can identify inconsistencies between the ideal and the reality and formulate the necessary strategies for change.

How to Think Like an Executive Coach

The ability to strengthen the above factors in others is certainly important for effective coaching.  But, how do the best coaches manage the mastery of these factors?  The instinctive ability to reinforce leadership qualities in others is certainly helpful, but it is not an absolute necessity.  Fortunately, this is something that can be learned.  Here are some tips on how to best support executives in a coaching environment:

  1. Ask, Don’t Tell

Executives don’t require coaches to tell them how to run their businesses.  They are often natural leaders with more than enough experience.  The goal of a coach is to help executives explore and strengthen their lesser-used skills, and refine their strongest skills.  Thus, adopting a condescending attitude will harm the coaching experience as opposed to help it.  It is better to support the executive along the road to self-discovery through the use of questions which promote action.

The best questions to ask in order to promote action are open questions.  These are questions which require more than a simple yes/no response.  These questions should be aimed at reaching a specific outcome, but worded in such a way that the executive is able to reach it without much prompting.  Questions like, ‘What are your thoughts on x?’ or, ‘What can be done about y?’ are good for this task.

  1. Focus on the Executive, Not the Company

Executive coaches are not necessarily business consultants.  Instead of being brought in to help a business reach its goals, coaches are brought in to assist executives with strengthening their own leadership qualities with a view to helping the company.  It is thus important to avoid getting involved in the direct management of the company and rather identify the parts which need attention and then build the necessary skills in the executive for the effective management of these parts.

Always remember the fact that executive coaching is about developing individuals.  Through this development, the companies which they head will then develop as a result of your progress.

  1. Remember Executive Coaching is not Rehabilitative

Executive coaching is not about trying to fix the faults in company leaders, but rather about addressing their current skills in a way that will make them even more effective.  Never approach a coaching situation as if the executive needs rehabilitation.  Not only does this make it difficult to establish a relationship of trust, but it has the unfortunate effect of painting the entire process in a negative light.  As you well know, negativity is not conducive to effective learning.  It is only when the entire process is seen as being something positive that the best results can be achieved.

  1. Don’t Rely on a Rigid Structure

It is important to have desired outcomes when coaching, and these can often be made more attainable if considered against a time-frame.  However, failing to deviate from this structure under any circumstances can often result in many missed opportunities. 

Executive coaching does not take place before executives are in their leadership positions, so they are almost always running their companies during the coaching process.  This presents many opportunities to address certain issues as they arise and require practical attention.  This may not fall into your schedule of objectives, but learning is always easier as a result of experience rather than discussion.

Master Coaching as Its Own Business

Trying to be an effective teacher by having all of the answers to business leadership situations has many pitfalls.  As you will no doubt make clear to your executives, being an effective leader doesn’t mean you have to be cleverer than everyone else.  Leadership is about discovering the best qualities in the people around you and using those to create forward momentum.

So, instead of focusing solely on business practices, aim at mastering the art of executive coaching.  Granted, expertise in modern business practices is certainly required to be an effective coach, but it shouldn’t overshadow the importance of the coaching itself. 

The above tips should help you along the road to perfecting the art of coaching, but remember that the road surface is always changing.  Thus, your idea of perfection should always be changing, too.  If you can apply the above tips to your own objectives, you’ll already be ahead of the curve when it comes to mastering executive coaching.   

 

This article was contributed by Shirish Agarwal from Flow20, who offer web design, SEO and other digital marketing solutions.

Ready for the benefits of Executive Coaching?

London Business Coaching Strategy SessionExecutive coaching is something that has become a necessity for every business leader. Yet many people are still hesitant, and unsure if it will actually help them.

We offer you the chance to get a free session so you can find out whether or not we are capable of helping you take your business to the next level.

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How Executive Coaching Can Help Your Business Grow

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Why is it that the best athletes always seek out the best sports coaches?  Isn’t their natural ability enough to take them to the top?  The short answer is no, it isn’t.  That is not to say that natural ability isn’t extremely important in sports, but that ability has to be refined, nurtured, and properly channelled for the athlete to reach his or her maximum potential.  After all, a flawless diamond pulled out of the ground still needs to be cut and polished before it is considered perfect.

The same concept applies to the mastery of business leadership.  Executives may have all the necessary leadership qualities, and constantly produce outstanding results, but it takes refinement from outside professionals to help those executives realise their full potential.  Fortunately, this is a fact with which executives are becoming increasingly at ease.

A decade ago, executive coaching had somewhat of a bad reputation amongst executives.  This is because they perceived the suggestion of outside assistance to be indicative of the fact that they were somehow ineffective in their leadership positions.  This, of course, was never the case.  Executive coaching has always been about taking individuals who show extraordinary leadership qualities and boosting their strengths with a view to helping them reach their maximum efficiency.  Fortunately, this understanding of executive coaching is becoming widespread, and executives are now far more open to self-betterment than they perhaps were in the past.

Indeed, executives and leaders from small, family-owned businesses to major corporations are actively seeking out executive coaching because of its potential to increase business growth.  But, before we explore how executive coaching can help your business grow, let us first look at the specifics of this external guidance that is quickly becoming integral to business achievement.

What, Exactly, is Executive Coaching?

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Executive coaching refers to the process undergone by company executives and business coaches.  It is important to note that the process is undergone by both, as executive coaching is a very interactive procedure, and far from the dictatorship that some executive still imagine it to be.  Together, the executive and the coach work through a process designed to maximise the strengths of the executive and boost his or her weaknesses.  This process is created through the dialogue shared between the executive and the coach, ensuring that the executive receives a personalised strategy based on the areas which require focus.

How Can Executive Coaching Help Businesses Grow?

Executive coaching is not necessarily aimed at the business itself, so its goals won’t be aimed at business growth outright.  That being said, an improved leader will have an unavoidable growth effect on the business.  If the great leaders of history have taught us only one, valuable lesson, it is that strong leadership can accomplish anything.  Thus, an executive undergoing coaching will achieve business growth through the following factors:

  1. Diagnosis of Success

The great Michelangelo famously said, “The greater danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.”  This is true for certain business leaders, who feel that their businesses are doing well while, in reality, they are performing at less than their full potential. 

Success in business is not merely about money and power.  Executive coaching allows for the metrics of a particular executive’s definition of success to be diagnosed and, if necessary, recalibrated.  Through setting goals for success ever higher, executives will learn a great deal about their own potential for success, and, through this, take the business to greater heights. 

  1. Affirmation of Priorities

Different personalities have different leadership styles.  And, while tenacity is often a beneficial trait in leaders, if overly developed it can border on stubbornness, which can be detrimental to a leader and a business.  Tenacity in chasing priorities is certainly commendable.  However, an unwillingness to relent on chasing those priorities when they are clearly not benefitting the business might be the precise culprit of a stagnant growth period. 

Executive coaching helps executives revisit their priorities, and provides fresh insight onto how to realise them.  A shift in priorities might be the necessary factor for further business growth, which the executive will have the tools to helm.

  1. Adaptation of Leadership Approaches

One of the keys to successful leadership is effective delegation, but many executives can misunderstand this factor.  Some leaders feel that it is their job to spearhead each and every idea, and always be the most knowledgeable person in the meeting.  This can work for some situations, but it is often unnecessary.  Moreover, this approach can appear condescending and succeed only in dividing what should be a unified team.

Executive coaching can help a leader delegate through questioning.  By asking the team about the current issues the company is facing, as well as their thoughts on the best ways to approach those issues, a leader can successfully motivate the team and create an alliance, which will certainly help company growth.

  1. Prediction of Change, both short and long term

In business, nothing is certain except change.  You don’t have to look too far to see how the business landspace is ever-changing whether that is the print industry shrinking due to the shift in digital media or law or just about anything else. However, some business leaders seem to be able to predict future shifts and manage to steer their companies around these hurdles as if by magic.  However, as we all know, magic isn’t real – it’s just an illusion.  The business leaders who appear to be able to predict the future actually possess a sense of foresight based on experience and know-how. 

Executive coaching can teach executives to develop this sense of foresight. For example, take businesses which are affected by seasonable demand for their products or services much more than others, such as toys during Christmas.  After all, it is completely possible to predict the trajectory of a moving object from inside it – a few freak speed-bumps aside.  Through coaching, executives will develop the ability to predict possible future change based on the factors visible from within the company, such as poor planning, product issues, or staff insufficiencies.

  1. Simplification

Leadership in its simplest form entails pointing a crowd in the right direction and walking ahead.  While business leadership can be more complicated than this, it’s never good to over-complicate procedures as this practice can obscure the business’s main goals.

Executive coaching can help with simplification, which places more emphasis on leadership itself and less on the duties required to fill this position.  By improving his or her leadership ability, an executive can complete tasks without being overcome by them, and a leader valuing simplicity will thus have a streamlining effect on the company he or she is leading. 

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The Link between Executive Growth and Business Growth

As mentioned, the above factors are aimed at executive growth, but have a knock-on effect.  One of the fundamental principles behind executive coaching regards the idea that growth in a leader translates into business growth.  This is not just a theory, it has been proved.

A 2011 survey set out to discover if there was indeed a link between excellent leadership and business growth.  The study compared a database detailing company growth with one detailing executive performance, and the findings were conclusive.  It was revealed that only one percent of the executives studied scored highly on the study’s scoring metrics, and that all of those executives were at the helm of companies which were experiencing major growth.

The important conclusion to be drawn from this study is that a single executive can have a significant impact on the growth of a company.  With the right skill-set, an executive can actively move a business forward, inspiring motivation through the ranks of employees.  Another important factor here is that the skill-set of influential executives is not necessarily a natural endowment.

To return to the sports reference made earlier, no athletes reach the pinnacle of their sports without excellent coaching.  Talent is often a requisite, but it is never absolutely sufficient.  Similarly, it is possible for every executive to be as influential as the one percent identified in the study.  With the right coaching, executives can refine their most valuable qualities and strengthen the qualities which are perhaps underdeveloped.  This executive growth can then be directly responsible for company growth.  

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How to Choose an Executive Coach

Executives are not interchangeable pieces of equipment, so there is no single manual for coaching one.  The style of coaching suited to each executive depends on factors like personality and strengths, and should be approached differently each time.  This is why it is important to decide on an executive coach that suits the candidate well.

However, there are certain additions to a coach’s CV that should always feature.  These are:

  • Qualifications:  Executive coaches need to have a thorough understanding of modern business practices in order to properly guide and develop executives.  In addition to this, a solid grounding in behavioural sciences is certainly beneficial.  A degree in business science is important, and training in behavioural science is certainly complimentary.
  • Experience:  As executives will know from building a solid staff of employees, experience counts.  Theoretical knowledge of business practices is definitely important, but the ability to apply them to practical situations based on past experience is the difference between a good coach and a great one.

Planting the Seeds for Growth

Sustained growth should be one of the fundamental objectives of any business.  But, instead of bringing in outside assistance to promote growth directly, it is far more beneficial to equip executives with the skills necessary to stimulate long-term growth.  Executive coaching can do this, and is thus the best way to ensure that a business not only grows in the short-term, but continues to grow.

 

This article was contributed by Shirish Agarwal from Flow20, who offer web design, SEO and other digital marketing solutions.

Ready for the benefits of Executive Coaching?

London Business Coaching Strategy SessionExecutive coaching is something that has become a necessity for every business leader. Yet many people are still hesitant, and unsure if it will actually help them.

We offer you the chance to get a free session so you can find out whether or not we are capable of helping you take your business to the next level. 

Book a Free Strategic Session