Did you enjoy the Super Bowl this past Sunday? The Giants and the Patriots were well prepared and well coached. For instance, when was the last time you saw a team allow the other team to score to get their hands on the ball with some time while the other team considered not scoring in order to run the clock out. The game is fluid and coaching decisions must reflect the ebbs and flows. That’s why Coughlin and Belechek make the big bucks, the decision stops with them.
Couldn’t help thinking about the number of executive coaches there are in the market today to help executives with their personal and staff development. It is not a new profession, just one that has expanded out of need. And why is the number growing? There are a number of reasons including the fact that companies of all sizes do business in a complex global environment and a number of executives have not been well trained to manage growth in this environment – they need coaching.
If executives need coaching, what about the everyday Joe and Joan out there interested in growing and developing their own careers? Easy, Joe and Joan need coaching too but where to get the career coaching and training may not be readily available. Your company may have career development path assistance available and if so you need to find out ‘the what’ and ‘how’ and get signed up. If not, here are a few suggestions that may help.
1. Ask your company. If you don’t know, ask and by asking, you learn that coaching is not available, at least now you know, and can look elsewhere AND you’ve made the company aware this could be an important initiative to help retain great talent.
2. Determine a career goal. Your goal may be to discover what your career goal options are and that’s great – it counts. Or you may know precisely what you want to achieve. Either way, setting the goal is the starting point and to run any race we all have to start somewhere.
3 Write down names for your career advisory board. Start ups and not for profits do it all the time, they establish an advisory board to help by providing the value of expertise. If you stop and think about it for a few moments, you can come up with a list of people you know through work, industry luminaries you would like to know, friends of family members or family members who have experienced enough of life’s ups and downs to provide valuable career guidance.
4. One you have a list and make it as long as you like, write a compelling description of why coaching and advising you would be of value. It may be that you want to learn so you can pass the coaching on to others, it may be of value to your industry or family. Come up with a reason for others to help coach you in your career.
5. Can’t come up with a good reason….tell the truth – “I need your help.” The good ole USA is not the most charitable society on earth for no reason, we like to help, we understand that giving returns has value to us many times over. Tell the truth, I need a great career advisory board and I would appreciate your guidance. You will be surprised at the number of people you know or those you don’t who will be willing to lend a hand….if you are sincere.
6. Offer to return the favor…”what can I do for you?” This exchange could lead to a barter situation which is OK or you may find the person states, “Oh, there is nothing really.” Do not let it sit there, OFFER to return the favor and if they don’t let you then find the right time and place to do something to help them.
Coaching matters. None of us were put on this earth with all the skills necessary to do a job well. It takes failure, coaching and a steadfastness to obtain a goal. It is too easy for a few to either say or display that the DNA of our American culture to get any job done is fading. Hey, that is bull. Let people know what you want, work hard and ask for the coaches you need in your career to make sure you accomplish all that you dream of doing.