Unleashing Peak Performance: How Hiring a Coach Can Supercharge Scaling Up Journey
July 14, 2023 •Neale Lewis
As a certified coach trained in the "Scaling Up" methodology by Verne Harnish, I am deeply aware of the importance of hiring a coach for achieving breakthroughs in business performance.
Transforming your organisation into a scaling powerhouse is not just about strategy, it’s also about the people who implement that strategy. And who better to guide the CEO and leadership team through this metamorphosis than a seasoned business coach? A coach is not only your strategist but also your cheerleader, sounding board, and a reminder of accountability - a compass during times of uncertainty and growth.
I remember working with the CEO of a technology startup, navigating through their first growth phase. The company had a promising product, a talented team, and a growing market, yet scaling up was a challenge. The CEO was a technical expert, brilliant in his domain but struggled with people management and strategic decision-making. He needed to shift from a specialist to a leader. As his coach, I facilitated that transition, helping him identify his leadership blindspots and work through them. With time, he transformed into a CEO capable of delegating, making strategic decisions, and leading his team confidently.
Another case that comes to mind is that of a family-run business grappling with the challenge of succession planning. The company was doing well, but the second-generation leaders were unsure about taking the helm. As their coach, I worked with the senior and junior generations, helping them navigate this transition smoothly. The focus was not just on business strategy, but also on strengthening relationships and aligning the team’s vision for the company's future. The results? They're now one of the market leaders in their industry, having scaled rapidly and harmoniously.
Coaching, however, isn't about quick fixes; it's about enabling sustainable growth. A coach helps to develop a culture that cultivates leadership at all levels. This was evident when I worked with a mid-size manufacturing firm. Their CEO was aware that for the company to 10x its performance, it needed leaders who could take ownership and drive initiatives. I worked with their top leadership team, developing their capabilities and coaching them to be coaches themselves. As a result, they developed a leadership pipeline that drove their growth from being a regional player to a nationally recognised brand.
Throughout my coaching journey, it has been rewarding to see businesses blossom under the right leadership and guidance. These transformations are a testament to the importance of coaching in scaling up a business. It's not just about strategy and execution, it's about nurturing leadership and aligning people. It's about fostering a culture of continuous learning and resilience, attributes that are invaluable in an era defined by rapid changes and high uncertainty.
The beauty of having a coach lies in their unbiased perspective. They can view your organisation from a bird's eye view, helping to identify blind spots and growth opportunities that may be overlooked by those deeply embedded in the day-to-day operations.
There’s a reason the best athletes in the world hire multiple coaches, trainers, nutritionists, and more. Those experts can see things that the athletes can’t see themselves. They can provide discipline, organisation, and accountability in a way that is otherwise impossible.
Furthermore, a coach can play a significant role in developing the CEO and the leadership team, arguably the most important component in the scale-up equation. A company can only grow as far as its leadership team allows. If the leadership team isn't evolving at the pace the company is growing, it can become a barrier to scale. The coach's role here is to ensure the leaders are always ahead of the curve, ready to steer the company toward unending growth.
A shining example of this is Eric Schmidt, the former CEO of Google. Even after reaching the pinnacle of his career, he hired a coach, Bill Campbell, famously known as 'The Trillion Dollar Coach'. Bill played a crucial role in Google's exponential growth, mentoring not only Schmidt but also other tech leaders like Steve Jobs and Jeff Bezos. Eric later admitted, "The advice that sticks out I got from John Doerr, who in 2001 said, 'My advice to you is to have a coach.' The coach he said I should have is Bill Campbell. I initially resented the advice because after all, I was a CEO. I was pretty experienced. Why would I need a coach? Am I doing something wrong? My argument was, how could a coach advise me if I’m the best person in the world at this? But that’s not what a coach does. The coach doesn’t have to play the sport as well as you do. They have to watch you and get you to be your best."
Drawing upon this real-world example, it is clear that no matter the size or success of an organisation, the importance of a coach in nurturing the leadership team and driving business growth cannot be understated.
In conclusion, scaling up a business and 10x-ing its performance is a complex task that necessitates continuous learning, adaptability, and objective assessment. A coach can help the CEO and the leadership team navigate through this journey, keeping the organisation on the right path, focusing on what matters, measuring progress, and fostering a culture of accountability. Every organisation aiming for unprecedented growth should consider this invaluable resource as an integral part of their scaling-up strategy. After all, it's about setting the stage for your business's next act, and who better to help you rehearse, refine, and execute than a coach well-versed in the art of scaling up?
Our coaching programs are designed to empower excellence — from leadership coaching to creating a powerful strategic plan, from developing a peak performing team to driving sale excellence.
Coaching helps you move fast, avoid blind spots, and supercharge your progress.
When you’re serious about growth, a coach can show you how to get there. Ready to get started? Click on the link to arrange a discovery call to see how we can supercharge your performance: https://www.scalingup.co.uk/work-with-a-scale-up-coach