The name Butch Harmon might not mean much to someone who casually watches golf, but for some of the well-known names of the sport like Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Greg Norman, or Ernie Els having Butch Harmon as their coach has been invaluable.
These champions didn’t work with Butch to learn how-to swing a golf club; they work with him to learn how to make their swing better. They knew that on their own they could only get so far, but in order to perform at an elite level, that would require working with someone like Butch Harmon. Someone behind the scenes who can provide the guidance to advance to the top of one’s game.
Peak performers, whether it be in sports or business, work with high caliber coaches. As a Coach, I’ve found that there are three main ways a Coach will help “fix the hitch in your swing” and produce the results you want.
A Coach can help you seeing things as they really are.
We all have stories that we tell ourselves. Some provide us motivation and confidence. Others, however, are a form of self-deception. We deceive ourselves so often that we accept them as facts and live accordingly.
When we deceive ourselves by rationalizing inaction with excuses like “the timing isn't right” or “that would never work” or “I wouldn’t know where to begin” we do so in order to avoid coming face to face our fears. We argue for to stay in our comfort zone.
If we stay in our comfort zone, we shape our world in very limiting ways. Having a Coach to help you see things as they really are provides you a with a choice. “Do I really go after what I say is important or do I continue to play small?” By exposing our stories as excuses, a Coach helps us get out of our own way and achieve our goals.
A Coach provides accountability that leads to progress.
Once we’ve see things as they really are, a Coach helps us make changes in ourselves and our business which bring us closer to our goals. By holding us accountable and celebrating accomplishments, a Coach creates an upward spiral of achievement.
In studying the diaries of knowledge workers, Teresa Amabile and Steven J. Kramer discovered, “Of all the things that can boost emotions, motivation, and perceptions during a workday, the single most important is making progress in meaningful work. And the more frequently people experience that sense of progress, the more likely they are to be creatively productive in the long run. Whether a they are trying to solve a major mystery or simply produce a high-quality product or service, everyday progress—even a small win—can make all the difference in how they feel and perform."
Accountability is key to making progress. While following up on our commitments is one part of holding us accountable, a skilled Coach can also show us where we’ve made progress when we thought there was none. It is this aspect of accountability where the value of a Coach really comes through.
A Coach provides the power of focus.
As entrepreneurs, creativity and a bias for action are two of our most common strengths. While this can be a blessing for innovation and getting ideas off the ground, if we aren’t careful we can find a trail of unfinished projects and open loops. Now, sometimes it makes sense to deviate from our original plans. Other times, it does not. The point is if we aren’t focused we’ll never be able to tell which is which.
With the speed of today’s world and all of its inputs, we can become so overrun with information that it becomes increasingly difficult to keep our attention where it should be placed. In fact, a Stanford study showed that an individual’s inability to filter out irrelevant information can slow down one’s progress in achieving the task at hand.
Time with a Coach serves as a “pause button” from the daily grind of being an entrepreneur to reconnect on what we want, create a plan to remove roadblocks, and the create laser focus on a project or opportunity. A Coaching session—free from distractions and the daily noise -- can be just what we need to keep the main thing the main thing.
Do you need a Coach? Only you can answer that question for yourself. I’ve seen countless clients accomplish more than they thought possible and sooner than they’ve hoped for by working with a Coach. But if any of the benefits listed above resonate with you, you may already have your answer.