How a business coach can help in times like this….
Post by Chamber Member Robert Paden
As I sit and write this short blog post, the world seems to be in chaos. We are all self-quarantining, trying to do the right thing, trying not to be fearful, but yet worried about our business, our employees and our customers. These are challenging times to say the least. Unprecedented times for sure.
Over the last few weeks, my own business has been tested, but in a good way. You’ll see my LinkedIn profile headline reads “Guiding Business Owners and Leaders out of Chaos”. That was not recently changed to reflect the times! Well, my own description has been put to the test and I hope that I am delivering. While it’s challenging given the restrictions of personal contact and now social distancing, I have probably talked to more people in the last few weeks than in the last 6 months. Why?
Our role as business coaches is just for a time like this! While there are many business coaches, we all have our niches and focus areas that are different. We are all active right now. Our role is to help owners and leaders maintain calm, sanity and sound thought. In times like this, this can be especially difficult for owners and leaders on their own due to the tsunami of things occurring in their immediate world. Facilities closing, employees staying home, financials going south, no end in sight to plan for…it can be absolutely overwhelming. And by the way, there is no shame in that. This is not even a normal crisis.
In calm times, we help our clients face the brutal realities of business ownership, learn about themselves and their team to improve personal and business performance, learn how to develop and grow strategic relationships, how to think strategically vs. tactically and truly prioritize a never-ending list of priorities and actions required to keep moving and growing. But in tough times, does our role change? Yes and no. We still keep owners calm and talk through challenges…now some much more urgent than they were a month ago! We may focus on shorter-term goals like keeping the lights on this week or avoiding laying off employees or making good, sound decisions with a lack of good information. In times like this, our role is to guide, to support, to listen, to challenge and to help our clients both survive and thrive!
One of my clients is facing this COVID-19 challenge head on. Tough times, but he’s pivoted. He’s introduced new services having no idea if they’d work or not a few weeks ago. He’s met with his team almost daily to re-assure them that they are all in this together. That they, together, will survive this somehow, someway. It’s inspiring.
But not everyone is in the position for a variety of reasons. They are struggling. Their team has disappeared, their leaders have crumbled or are freaking out, and the business is totally dependent on the owner being in the middle of everything, now failing because they can’t take the load themselves. They didn’t prepare ahead; they didn’t proactively pour into their team to be agile and healthy on their own and lead in times of crisis. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
If you’re trying to solve all your problems on your own, please don’t. You will burn yourself out and your business will suffer for it. Owner isolation is real, and it serves no one well to be isolated, especially in times like this. Use a business coach to gain insights you just can’t get on your own, to challenge your assumptions and business processes, to brainstorm and make better decisions, to help build your leadership skills and that of your team. And yes, at times, use a business coach to get you through tough times and hold you accountable. If not us, then who?
Owner and Coach
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Guiding Owners and Leaders out of the Chaos