Executive Leadership Development – The Three Key Elements of Successful Business Coaching

Effective executive business coaching is optimized when viewed within the context of achieving measurable business results. In the successful small business, coaching is conducted in keeping with the organizational structure of the business. It is seen to be part of the leadership skills development culture that fulfils strategic objectives and goals.

A coaching program, within a business culture, works because it focuses attention on the people in the business. Coaching is a practice that emphasizes the importance of interpersonal relationships in getting the job done. It also demands that everyone is on a path of ongoing learning. No one can rest on his or her laurels in a high-performance business.

Effective coaching programs also enhance corporate team building. They achieve this result because they send a clear message that the business takes each person seriously, as valuable individuals that make positive contributions to the business.

Coaching enables people to understand themselves, identify their strengths, work with others more effectively and openly, and by so doing, contribute positively to the success of the business as part of an executive group.

There are three key elements that are essential in having an effective executive coaching framework in a business.

Element One – Accountability

Coaching works because the person being coached holds him or herself accountable and responsible for the results. People who benefit from coaching are people who want to be coached. They keep an open mind as they think critically through the information that has been generated in and around them. They are prepared to listen honestly to the feedback, even if at times this may be uncomfortable and confronting for them.

Insights about their performance gleaned from psychometric instruments and tools and input from others who work alongside them serve as valuable sources of information.

By thinking through the issues and using their coach as an honest broker, effective business owners and managers are able to interpret the information, assign meaning to it and develop a plan around what to do. They take responsibility for their subsequent words and their actions.

Executive coaching is particularly well suited for successful people who are already performing at a high level of competence. They are self-motivated; they desire to achieve at a higher level; they have the necessary drive for learning and taking personal responsibility for managing both perceived and real gaps in performance as a means by which they raise the bar toward excellence.

Element Two – Direction

Effective coaching is part of an integrated and planned approach to achieve business objectives and results. The tasks to be undertaken are measurable and achievable. People being coached incorporate their new learning into practical results that further the objectives of the business.

In successful businesses, the coaching function is outlined as part of the small business plan and integrated into the developmental culture of the business.

The direction of coaching is determined by achieving agreed results through having individual development plans that are tied back to corporate plans at the strategic level. These are reviewed on an ongoing basis so that development is seen as a never-ending task.

Effective business owners and managers are always learning themselves, and they see this learning as part of the continuous improvement cycle of the business.

Often, individual coaching interventions reveal and uncover structural barriers to an individual achieving high performance within the business itself. Breakdowns in systems, processes, policies and so on may need to be addressed, within the business itself, for the individual to perform at a higher level.

Coaching at the executive level in this sense becomes everyone’s responsibility, within the high performance business culture, in terms of developing plans that will remove such barriers to performance.

It is worth noting that Dr. W. Edwards Deming, the father of the quality improvement approach, said that 85% of so called ‘people performance’ problems are caused by structural issues in and around the person concerned.

Element Three – Openness

Coaching is a business proposition. The demand for open communication and ongoing learning in relationships between people in successful businesses informs the changes that need to be made by the individual.

This calls for strong relationships and straight talking at the business owner and management levels. Remember, coaching interventions are a function that is primarily for the benefit of the business, not the person being coached.

This being the case, the whole business must create a supportive, collegiate environment of mutual respect, where truth telling is the norm.

Performance issues and behaviors are the focus. Proposals for courses of action are talked through and discussed openly so that an individual’s particular strengths are enhanced and their weaknesses are managed and compensated for within an overall team context.

Coaching is not about ‘fixing’ people. It is about getting high performance business results. People being coached in high performing businesses self manage and self correct around the issues being raised with them.

Business coaching is not therapy. It is not financial, medical advice or counselling. If people need these kinds of interventions, they should be referred to trained professionals in those fields.

Building a Successful Business – How to Gain the Power of Focus

One of the reasons that you started out your business in the first place is most likely that you had a great vision that you felt compelled to bring out to the world. That is just great. I am meeting so many brilliant entrepreneurs with so many brilliant ideas – it is not my impression that getting ideas is the problem. Priorities are. For any vision to grow you need to focus on one task at a time.

There seems to be the following main challenges:

1. Identifying your first priority
2. Identifying the next step

If you have more than one project at hand then you need to prioritize and make one of the projects your “no 1″ project. By deciding which project is your first priority you will be able to focus fully on this project which will eventually lead to greater results. I know this sounds very elementary, however it bears repetition.

Many times we simply need to step back and get focused on what it is that we really want for our business. Otherwise once in the process of getting everything done it is all too easy to loose focus on what is most important for our business to grow. In other words going back to basics could be just what you need.

Once you have identified your “no 1″ project you need to find ways to fully focus on the tasks at hand that will make this project a success. Following are some simple tips of how to do that and to gain the power of focus:

1. Make a weekly action plan of tasks you must do then prioritize each task
2. Make a daily action plan of how to do each task
3. Work in sequences (e.g. devote each day of the week into certain tasks)
4. Identify “time stealers”
5. Keep track of your time spent on each task
6. Outsource what is not and never will be your strong side

This sound very simple I know. However, you will be amazed at the results you will be getting when you stick to your plan. For example identifying your “time stealers” could mean the difference between getting your work done or not. This could be as simple as deciding only to check your e-mails twice a day at certain times, or to unsubscribe to newsletter that are no longer relevant for your business.

The 5 Step Plan for Creating a Successful Business Plan

While there are some who are easily able to do this, many business owners find themselves scratching their heads when it comes time to develop a plan. It can be confusing when it comes to deciding what is important, what is not and how to formulate this into something that is useful. The best method for developing a great business plan is to simply take 5 steps and walk through them. If you do this, you will create a successful business plan. The 5 steps of creating a successful business plan are listed below.

Step 1: Evaluation

You’ve got to start somewhere, and the best place to start is to simply look at your business from the inside out. Closely examine your business, as this will help you to see what kind of things to tackle with your business plan. You should look very closely at the fiscal statements for your business, as these, obviously, determine the success of a business. You should also observe the overall attitude of your business and its employees. For instance, notice if your employees are enthusiastic, bored, angry etc. Their feelings will need to be taken into consideration when creating the plan.

Step 2: Get Help

Creating a whole business plan all on your own probably wouldn’t be the wisest decision, as you may completely miss out on some very important areas. Thus, it is advisable to get help when creating your business plan. You may consider hiring an outside consultant to observe things much like you did in step 1. After they’ve done this, the two of you can go over what you’ve found and start developing solutions to any problems that exist.

Step 3: Solutions

Next, you need to look at the problems you have found with your current business strategy and think of ways to solve them. Again, you may want to consult with an outside consultant in order to see the most efficient solutions for your problems. This step is probably the most crucial of all the steps in developing a business plan, as a good business plan solves existing problems. Make sure you take your time and really see what to do to fix any problems your business may have.

Step 4: Putting It All Together

You know the problems and have the solutions. Now what? Well, it’s time to begin actually writing your plan. You’re going to want to start by spelling out the problems faced by your business and then writing the solution to each. Then you may want to delve further into your business by sharing the goals you have for the business over the next year (*hint* Yearly business plans are essential. Don’t just write a new business plan every few years, do it every year!). If you haven’t already, create this list of goals and incorporate it into the plan.

Step 5: Finalizing It

After you’ve written your “rough draft” of the business plan, it’s time to take it to those in your business. For this, you may want to set up a meeting with all your employees or as many of them as you can include where you go over the plan and ask for suggestions. You can think of this as a “peer review” session, much like you might have in a college English class. Having this meeting allows you to gage the compatibility of your plan with your employees. If there are no major differences between your employees and the plan, you can finalize it now and put it into action. If there are major differences, you simply need to do some revision. Then hold another meeting and hopefully finalize it then.

Urgencies – An Important Factor For Successful Business!

Creating a sense of urgency is one of the main key to success in almost any kind of business – whether online or offline.

Think back… How many times have you bought something out of impulse…feeling a sense of urgency to quickly grab the item off the shelf? What was the situation at that very moment when you made your decision to hand your hard earned money to the salesperson? Was it a limited time promotion?… Items running low on stocks or price going up soon for the item?

Look at how people rush for the mid and end of year sale, they don’t even mind “squeezing” themselves through thousands of others just to get something off at 10%-20% discount… because they know it’s time sensitive and items are limited during these campaigns and of course also the lower price!

Many of times were due to the sense of urgency that subconsciously force you to buy on impulse…without much thinking and having the fear of not being able to find the same bargain somewhere else or losing the opportunity on your limited edition goods.

The Ultimate Psychological Trigger!

Urgency motivates and get us into action even in our daily lives and accomplishment of task… “Be late again, you’ll be fired!”… You drag yourself out of bed just to be on time for your most dreaded task!…”This is a Final Reminder, please foot the bill of $XX.XX in next 3 days to avoid disruption of the service.” … This probably motivates you to quickly drop a check to settle off the bills. People fear consequences if a task is not accomplished by a given date or time. This literally forces almost anyone into taking action.

Humans are natural procrastinators. We tend to put things off (Especially if there is ample time or it’s not threatening), we give ourselves more time to consider before making a decision…”Hmm let me shop around to see if I could get better deals.” We start to make more comparisons… caused more confusions…then…either (A) We drop the idea (B) At last, something or someone persuaded us into making our final decision! Don’t ever let this happen to your Internet Business!

Just imagine what would happen to your business if this element is being used on your webpage? Wouldn’t it help convert sales better? Or well, you’ve heard of the importance of creating the sense of urgency on your sales page… You might have already done so, but no one has yet to give you a real solution to fully automate these elements needed on your sales page?Here is a real solution which Ive personally used on several of my websites. Application of what I’m gonna show you has resulted in 250%-300++% increase in sales! I have created this for my personal use initially.

You may think that creating urgencies on your sales page is merely spicing up your salescopy with some words that creates urgency. Yes, the right words and creation of such campaigns at the right time can definitely drive some good sales at your site, but tracking and updating these campaigns can be a real hassle!

Make Them Lose TRUST… Your Sales Will Plunge!

And You Face The Ugly Consequences!

Most Internet marketers would eventually leave their “dormant urgency” creations running on and on on their sales page and it never gets updated. “Price will increase after 12 midnight!” It never happens! (Too Overly Used)… “Closing Down Sale!”… “Clearance Sale!” It never happens and the same offers are still on when you return to the store years later. You may lose your credibility once visitors realized it’s all fake! Although you might not have the intention to fake it, probably just not in time to update your campaigns due to inability to track them in precise, but once your visitors (potential buyers) felt cheated, they will assume that the authenticity of your messages are deliberate and will never believe campaigns like this from you again… this may cause them to procrastinate on any offers from you in the future!

Removing Doubts In Their Mind

And Convert Them Into Buyers!

Ever doubted the salesman who verbally told you that the item is going out of stock soon and you will lose your opportunity if you don’t decide now?

The problem here is this, no one likes to be cheated or tricked into doing something. Once there is no proof – For instance, the facts & figures of demands of a commodity, certain extent of doubts might form in your potential buyers’ mind and that will cause procrastination on your offer.