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Coaching is literally exploding onto the national and international scene. Eager for more effective tools to help them and their organizations move beyond the limitations of other organizational development and process improvement programs, executives and managers are discovering how coaching can expand people's ability to take effective action.

Beyond the quick fix, coaching embodies a deep, personal learning process that makes it possible for individuals to succeed in areas where they are currently ineffective. Now, more than ever, companies need sustainable high performance if they are to achieve a competitive advantage in the global marketplace.

Athletes typically have a coach to assist them to be the best they can be and so should business executives. A coach inspires you to go beyond where you normally might stop, to achieve exceptional performance, enhanced productivity, a balanced life, or to manage your personal business and work in a more effective manner.

Why Coaching Is Valuable for Executives

Executive coaches are trained external professionals with excellent empathic, goal setting, communication and follow-through skills, who rely on their formal and informal experience in both business and psychology to perform a variety of roles. This can range from interventions on dysfunctional teams to counseling CEOs on wielding their power more effectively--teaching them to inspire and influence rather than command and control.

Research from Case Western Reserve University's Weatherhead School of Management shows that the impact of coaching-like training can last seven years vs. seminar-heavy schooling which usually vanishes within a few months. The emotional-intelligence skills coaches specialize in help CEOs create more productive cultures, which in turn drive up profits, according to Daniel Goleman, Author of Primal Leadership. "Without a coach, a lot of CEOs are likely to give up."

ROI For Coaching

Dr. Merrill C. Anderson did a study several years ago for a Fortune 500 firm to determine the business benefits and return on investment for an executive coaching program and found that coaching produced a 529% return on investment and significant intangible benefits to the business.

Further, coaching was considered a key enabler in helping this Fortune 500 firm accelerate the development of their next generation leaders because the participants could work individually with a coach to develop specific competencies. Three quarters (77%) indicated that coaching had a significant impact on at least one of nine business measures to include (60%) specific financial benefits.

Brenda Wilkins, Ph.D., University of Montana says "Coaching is a relationship where a coach supports, collaborates with and facilitates client learning by helping a client to identify and achieve future goals through assessment, discovery, reflection, goal-setting and strategic action."

Bottom Line: Having a COACH makes financial sense.

Marc Schwartz
Managing Partner