Business coaching: Learning from Becks

Business coaching: Learning from Becks

Jim Herrington
Jim Herrington, marketing manager at ActionCoach

Brand Beckham is a huge phenomenon. Those endless photo shoots, a trail of product endorsements, those criticised tattoos, and that much noted sense of dress – or lack of it – all at the end of the day simply part of the football star lifestyle. But what can anyone in the mobile industry learn from that heavily over used style icon, Becks?

Just imagine that slick presentation master, Mark Mitchinson, taking a lesson from Becks in style. The next Samsung product launch would be dominated by mutterings about the recent crucifix tattoo permanently implanted on Mitch’s neck. Or imagine that dapper fellow, Peter Jones, ripping another likely lad to pieces on the Dragons Den TV series, using a nasal and high pitched monotone cacophony of footballing catch phrases. Or maybe not.

But hang on. Just think about it for a minute. Beckham has been at the top of his game for years. He has something in him that one would hope all sportsmen and sportswomen possess, at whatever level; the desire to improve.

Put aside for one moment all that nonfootball stuff about Beckham. Get back to the beautiful game. Practising for all those free kicks, putting in the extra hours of training, learning from specialised coaches, the diet, the entourage required to maintain this athlete. We’ve all heard about the dedication the man has.

Now I used to think I was a bit of a footballer. Well I thought I was, even if no

one else did. So why didn’t I make it? Dedication? Not being surrounded by the right people? Or just lack of talent? Well let us be honest, it was probably all of those reasons. But my game did get better thanks to those tortuous training sessions on freezing winter evenings, never ending drills and set plays. The fact that after 23 years of playing I was always the top scorer and was never even booked, lays testament to the foundations that were installed in me by some truly great coaches.

 
Beckham, like all sportsmen and women, has one valuable lesson he can teach anyone in business.
He can still improve
 

Beckham, like all sportsmen and women, has one valuable lesson he can teach anyone in business. He can still improve. The fact is, so can you and so can your business. There is always going to be room for improvement. Sportsmen and women from the local park, to the arenas of the Premier League and beyond, use coaches, simply to get that little bit better, that little bit more focused.

But business coaching? Business coaching is not a new phenomenon, but it is still regarded as such and seen by some as terribly American. However, thousands of businesses in the UK, in every market sector you could possibly imagine, have benefited from being coached. In simple terms that means every one of those businesses have noticed an improvement to their organisation, benefiting from significantly better results.

Now the benefits of coaching have started to penetrate the mobile industry. It has been said that the most dangerous words in business are: ‘I know’. Whether that is true or not, we all have something to learn and something we can improve on, yet is often the case that we do not realise that.

Business coaching is all about being taken out of our comfort zone. It is not about training on the latest handsets or fulfilling the never ending desire of the networks and distributors to teach us how to sell data. It is about taking what we know and attacking it from different angles.

Those little tweaks and adjustments to your business that a coach helps you make can make a mountain of difference. The mobile industry has seen change beyond perhaps what anyone ever dared imagine, some good, some bad. But the fact is the industry, and that means your business too, is having to adapt, having to get that extra little bit, having to learn new skills and put proven systems in place.

In a past life, I used to work in the poultry industry. Bizarre I know. But if a poultry producer could get just one extra gram of meat from one bird, they would. That one extra gram could mean a fortune. Most factories in Thailand process over one million birds a week. Times those million birds by that one gram, and times that by 365 days, and that is a hell a lot of chicken.

Just think about those little tweaks that a coach could make to your business. Chickens they will not be, but pounds they will. Makes you think.

 
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