“Last year, my employers offered me a promotion into general management. I accepted the position without hesitation. After all, who wouldn’t accept an upward career move accompanied by increased income?
They told me their motivation for promoting me was my excellent past performance as an energetic and successful deal clincher. I was really excited by this opportunity to advance myself!
After my promotion, I realised I was totally unprepared for the new role, and no-one had time to guide me. My reporting lines and business relationships changed. My former work buddies no longer included me, and my peers didn’t take me seriously as a newbie manager. I was miserable and lonely and had only a vague idea of what was expected of me. After a few months, I resigned.”
These words from a current coaching client really say it all. She recently approached me to help her overcome her fears around taking on another management position after this bad experience.
Too many companies overlook the fact that there is a need for a comprehensive onboarding strategy, even when an individual is promoted from within.
To be successful newly promoted managers and leaders need to develop different ways of doing things. They need to make the shift from task level thinking to strategic thinking. And as reporting lines and expectations change, they need support to develop new relationships inside and outside the organisation.
Being a new leader can be lonely. A new role comes with a new set of unknowns. And no matter how much support the organisation provides, bringing in an external coach can be very effective to accelerate the adaptive process and help the newbie executive through the transition.
A skilled coach will help new executives integrate in a more structured way. The coach can work with the executive to set their agenda for the first three months and practice their newly acquired leadership skills in a confidential and supportive space.
At Idea Alive SA we work with corporate organisations and entrepreneurs to help them successfully onboard their new hires by clarifying and managing the expectations of key people involved in the process.
Losing new senior hires can be an expensive loss for any organisation, bringing in a skilled coach can help you retain your new talent.
Lynne Frost, MD & Head Coach, Idea Alive SA
Over the past few years, books such as “Good to Great” by Jim Collins have created serious interest and major growth in the area of business coaching. Although many executives and business owners are familiar with consultants as individuals or teams who enter the business to impart expertise, not so many understand what a business coach does. Essentially the main difference lies in the focus; the consultant focuses on business processes whereas the coach focuses on you.
So how do these two services differ? The consultant enters a challenging business scenario armed with the expertise to come up with possible solutions. The business coach interacts with the individuals empowering them to uncover and implement their own solutions. Essentially, the business coach focuses on behaviour, values and habits that shape processes and performance.
Both coaches and consultants can be vital to business success; but may be required in different scenarios, for instance
The consultant will offer advice, but the coach will empower and support you in uncovering your own. Consultants will present a report of their findings whereas the coach will deliver feedback to empower you to question and review your own thinking and behaviour.
I’ve used both interventions through the course of my professional life and I would not have achieved success without either one. The key was knowing who to call … and when. If I could give an executive or entrepreneur advice, it would be to surround yourself with a strong team. There’s no way of guaranteeing success, but there are things you can do to enhance your chances and avoid costly mistakes along the way.
I wish I’d known this at the beginning of my entrepreneurial career .. although it is the reason I started Idea Alive.
Lynne Frost is the founder and managing director of Idea Alive - a coaching business that works with Executives and Entrepreneurs.
For more information go to: www.ideaaliveSA.co.za
How it began …
My journey began 20 years ago with a call from Khulisa’s founder, Lesley Ann van Selm. She explained that she had developed a programme to rehabilitate youthful ex-offenders; and had arranged for a pilot group of these young offenders, then inmates of Leeukop prison in Johannesburg, to be paroled into her care.
Whilst I was filled with admiration for Lesley Ann’s latest endeavour towards saving our world, her next request took me somewhat by surprise.
“Please come and meet these young men,” she pleaded, “They are amazing people, and I would really like you to consider taking on three of them on as interns in your company.”
“Have you gone completely mad?” is how I recall my response!
My company was, after all, an extremely conservative recruitment and human resources firm, specialising in placing senior management and executive candidates. How on earth could I justify bringing former inmates into such a set up?
Needless to say, in her inimitable and most persuasive way, Lesley Ann, talked me into meeting a group of these former offenders, and, naturally, I was deeply touched and impressed by their passionate wish to make the very most of this second chance.
So that’s how three ex-offenders came to be employed as interns in my company for a period of two years, some twenty years ago.
It wasn’t all plain sailing!
Read how we integrated these offenders into our office environment and meet some of the successes that came out of the programme.
It’s no secret that as an entrepreneur, you generally want more business; and more customers who place regular orders with you. These orders will translate into money & growth for you and your business. However, the stark reality is that most of the entrepreneurs that I meet are dependent on only one or two customers. Of even greater concern is that they have no clear idea of how, systematically, effectively & continuously, to attract new business.
At Idea Alive SA one of our main focus areas is coaching entrepreneurs & business owners to help them to develop and manage a sales pipeline. This is a ten session process that we customise for your company. In brief, the first four sessions look something like this:
Session One: Before the Pipeline
We work with you in the first coaching session to establish that your offering is VIABLE. In other words, if your product or service was available today, and customers knew about it – would they buy it from you?
Session Two: Setting up the Pipeline
So you’ve established that your offering is viable, and you have it ready to launch into the market; now is the time to commence building your sales pipeline.
You and your Idea Alive SA coach will start by unpacking your ideas around your target market & customers. Then we’ll do a reality check. At this point you don’t know much about these customers. And they know nothing about you!!
Session Three: Qualifying the Leads
In Session Three, with the help from your Idea Alive SA coach, you will start the process of generating leads. This step includes sorting out high, medium and low potential leads; so that you can focus your energy on the right things.
Session Four: Making the approach
Most likely you will want to focus on the medium and high potential customers. With help from your Coach, you will start designing the best ways to approach these customers.
At the end of each session you and your Coach will agree on what has to be accomplished before the next session; your coach will help you to frame this as a specific Goal (or Goals); and work with you on the actions steps to move you to the next level.
The coaching process through Idea Alive SA can help you to access the very best of yourself, and to change your thinking in ways you never thought possible.
Business Coach MD – Idea Alive SA
Begin by following the first three steps of ‘The Magic Formula’
I am a Business Coach, and my work brings me into contact with many Entrepreneurs in all sorts of businesses. Mostly their companies are at early stage, growing or just ‘stuck’. When I ask them how I can help, they ask me ‘How can I increase my sales?’ Then they tell me they have a couple of clients that they depend on for survival, but struggle to bring in new customers. So we start our coaching sessions by figuring out what’s happening in their business environment; then move on towards finding realistic ways to increase sales and achieve success.
One of my opening questions is always ‘If you double or triple your sales, how will this impact on your capacity to deliver?’ Inevitably, my entrepreneurs tell me not to worry, they’ll figure that out! And mostly they do, even if there are a few hiccups along the way. (But that’s another story.)
So over my years of working with Entrepreneurs I have developed a Magic Formula to help them to attract new business.
No … it doesn’t include a wand or a wizard or even any broomsticks. It’s mostly just about gaining awareness, and using that awareness to know where to direct their energy.
And yes … It’s a formula that has to be applied consistently, every single day.
First of all, think about what business problem your company can solve?
And how you can make customers aware of your brand of magic?
From as many customers as possible find the answers to these questions: What do they read? What do they need? Where do they look? Where do they hang out? How can you best get their attention?
Critically assess your external environment and gain knowledge of the risks & opportunities out there and how that could affect your business. Being aware of what’s going on will help you to build your magic circle of resilience.
Remember there are plenty of competitive hobgoblins lurking around your business. They want the biggest market share for themselves. As you get better at your business, they may even use your improved offering, to improve their own. So keep strengthening your magic circle, and always be aware of the competitors and market forces circling that could make your magic less powerful.
Put together Spells 1 & 2, and prepare a magic potion to make them aware of you!