Nov 12, 2010

BEST ADVICE FOR SUCCESS, part 1 – ‘’Hire a coach’’, Eric Schmidt CEO, Google

One of great advantages of having your own blog is the ability to write and publish whatever you think and like, without having to ask the boss or Harvard philosophy department what they think about it.

Although I do like getting feedback, always consider what people like, find helpful or entertaining. Please keep sending me your thoughts even by e-mail if you do not like leaving a comment on the blog.

I came up with selection of best advice from business leaders everyone heard of. I picked their secrets or best advice from various interviews in New York Times, Fortune, Entrepreneur, or from their numerous keynotes.

You will find series of blog posts featuring best of the best. (BTW have you subscribed for e-mail updates yet, and why not?) All I ask you is to find few minutes to check out what resonates with you and if you find something - go and give it your best.

1. Eric Schmidt Chairman and CEO, Google: "My advice to you is to hire a coach."

Schmidt was advised to have a coach in 2001. He initially resented the advice.

''After all, I was a CEO. '' he said. ''I was pretty experienced. Why would I need a coach? Am I doing something wrong? My argument was, How could a coach advise me if I'm the best person in the world at this?

But that's not what a coach does. The coach doesn't have to play the sport as well as you do. They have to watch you and get you to be your best. In the business context a coach is not a repetitious coach. A coach is somebody who looks at something with another set of eyes, describes it to you in (his) words, and discusses how to approach the problem.''

Bill Campbell (a former college football coach) became a trusted advisor and coach to CEO of Google. They say Bill is the most confidential advisor in Silicon Valley, guru to Apple and Google, shaping the character of an industry.

"There's something deeply human about him." Steve Jobs says about Bill.

Eric Schmidt further explains how he changed his mind about having a coach, ''Once I realized I could trust him and that he could help me with perspective, I decided this was a great idea. When there is a business conflict you tend to get rat-holed into it. Bill's general advice has been to raise one step higher, above the person on the other side of the table, and to take the long view. He'll say, "You're letting it bother you. Don't."

Today, Eric Schmidt says that every successful person needs a coach, and that advice to have a coach was the best advice he ever got.

Now here is my opinion you might or might not agree with. And here is my experience.

My latest coach was someone who has done many things before I did them, so it is also mentoring relationship but it definitely motivated me learn more, do things faster and be more confident and determined to try things. I tried things I thought I couldn’t do, knowing I have someone who is there for me, with whom I can disagree, and who can help me decide where I want to focus or get me on the right track.

The most important thing for me was trust in this person, even personal ‘’chemistry’’, and belief that he can help me instead of trying to fix me, or make me be someone else. I benefit from feeling accountable to my coach and I take more serious action.

I would say question or fire a coach or consultant who tries to fix you and sticks questionnaire in your face from the day one. Question all consultants who just tell you what to do more, what to do less, not having a real insight of who you are or where you’re coming from and what matters to you.

You might do all questionnaires you want, just don’t make questionnaires, assessments or reports central to your coaching relationship.

If you are considering coaching sessions for you or your employees please check out COACHING PAGE or send me an e-mail with any question you might have.

In the next post expect more success advice from the leaders of the world’s most famous organizations. If you have a great advice, or just an opinion I am looking forward to hear it.

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