Coaching is a partnership
between the leader and the coach
Tim VanDerKamp has been coaching top executives at Law Firms and other high-pressure industries for years. His ability to bring clarity to situations has enabled executives to thrive.
It's Lonely at the Top
But it doesn't have to be – We have heard this over and over from business owners and top tier executives. At the highest level, executives literally feel like they don’t have anyone they can talk to; and this makes sense – everyone around them is impacted by every decision they make. Even those who are intelligent enough to offer something of value to the conversation still have their own agenda - even if that agenda is just making sure the relationship remains positive. Often business owners never get to celebrate their successes because there isn’t anyone around who understands what a big deal it is to have landed a big sale, or launched a new campaign, or opened a new branch office. It’s good to be on top – but can also be very lonely.
Our Areas of Expertise
The Master Tactician
One of the unfortunately widely held views in the coaching industry is that “mindset” is eight five percent of the game when it comes to becoming successful in your life or in your business. Most of the big motivational speakers are out there selling mindset as the ultimate answer. And there is NO DOUBT that mindset is important - but to put it on a pedestal this way, creates a skewed picture.
For instance, one of my favorite coaches, and one of the highest paid coaches of all time, is always teaching psychology, habit building, motivation, clarity, and mindset of highly successful people. He basically helps you change your mind, and your personal habits. There is no doubt that all of this is critical to become successful. But here is the thing that all these big time motivational speakers ALWAYS leave out: The tactics they used to ACTUALLY become successful.
I was listening to a couple of self-help guru’s talk online in an interview one day, and one of them asked the other what his first actual project was that launched him into success. He started talking about how they contacted a HUGE electronics manufacturer because they saw an ad on television; he got the director of the program on the phone, and sold them a partnership program that netted them tons of money, along with tens of thousands of e-mail addresses he was able to collect in the process. He wasn’t talking about his “mindset” or his motivation. He was talking about what he DID - and what he did had nothing to do with his personal habits or psychology (although everything is psychology to some degree). He then went on to talk about other similar huge projects he undertook. It wasn’t his mindset that changed his life – it was the tactics he used out in the field that made his career take off like a rocket.
Tactics are a BIG DEAL! In fact, if you attend Harvard Business School, they teach their students by the “case study method.” They recreate scenarios for their students (from past big business decisions) in which the student is given the scenario, and instructed to make decisions as if they were the CEO or executive team leader on the problem or opportunity. Then they are evaluated on their thinking, and the tactics they chose to use to address the issue/capitalize on the opportunity. You know what other schools tend to do? Teach you broad generalizations about business. They teach students the terms, the tools, and broad philosophy of business. You get that in Harvard as well, but you are tested on your tactics and execution while using those tools and knowledge base – not your psychology or personal habits.
So how do you become a master tactician? One method is to get yourself in front of thousands of business cases and see the various problems, and patterns, and experience what works and what doesn’t. Another way is to have a sort of obsession with business cases and business literature – studying what worked, and what didn’t, and trying to glean every single lesson from others that you can. Keeping yourself current is a must – in the ever-changing digital age, what worked last month may not work at all this month. Read – a lot. Some sources say that CEO’s read up to six hundred books per year – the average person reads six. And lastly – and this is the one that almost every major motivational speaker did: You go apprentice to a master tactician, and you learn from them. What did Tim, our primary Executive Coach do? He did ALL of these!
These are just some of the ways a person might become a master tactician, but if you are considering a coach, this MUST be something you look for. Many coaches offer philosophy, accountability, and some sort of framework to work within. They offer lots of psychology, and evaluation tools to provide feedback. But this is where a lot of coaches hit the end of their usefulness. But the great coach will be able to help you develop tactics, and be there to help you implement them to make sure they succeed. They will know if you are about to make an error that is well known to be an error (having studied lots of business mistakes). They will be able to help you develop plans, processes, and strategies to execute your vision. If your coach cannot do this for you, you are really selling yourself short.