Being Coached to Catch Your Own Fish
Let’s face it. Lebron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh (Notice the Miami Heat connection?) are all great players, but without Eric Spoelstra as head coach the dynamic trio are essentially useless as a team. Steve Jobs, founder and CEO of Apple, but without his Board of Directors, CFO, and other executives, Apple couldn’t become the giant that it is today. Likewise, President Obama is our president whom we put our trust in to effectively run our country, but without his team of advisors and economists, he’s useless alone. Get my drift? No man is an island.
We all need coaches to guide, direct, navigate, and check us. Even the best of the best needs a team of coaches or advisors or economists, if you will. Otherwise, the man as an island becomes ineffective. The same logic applies in business, but it’s startling to see the number of small to mid-size businesses and organizations who go at it alone. They spend the time developing the business, painting the picture of how the vision is to be carried out and what it will look like, yet are not equipped with the tools (coaches) who will provide the color to paint with.
So particularly for companies/organizations lacking a dedicated internal marketing team, having a marketing coach means the difference between being taught how to fish or having someone catch the fish for you. Of course, going with the latter option seems to be the most obvious choice, but there’s disadvantages to it. If someone catches your fish, you only eat what they kill. In other words, your brand, profitability, and sustainability is at the mercy of someone else. Alternatively, when you learn to catch your own fish, you can eat for a very long time.
For our clients, we prefer to position ourselves as Collaborators where we teach our clients how to fish instead of alternatively being the Consultant where we catch the fish for them. In essence, we (client included) jointly assess the organization’s competitive positioning and current situation and bring an objective approach to develop fully integrated strategies that are synergistic with the overall business goals. As a marketing coach, we provide the framework and guidance and bring a laser-like focus on the marketing objectives, but ultimately, we want our client to shift from total independence on us to eventually being equipped with the minimum tools to develop high level strategies.
At the end of the day, we want our clients to learn to catch their own fish even if they continue to lean on us for strategy development and execution.