The Power of Coaching – How To Make 2012 Your Best Ever Year.
Case Study – Interview by Laura L Brummer with David McAvoy, retired Regional Managing Director of one of the largest financial services companies in the UK.
Several years ago, David McAvoy became Regional Managing Director of the Regulated Sales Force for one of the largest financial services companies in the UK. There were many positive aspects of David’s new job – good people, a good product and a huge customer base.
But the job brought frustrations for David as well. His team was the worst performing region, attaining only 60% of its annual sales targets. In addition, staff satisfaction was at an all-time low; recruitment was slow and attrition was fast.
On a personal level, David had been giving everything of himself to the job, but because progress was slow he wasn’t satisfied. His children didn’t see him much and although she was supportive, his wife didn’t really understand David’s issues. (Does this sound familiar to your current situation?)
The Need for Change
It was at this point that David knew he needed to make some big changes at work and at home. With the help of a coach David was able to do just that. The coach used a proven method that uses a simple, straightforward approach that suited David’s personal style. He was asked a series of questions designed to establish what was most important to David and what goals he might set himself to experience a successful year, through continuous improvement.
The questions really made him think deeply about what was important in his life and how he might achieve success:
- What did you accomplish last year?
- What were your biggest disappointments?
- How do you limit yourself and how do you stop?
- What roles do you play in your life?
- What are your top ten goals for next year?
- How can you make sure you achieve these goals?
The coach walked David through the questions, helping him to identify his accomplishments, his disappointments and the lessons he could learn from what happened in the past year.
“I realised that I had accomplished some really great things but had never really acknowledged them,” explains David. “Once I reflected on all the things I had done, I felt good. I felt re-energised in a positive way.”
David’s next task was to guide the “Big Boys” through the same process he had been through. He wanted his board and then the whole team to go through the coaching model and develop a team strategy for the next year. “The process was an absolute revelation to us because it was so simple”, says David. “We had really convoluted, complex plans in the past. Each year we would take them out of a drawer and dust them off so we could draw up goals for the new year”. But this stop/start strategy hadn’t worked well to date.
The new process changed all that, because David put all of his managers and sales staff through the process. Many were skeptical, asking if it really was important and if the Region could afford to take the sales force off the road for a few days. Some even suggested that the managers filter the process down to the rest of the team.
Nevertheless, David stood firm, knowing he had an unbelievably effective tool in his hands. He insisted that each member of the management team go through the process on a one to one basis with a qualified coach. “I was determined not to cut corners, and more importantly, not to allow management to dilute the power of this little gem.” David went a step further by actually putting his support team – administrative assistants, secretaries, messengers and others – through the coaching as well.
The coaches helped to solidify the focus of David’s team. “We started to understand each other abit more and we became more trusting and forgiving,” explains David. “It helped turn weak goals into powerful goals with real purpose, resulting in an increase in productivity.”
Bringing the coaching to life
After completing the process with his team, David realised he needed to bring it to life for the business. “In a moment of madness, I put my personal plan in a frame and stuck it on the door of my office for all to see!” he says. This is what David’s team and anyone who walked into the office would read:
My Top 10 Goals For A Best Year Yet Are To:
- Deliver my targets.
- Spend one day with EVERY manager.
- Maximise the effectiveness of the campaign and measure improvements.
- Remove barriers for open communication with all staff.
- Ensure we live up to the expectations of our investors.
- Attend all my children’s school events.
- Share in my wife’s successes and failures, giving quality time in support of her aspirations.
- See my parents at least once a month.
- Exercise three times a week, every week.
- Take all of my vacations.
“I felt naked with all my guidelines and paradigms and goals on the wall. But in a weird way it was strangely satisfying”. David was leading his team by example.
David’s staff also made sure that the bottom of every single piece of documentation that left the office, including emails, memos and newsletters, stated; ‘This is our Best Year Yet’. “By including this important declaration, even those who hadn’t been through the programme yet began to get excited about what the coaching was doing for the team,” explains David.
The family side
The ‘Best Year Yet’ coach asked David questions about his home and family as well as his business aspirations – issues he hadn’t seriously considered before, such as:-
- What do you want out of life?
- Do you have a personal plan?
- Does that plan involve home?
- Where are you spending your time?
“The whole review was very powerful to me,” says David. “I was so wrapped up in the business I wasn’t thinking about what else was really important.”
David’s wife completed the plan as well. “It led us to a really interesting conversation”, reflects David. “It was quite weird, we’d been married 15 years and I’d never really talked to her about ‘her’ aspirations. She told me for the first time all the little things I had been doing that really annoyed her, like calling her part time job the ‘pocket-money’ job!”
The experience was a bonding one for both David and his family as the changes that the coach brought about in David made a difference to his children too. “I suddenly started to turn up to their school events. I couldn’t believe how shocked they were,” explains David. “I suppose I hadn’t realised how important it was to them – quite simply I started getting the balance right and started to feel quite good.”
The Rise to the Top
Results soon began to surface on the business side as well. In less than two years David’s Region quickly rose from last place to the top Region of the year. “We were unstoppable. We became the first Region to deliver 100% plus performance. Our performance was absolutely fantastic,” exclaims David. “And for the next four years, our performance improved year on year against ever increasing targets!”
“I believe we were successful because we were all achieving our personal goals,” he says. “As a result, the morale and motivation of my staff went through the roof.”
To David the most satisfying outcome of all were the results of the year’s Staff Satisfaction Survey. Satisfaction had increased from a low point of 41% to 92% within four years, the highest score of any other Region.
David is thrilled that his team followed along with him. “It meant that each and every one of my team had achieved their personal best year ever”, he says. “And that meant the business achieved its best year, year after year.”
The results prove that the investment in a coach alongside a structured goal orientated system was worth the time, energy and hard work for David and his team. “I honestly do not believe that we would have tackled our situation if it hadn’t been for the Best Year Yet coaching system,” says David, who went on to list some incredible business results:
- Rose to the top region within 2 years.
- Added £7 million to the bottom line during the first 2 years.
- Income from sales grew 87% over a five year period.
- 80% of David’s team went on to senior roles in the Group.
- Staff satisfaction increased from 41% to 92% – the best score in the Country.
- Became the first team to deliver 100% plus performance in a tough and stretching performance climate.
- Created a high performance, high value culture.
- Learned to focus on results that matter.
- Attained alignment and teamwork.
“The cost of ‘Best Year Yet’ doesn’t even register when measured against the gains,” says David. “It is insignificant when you look at what it delivered to me and my team.” David is also proud of the personal results that the process made possible as well:
- He and his wife are stronger than ever.
- His children get to see him more, because work success has enabled him to delegate and rely on the power of ‘the system’.
- He was asked to join the Executive team.
- With a further promotion, he is now responsible for over 4,000 staff and bringing Best Year Yet to them.
If you would like to experience the Best Year Yet coaching system, Leadership Expert™ has thoroughly researched, tried and tested the programme and it carries my full endorsement. I have signed up to an affiliate scheme and negotiated a ‘crazy’ price, added to an exclusive offer to all my subscribers to receive free coaching to get you started. So for less than £100 you can experience best year yet for yourself. Along with it comes:
- Completion of the 10 power questions designed to challenge your current thoughts and actions.
- 12 month on-line goal setting and tracking programme.
- 12 months of leadership resources to enhance your skills in leadership and performance management.
- 12 monthly programmes of leadership techniques to help you formulate winning strategies.
- Free coaching session to get you started on making 2012 your best year yet.
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