Reasons for seeking coaching: It makes commercial sense

What do footballer Lionel Messi; diva supreme Beyoncé; and Google founder Larry Page have in common? All are high net worth individuals, who perform consistently at the top of their chosen profession. All three work on a daily basis with their own performance coach.

Whilst it might be obvious why a professional sportsman and singer depend on an external coach to reach the top of their chosen profession, many might be surprised that commercial heavy weights do the same.

Working in the commercial and public sector I’ve been able to see the difference in value that these two environments place on executive coaching. In the corporate world no self aware executive with aspirations to rise through the ranks or wrestling with a challenge, would think twice about seeking support from an executive coach. In the commercial world executive coaching is proven not only to work but to represent commercial value for money.

Globally, executive coaching is a $2bn industry which has virtually doubled in the last decade[1]. The Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development (CIPD) and the US Aberdeen Group have both observed significant payback to organisations who invest in executive coaching, through improved executive engagement and retention[2]. Price Waterhouse, in a further study, even valued the commercial payback at seven times the cost of the investment[3].

Looking back on my long career as an NHS finance director & chief finance officer, I wish I had known the value of executive coaching for myself and for my senior team. In the busyness of a finance department it’s hard to take time out to focus on yourself and your team.

Coaching offers a safe place without a specific agenda in which a leader can reflect on individual strengths and areas for development for themselves and their senior team. Working with a coach would have enabled me to distribute work based more closely on the abilities and career aspirations of my team. I can see how working with a coach helps finance leaders consider how things can be done differently, better.

Executive coaching makes a difference.


Paul Assinder

HFMA Executive Coach

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