Within the business consulting industry, the term Business Coach gets thrown around a lot. But is Coach the appropriate title for someone who you have hired to help you and your business succeed? If we are going to use the analogy with sports that is popular among consulting firms, then we would realize that a coach:
- Prepares the game plan
- Determines the training needs of the players
- Calls the plays
- Is ultimately responsible for the success or failure of the team
When you look at what business coaching services typically offer, you start to realize that the title of coach is not quite accurate. A closer look at the job of a good business consultant would indicate the title of caddie, and not coach. The differences are not subtle, and the clarification is important.
What Is A Business Caddie?
Instead of a Business Coach, you should be looking for a Business Caddie. The concept of a Business Caddie is based on the skill set required to be a successful caddie in golf. A good caddie must:
- Know the golfer
- Understand and know the tools the golfer uses to play the game
- Knows the course and can help guide the golfer in beating the competition
- Offers practical advice and moral support on how to handle difficult and even routine situations
A caddie is someone who studies the course and has solutions ready for the golfer when the ball winds up in certain spots. If the ball goes into the woods, the caddie has already studied the situation and knows how to guide the golfer out of trouble without any further penalty.
A great caddie never forgets that it is up to the golfer to make the shot and the win the game! So, the caddie does everything within their scope to help the golfer do just that.
A Business Caddie’s position is based primarily on the one on one relationship with the leader to find success. The Business Caddie knows business and competition, and uses that knowledge to help the business leader make the right decisions within the context of their company and industry.
As a golf caddie understands the best clubs for a golfer in a given situation, so must the Business Caddie know the the specific tools, resources, and people available to the leader, and be able to fluently discuss the best combination for various situations.
What A Business Caddie Is Not
In order to understand the difference between a Business Caddie and a Business Coach, we need to look at the things a caddie would not do. The caddie is not going to design full game plans for the business executive, nor is the caddie going to be held accountable for business wins or losses. A caddie does not focus on the team like a coach, but rather the leader.
The caddie is not there to train or manage employees, or determine which contracts get signed or not signed. The caddie does not have direct influence over corporate relationships, and the caddie does not have the authority to make any managerial changes.
All of the tasks a caddie does not do are usually assigned to a coach in sports. As a business executive, you want to make your own decisions and form your own relationships. You don’t want a coach telling you how to run your business or grow your career. What you need is someone who can help you plan to make the right decisions and who understands the tools you need to get the job done. That is a caddie.
Caddies Make Great Partners
A Business Caddie learns the culture, processes, and competition of a company, just like a golf caddie learns the greens of a particular golf course. A trusted Business Caddie has the freedom to connect with others throughout the organization. Couple this learning with their business know-how and they can bring excellent guidance and advice to the business executive.
Just like the title of Coach would never be appropriate for a business consultant; the title Business Caddie goes far beyond just advising or mentoring. In fact, they can be the that confidential sounding board, encourager, and moral support in tough times ever business leader needs.
You’ll notice that all the great golfers, have a great relationship and partnership with their caddies.
Come to think of it the title Coach really fits the leader of the business much better than a business consultant. In sports, Coach’s always need good advisers; likewise in business a Business Caddie can easily become a trusted adviser to a good coach / business leader!
Finding The Right Services
Business executives do not really need Business Coaches in the true sense of the word. In truth, business leaders are the golfers attempting to dominate the golf course and get the upper-hand on the competition. A business executive, like a golfer, needs a good caddie with whom they can intelligently discuss the “next hole” they have to play or the “next shot” they must take.
A Business Caddie must be fluent in both business know-how, the personality of the business leader and the culture of the company. There is no “one size fits all” or cookie cutter approach that will work.
Every business leader and company are different and for the successful ones there situations are fluid and dynamic.
So, the next time that you consider a business consulting service, you will want to give some thought as to whether or not the consulting firm you are working with is prepared to play the right role. The idea of a consultant with their standard approaches may not be your best fit. Instead, you may want a good Business Caddie learns both you and the “golf course” upon which you play.
Currently, George Black who has been a Business Caddie to many leaders of companies both large and small, is offering a chance to get acquainted and would be happy to offer you a few tips on your “game”.
Just fill out the form below and enter the code “Intro” for a free session.
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