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When the going gets tough, the tough call their coaches

What? You read that right. You didn’t think they did it alone did you? Behind each success story and powerful person is a network of support.

Leadership is usually crystallised into a single person or persona. This is often the head of a company: Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, Richard Branson are the people who spring to mind at the mention of Apple, Tesla and Virgin rather than a phone, car or plane/train/radio.

Yet when we say ‘Apple did this’ or ‘Virgin did that’, we don’t actually believe that Jobs or Branson did it by themselves. We know there are thousands of people behind them, working out the details.

When a leader stands up, they are in the part of a showman and we see the finished product, the show meant for the audience. We don’t see all the hard work they’ve put in to get this far, or how many people they rely on to fulfil their roles. They certainly don’t do it without help.

A surprising number of successful business leaders have a Coach and view their Coach as a key part of their support network.

What do they get from using a coach?

When things are tough it can be hard to think clearly against all the background noise. When you aren’t clear on what course to take you can lose confidence in yourself and your abilities.

Ringfencing one-to-one time with a Coach gives you breathing space, creating a time when you are being actively listened to and being asked questions, making an environment where you can think. This window helps you articulate and explore the issues you are facing – whether practical or emotional – and in articulating and exploring options, you clarify your thoughts and path of action.

Coaching can build confidence and develop your interpersonal skills, which in turn improves how you interact with others and how easily you are able to influence them.

Picture your sports team losing at half time, having a team huddle with their coach, then coming back to win the second half. They’ve not changed their physical or technical skills in the huddle, but their Coach has focussed their minds on what they need to do.

Make no mistake, a Coach is not going to give you the answers: a Coach’s role is to help you come up with the answers yourself and give you the confidence to put them into action – in the same way that a Sports Coach doesn’t score a goal on the pitch themselves.

So if your world’s feeling a bit tough, get tough yourself. Pick up the phone.


Enhance provides coaching and mentoring for ambitious Directors.

Call us on 0203 500 6300 or contact us here to find out how we can help you.