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Why We Need Coaches And Mentors In Business Today More Than Ever

Source | | Rebecca Newton

“I need a mentor,” I thought to myself this morning while pouring my first coffee of the day and thinking about the day ahead. I actually have incredible mentors (who I’m very thankful for), so for me it’s not actually needing to find one but rather that I need to ask for, and carve out, some time with them. Many people ask about the difference between coaching and mentoring (which I’ll get to) but actually there’s a lot of power in a combination of them both, and I’m thankful that my mentors also coach me, and that I have the opportunity to do the same for others.

A greater ability to deal with change, increased leadership self-efficacy and resilience, decrease in depression, increased goal attainment and enhanced solution-focused thinking – these are just some of the positive impacts found in research to result from coaching of executives and managers in studies on organisational change.[i] In today’s turbulent business environment, many leaders need coaching and mentoring now more than ever. Here’s a few reasons why.

1.    The rush is real, yet leaders need to “go to the helicopter.” I was getting feedback from a Chairman for a CEO I am coaching. The Chairman said, “She’s great at executing, getting things done, the team is going well, but she’s not going to the helicopter.” Everyone familiar with strategy teaching will know the concept of the helicopter or balcony view – the call for leaders to step back from the day-to-day to look at the big picture. The demands on leaders to change or pivot their businesses in the current climate adds new layers of complexity and challenge. In a competition for a leader’s time, the busyness of actions that comes with those changes can win over the fundamental and primary need to ensure clarity and reflection at a strategic level. Coaches and mentors encourage leaders to create that space, get them to the helicopter and take the seat next to them.

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