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Anneli Knight
Smarter Writer

Anneli Knight is a journalist, writer and academic with a background in law and finance. She lives in Byron Bay

Anneli Knight
Smarter Writer

Anneli Knight is a journalist, writer and academic with a background in law and finance. She lives in Byron Bay

It’s not just Ennis Cehic champions who have coaches to help them become the best at their game. Business leaders are turning to coaches in droves – and finding both business and personal success.

Rob Bryant, CEO and founder of small cash lender Money3 says it made perfect sense to engage a coach to help him achieve his highest potential.

“I coached football when I was 22. I enjoyed it thoroughly and realised the contribution you can make to people’s ability by pointing out the things they can’t see themselves,” says Rob.

“The notion of a coach was extremely prominent in my thinking: you can’t achieve your best on your own. It’s those blind spots, once uncovered, that open up a whole new world for you.”

Woman running into coach's arms

Coaches facilitate reflection

Rob first received professional coaching through small group seminars, which gave him the confidence to shift from farming and agricultural contracting to launching his business, which is now publicly listed and worth more than $170 million.In the early days of Money3, 14 years ago, Rob engaged a coach to steer him through the process of building the business. He now gives all of his 360 national employees’ access to the benefits of coaching through two and three day seminars held around the country.“All those people have access to empowerment coaching,” says Rob. “The good thing about coaches is they see the simple things and just remind you. A good coach really is just like a mirror: they reflect you back to yourself. We know the answers, but they help to bring it out.”

Not all businesses need a HR manager

James Collier is co-founder and head of digital at multidisciplinary marketing agency Bohemia Group. As well as having one-on-one coaching sessions for himself, Bohemia offers every one of its 60 employees one-on-one coaching, and also has group coaching sessions for a leadership team that the coach has helped set up and develop.

“We were about 18 months in when [coach] Tim joined us. We were looking to find a more active way of helping our people, and we assessed a lot of different options, including the traditional HR function. We decided for a business our size and where we were at, we wanted someone who was more proactive with people, who would spend time looking at their whole self, not just their work self,” explains James.

The coach, though external to the business, is considered a vital member of the Bohemia team, says James. “When we talk about the role that Tim plays, he’s positioned as a resource for our people, not as a tool for our business. That’s an important distinction to make.”

“It is an opt-in program. When you first start talking to people about coaching, they’re not sure what to make of it. We didn’t want to force anyone to spend time with Tim,” says James.

The opt-in started with 90 per cent participation 18 months ago, and has risen to 100 per cent of staff, who spend time with the coach every three months. Staff one-on-one coaching sessions are entirely confidential, with no information from sessions shared with management.

The coach also works with James and the two other founders. “We work on our leadership perspective, to help us be as effective as we can be and to help us with induction processes.”

Bohemia has doubled its staff numbers from 30 to 60 during the coach’s tenure, and James says the results speak for themselves.

“He’s helping everyone in the business be more effective: have a more consistent, positive, energised view of what we do in the business, and how we all contribute to the success of that business as a whole,” says James.

“We are committed to keeping him as part of our business because the evidence is there with results: with productivity, with performance, and positivity.”

Coaching assists confident decisions

For Penny Pellier-Cuit, working with a coach involved personal one-on-one meetings. The coach helped inspire the confidence for Penny to make the shift from her corporate legal career to being 100 per cent committed to her small business as an independent consultant for an international health and wellness marketing brand.“[My coach] was instrumental to me starting my business with a very positive mindset. You can have the best business model but the most important ingredient is you, how you look at your business and your attitude towards success,” reflects Penny.As her business continued to grow, the coach helped Penny understand the people in her team, what they needed and how to give it to them, she says.“She taught me to be a leader, and to help teach and inspire the people in my organisation to do the same,” says Penny.

A good coach really is just like a mirror: they reflect you back to yourself

- Rob Bryant, CEO, Money3
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