I love podcasts. They often inspire me and get me thinking about new ideas to help my coaching clients.
Last weekend I was writing themes for blogs when a guy called Atul Gawande (a surgeon, writer, and public health leader) started to speak about childbirth, mortality and the medical profession.
Part way in, I had to hit pause. Why?
At the time, I was sat in the middle of a tennis club while my son was having a tennis lesson. Headphones on, Atul’s description transported to me to the environment he was describing, and it caught my breath. Medical teams working endlessly to save children during childbirth against all odds.
I looked around, composed myself and turned it back on. It was compelling listening.
Atul goes on to share how he discovered the value of coaching and how this has transformed him and many professionals he works with.
He described the ‘typical’ journey all professionals take (tweaked slightly). We study hard, qualify and can now do the job as experts. Happy days, right?
But are professionals really finished once they’re qualified, and if not, how do the very best get better at what they are doing?
In his podcast, Atul describes the lightbulb moment for him. He was speaking to a professional musician and found out he used a coach. Atul was taken aback, but to the musician, having a coach to keep him at his best and make him even better was a no-brainer. Atul subsequently used coaches and saw the performance of himself and many medical teams shift massively.
In our own blogs, we’ve mentioned tennis as a parallel. It’s almost impossible to imagine a professional tennis player without a coach to mentor, push, and attune their skills, but it seems that many people haven’t yet considered or don’t believe that coaching is for them – just like Atul.
Here’s the key. If you’re a professional, and you give a damn about your performance, resilience or impact, get a coach. If you’re struggling in those leadership moments or wondering whether your job is for you, get a coach. If you want to stand out, get a coach. It might just be the best thing you’ve ever done.
And if you don’t believe me, take a listen to Atul Ted.