In the not too distant past, when someone mentioned the word ‘coach’, it usually conjured up an image of a burly grey haired, gruff-voiced dude, yelling at the top of his voice at a bunch of football players flopping around a sports field.

This proverbial sporting coach was who he was because he knew the game so well that he was able to direct and guide the team to their top performance.

The quality of the coach was inherently connected to quality of the team’s play – if the team failed to perform, the first in line for ‘chop’ was the coach.

But recently coaching has taken on a different meaning and has become the latest executive Boardroom buzzword.

I suppose, if you think about it, having an experienced person who understands all the nuances of the game, guiding the team forward makes a great deal of sense!

But isn’t the CEO supposed to be that person? Why the need for another team leader especially after the huge remuneration that shareholders pay to their senior executives?

This is a bit different to improving knowledge and academically enhancing yourself. The discussion recently posted on this forum about the added advantages of doing an MBA is a case in point.

Coaching is a lot about finding parts of yourself not yet discovered. As obscure as this might sound, the outcome is profound. Finding out who you really are is a liberation that is indescribable. It throws off previously unrecognised shackles and emancipates the soulful parts of yourself.

Now this is starting to sound a bit dramatic, but sitting in my space`I often see CA’s who have no desire to be accountants at all. One wants to make baby clothes, the other loves teaching. Some love the sporting business and others are passionate about entrepreneurship. I think my most amazing discovery was a client who loved a particularly challenging fitness method called cross-fit.

I can tell you one thing that I have learnt in my life: the greatest joy in life is to work in a space that you are passionate about. The energy is boundless and the sky is the limit!

How so?

Well, I discovered my passion when I was 60. For my whole life I had wondered around feeling disconnected to myself. It was only through diligent work with my coach that I finally plucked up the courage to make the change. And I’ve never looked back.

But I had to cross the rubicon!

Being a CA(SA) myself I know that we are a brother/sisterhood of a particular kind – and we speak our own language.

We are practical, very inquiring and we cut to the chase! No fancy frills. Just tell it like it is and we are receptive and open. Try and present fast talking marketing bumph and we will shut you down completely!

Know this – when you are talking to us about great opportunities or money-making schemes you will have a formidable adversary in us CA’s. We will quickly see the the loopholes and the traps. So don’t try pull the wool over our eyes as you will be in for an unpleasant surprise. We are not a particular patient bunch and we don’t like sly tactics – tell it like it is!

Let’s face it. Life is becoming increasingly challenging. The fast pace of change is staggering. What applied yesterday is already falling out of vogue. New ideas and new concepts are bouncing into the ether at an alarming rate every single day.

How does one deal with this ever-changing world and stay ahead of the curve? Well, with great difficulty. The real challenge is to STAY FOCUSED. And with the constant bombardment of the internet/social media it is very easy to find oneself flitting all over the place. In the process not enough gets done.

In among all this chaos there is some order.

But it has to be created . . . . by you!

I am very big on the idea of taking responsibility. It’s a word that I hated as a child because it always came up when I did something wrong. I was prone to losing things and my mother always used to say to me “You are irresponsible!”. Accordingly I associated responsibility with having to drag in all those bad things that I had done wrong in my life and ‘face them’!

It was only much later on that I discovered that taking responsibility was really about self-empowerment.

This means I can create whatever I want!

I suppose it now raises this scary question – what do I want?

It is my view that most people avoid taking responsibility because they feel so powerless. And they feel powerless because they don’t know what they want.

Now don’t think that we as CA’s are immune to this.

In fact sometimes we are even more trapped and stuck.

It took a great deal of courage on my part to break away and make a change.

Having studied and pained my way to becoming a CA made it unthinkable that I would be anything else!

It is amazing how many CA’s I see who actually don’t want to be accountants. They don’t know it but they remain miserable because they are stuck with this label:

“I’m an accountant! And I must be and do what accountants do. Make money, become successful etc”.

They cannot see that if they followed their true passion they could live a fulfilling and rewarding life.

Now don’t let me underestimate the difficulty of facing up to ones own truth.

It’s a monumental.

But the rewards are immeasurable.

So why a coach? Where does this fit in?

  1. A coach will help you to develop a workable strategy by simply allowing you to hear your own thoughts being expressed. In his book The Empty Raincoat, Charles Handy posed the question “HOW CAN I KNOW WHAT I THINK UNTIL I HEAR MYSELF SPEAK?”
  2. The objectivity of an independent personallows for a nonjudgmental interaction which allows you to FIND NEW PARTS OF YOURSELF previously unknown.
  3. Setting goals is one thing but achieving themis an entirely different matter.  Working with another person allows for a process that HOLDS YOU ACCOUNTABLE.
  4. Regular contactensures that you OVERCOME BAD HABITS.
  5. An astutecoach will help you IDENTIFY YOUR PASSION.

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