Business Mentor vs Business Coach.
Business Mentor vs Business Coach – The Battle of Wits.
I’ve got a lot of time for coaches. As experts in business, they take a lot of beating and, if you find a good one, over the long stretch they can be quite valuable. They will often – as coaches in other fields do – take you beyond what your capabilities are and, if they are especially good, they will instil in you a new paradigm, a new level of operation, but first you have to know the real difference between a business mentor Vs business coach and what they can do to help you grow your business.
The problem is, finding that kind of coach is a bit of a hit-and-miss affair.
You see, there’s many a coach who, complete with PhD or MBA, looks like an embryo, still has acne and the manufacturer’s plastic wrapping. And these fresh-faced young‘ins, their professors’ words still ringing in their ears, go to places like Bains, PwC, EY on a milk round and, on the back of that alone (‘though not necessarily with these firms, m’learned chums), gets to gaslight people who have had figuratively centuries of experience with a foggy iridescence gleaned mostly from a book or six from some ivory gleaming spire or other.
And this background is perhaps the reason why such whipper-snappers get snapped up by companies as Managing Directors who, with years of book receipts and library cards behind them, slowly turn the company from raging bull to bear with a sore head in less time than it takes to say “degree in stupidity”. So what is the real difference working with a business mentor Vs business coach?
Books will teach you what to do.
Don’t get me wrong – education is important: but it’s merely the design. If you want to actually want to live in your house, you want to transform that design into foundations, bricks, cement, windows and roof, put together just so that a big, bad gust of wind/maniac with an articulated juggernaut doesn’t blow or mow it down. Those bricks, that cement, those rafters and tiles and, of course, the transparent draught-proofing all come from experience – the oft-referred-to school of hard knocks.
Books tell you what works, obviously, but sometimes the path between one hillock of achievement and the next is a mere footstep wide, and the plunge therefrom can seriously damage your wealth. And, whilst some books also teach you some of the things that have caused others to suffer that plunge, reading is not experiencing.
Information is not knowledge.
Books contain information. Information has to be turned into knowledge so you understand it, for to understand is to be wise, and that only comes with experience. There is an old maxim that goes: no teacher, however skilled, can teach anyone anything – it’s physically, biologically and practically impossible. Yes, a teacher can show you how to do things and, theoretically, you have the knowledge to regurgitate in an exam, but you have to do it yourself to be able to learn it. As the ancient Greek saying goes: “I hear and I forget, I see and I remember, I do and I understand.”
The Business Mentor.
And so we come to the Business Mentor, the rugged Sherpa of business. Of course, it’s unlikely that Tensing Norgay or his other Nepalese chums established a grocery run to the top of Everest prior to 1953, or there would have been another name on that particular accolade than that of the New Zealand shepherd. But glossing over that, a mentor will have been where you are going: after all, there’s nothing new under that big, friendly yellow psychopath, and a business mentor worth his weight in absinthe is guaranteed to know where the pitfalls, pratfalls and moss-covered adder pits are so that you can be safely steered around or between them. Now you know the difference between a business mentoring Vs business coaching and why a business mentor comes with real hands-on experiences which he or she has had in the trenches.
Moe Nawaz: Mentor & Strategic Advisor to FTSE 100 Leaders