Why your business coach isn’t your boss
I see an increasing trend of people who have started their business after many years of working for a large organisation. Ex-corporates who have either been made redundant one too many times or have left the rat race to get a better balance in their life (I’m one myself). In my experience, those who want to do well tend to seek the advice of professional business advisors. Whether a business coach or mentor or maybe even your accountant, they look for someone who can help them develop a better business. This is often where things can start to go wrong.
Filling the void
When you spend a long time in a particular situation it can be very easy to get comfortable with it. Whilst your boss can often be on the top of your list of reasons why you left work, having a boss can seem like an attractive idea. Particularly when that boss is an idealised version of what a boss should be. We convince ourselves that a boss who we’ve hired and who we pay could be a great solution. This is where so many business coaches come in. We are offered accountability, advice, support, knowledge, experience and so many other things that we need when starting and running a successful business, so we put that advisor or coach in the role of our new boss. We just need to be careful that this doesn’t come at a price.
The day that you start your own business is your independence day, the start of something new that you control, something that you are in charge of and you own. So no matter what happens in your business this is the one thing that you should never give up. Having a boss is exactly that, it’s giving up your ability to make your own decisions, it’s giving up your ability to control your own destiny. So you might wonder why anyone in this situation would want a boss or why anyone would accept this kind of working relationship.
So who fault is that?
The answer is that fault lies on both sides of the relationship. The reason why people relinquish control to someone else for the decisions is that in doing so we have a safety net in place, we have someone to blame if things don’t go the way that we want. We want someone to lead us because it is a lot more challenging to lead ourselves
The other side of the coin is that many business coaches and advisors are ex-corporates themselves. They have spent years managing staff as well as fulfilling their own job role and expertise. So when faced with someone who wants/needs their help they fall back into the leader/manager role, one in which they have been comfortable for so long.
So what’s the solution?
Whether you’re a business advisor or someone who is looking for support in developing your business, it is still important to seek advice and support but to do so you have to forge a new kind of relationship. It’s not about boss and employee, nor is it about expert and novice, it is two individuals coming together to create something that neither of them could on their own. The act of co-creation makes every business interaction unique and every relationship unique. This is how we can develop a business relationship where both parties are equal and both get the true benefit from working with each other.
If you’ve just hired a business coach and realised that you got another boss then sack this one as well and hire yourself a co-creator. Someone who views you as an equal in the relationship and will let you stay in charge of your own business.