Stepping aside can be a Winning Move

winning move

In my world as a Business Coach I work with some amazing colleagues in my team at Beckon Business.  Tom Wickham is a 2021 Olympic medalist and is seriously GOOD at his game on and off the hockey field. He helps organisations tighten their game-plan and hone their team performance skills. And the founder of Beckon Business, Ak Sabbagh, would hold an Olympic medal in Business Coaching if it was an Olympic sport. Ak has been coaching for over 20 years and what he doesn’t know about ‘sharpening-the-axe’ in businesses hasn’t been discovered yet.

However, where I see the real medal-winning performers is in our clients.

Like the medical specialist practice owner who began her business coaching journey looking to improve overall performance in an already high-functioning  team of professional practitioners.

Instead of starting with the broader team, we focused on coaching the practice leaders to refine the vision and purpose of the practice and build depth in leadership competence in the executive team.

Building up the leadership team’s bench-strength gave the business owner the freedom to step-aside from her hands-on role of leading the team and sharpen her own vision, do some blue-sky thinking about growing the business and reflect on her personal aspirations. The winning result of this two-year coaching journey culminated in the successful sale of the elite business. Not only did this free the owner to share her specialist knowledge with other professionals outside her practice, but it also expanded the capability of the specialist practice to deliver excellence to a wider community. A big win for the profession and a big win for the specialist practice. More than this, all of this took place while the world oscillated around COVID lockdowns!

Getting clear on the vision, taking regular coaching to sharpen-the-axe and having the courage and strength to look for a new owner in the midst of a pandemic, resulted in bringing cut-thru and delivering a medal winning performance. It was the shift to sharpen-the-axe in the executive team that released this business leader/owner to focus on the opportunity to succeed out of the business – a genuine win-win for everyone.

Improved overall team performance, deeper leadership capability, and time for business owners to get clear on their bigger picture – all in a day’s work at Beckon Business where we love helping our clients to sharpen-the-axe and  uncover the aspiration that brings about winning shifts for our business clients.

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The value of time

Making our business relationships work can be just as complex as making our personal relationships work (sometimes).

We at Beckon Business, in our day-to-day Business Coaching find that the focus on both internal relationships and external relationships is increasing.  Most businesses see the return on investment in relationships shows up on the bottom-line.

We often hear from our clients of the benefits that come from developing successful business relationships – and this is what they focus on in-order to build more relationships. However, whilst focussing on the benefits, we can overlook the barriers that might be holding the relationship back from growing.

Of the barriers (we have identified five) the one that personally impacts on me when considering who I will develop a business relationship with is TIME – and time is frequently the barrier we most overlook!

It has the most impact on me because it is the hardest commodity for me to find and therefore the one, I hold most closely!

I work as part of a two-person team and this relationship would never work if my team partner didn’t place the same value on time as I do and respect my time in the same way as I respect his. It is a conversation we had in the very early stages of our partnership and one in which we both had to be clear about expectations on our time inside the business.

Time can be a sticking-point, because interestingly it depends on how you measure it, in the sense that you measure the either the time or the value that comes from the time. In our team, time is measured on value not hours put in. In other words, return on investment for the time used. This works for us and the majority of businesses we work with too.

So, when developing relationships, to overcome the barrier of TIME, measure it by the value you get from the relationship not the hours you spend on it.


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