Coaches guide glass execs to make worst tolerable and best better
Managers should enlist the help of business coaches during two critical times: When a company exudes health and when it struggles along, says John Heinaman, president of Heinaman Contract Glazing in Lake Forest, Calif.
“When things are going well, when you least think you need a consultant, that’s an excellent time to bring someone in so you can maximize the good things going for you and make them even better,” Heinaman says. “When you are in trouble, though, it’s absolutely necessary to get the insight of an outsider.”
Heinaman began bringing in consultants to act as coaches for his management team about five years ago.
Business coaches differ from traditional consultants because they work closely and frequently with managers to guide them through all aspects of a business, Heinaman says. Traditional “consultants may come in to deal with one specific problem. They analyze it, respond, make recommendations and they’re gone.”
Richard Voreis, chief executive officer of Consulting Collaborative in Dallas, serves as one such coach for executives in the glass industry.
A common business-coaching process for Voreis involves biweekly telephone conferences with the managers he works with. A coach provides “a second opinion regarding a challenging situation in a real-life time frame, [helps] implement strategic plans and projects, mentors and develops key employees, or just fine-tunes your business,” Voreis says.
While most executives experience some benefits from coaching, some managers, particularly those in small- and medium-size businesses, aren’t willing to take on the extra costs, Voreis says.
Larry Patterson, president and owner of Glass Doctor in Dallas, understands the reluctance from some managers to invest in outside help. However, “Coaching ends up being one of your smaller expenses every month and it can produce big results,” he says. “You’re going to spend the money one way or another—either on the coaches or through missed opportunities.”