How can you defy challenging times and achieve extraordinary performance?


A lot has changed in our world today. Every business leader is expected to up their performance in order to effectively manage the complexities that are thrown at us every day. More is being demanded of every individual contributor. How can you bring your best self to your work and win? How can organisations unlock performance in every talent they bring to the marketplace? As the speed of disruption across all industries accelerate and the future of work becomes more volatile, the one thing that you need to super-charge your performance despite the challenges is …coaching. Yes, hire a coach! You may say, I am doing fine, do I need a coach? Does not having a coach mean that I need help and that I am not good enough?

The answer is simple – think about Christiano Ronaldo, Serena Williams, Lebron James, etc. These are elite professionals at the pinnacle of performance. Do they still work with Coaches? Of course, yes. Can you imagine that any of them do not have a coach? Of course not! What is your reason for bucking the trend? Why shouldn’t successful knowledge workers (who are also professionals by any definition) have a coach? Are you not trying to get better and achieve higher levels of professional success? Do you have a coach in your corner, or you have an empty corner?

Perceptions about coaching have changed remarkably in the last decade. Coaching is not for those who are struggling or on PIP (Performance Improvement Program). Several global organisations are employing the services of coaches to coach their professionals. Many top CEOs today speak proudly about the immense support they have received from their coaches and encourage others to do the same. For example, we know Alan Mulally, the former CEO of Ford, who was ranked by Fortune in 2014 as the third-greatest leader in the world, behind Pope Frances and Angela Merkel was coached by Marshall Goldsmith. Currently, I am working with over 25 CEOs who have made a deliberate decision to go on a 12-month coaching program to improve their leadership effectiveness. These are successful individuals who are on a journey to get even better.

I have coached people at all levels. Coaching works for first level staff, middle level managers and C-Suite executives. So, if you are new to coaching, you may be wondering what does coaching look like. This depends on the type of coach you hire. If you hire an executive educator and coach like me, there is a lot we can do together to achieve personal and business transformation. As a Marshall Goldsmith Certified Executive Coach, I will help you achieve a positive, long-term, measurable change in your leadership behaviour. I will help you see that the behaviours and habits that have taken you to your current level of success might not be the behaviours and habits that will take you to the next level of success. As Marshall Goldsmith puts it “What Got You Here Won’t Get You There” and so you need to adapt.

I also work with leaders to enhance their leadership effectiveness and professional success using my LeadershipCORE methodology. It is a very simple but robust process that gets you to the core of your leadership and opens up pathways for higher levels of leadership effectiveness and professional success. This is how the process works:

  1. First, I coach you to gain a deeper understanding of your Context and harvest insights that are useful for your future. What do you believe to be true about your situation and teams? We chip away at the assumptions until we get to the truth. On some occasions we conduct a feedback surveys to gain a deeper understanding of the leader’s context.
  2. Second, I support you to define the Outcomes you need to achieve. And I mean outcomes not priorities. We set SMART Outcomes and track them. But these outcomes must be grounded in a deeper purpose that you care about. This is what gives you energy to pursue them. It makes the journey to professional success and achievement more meaningful.
  3. Third, we then identify strategies to Renew your leadership and remain resilient in the face of daunting challenges. It is preposterous to assume that effective leadership and professional success is easy to achieve and there are no challenges. There are fears within and fights on the outside. How do you overcome them?
  4. As a leader you work through people and your success is based on those in your network. You rely on the energies and enthusiasm of your team or network. And there are levers leaders can pull to raise the energy levels in their teams and organisations. So, I work with leaders to Energize their stakeholders and teams so they can also excel at what they do.

The above process may seem simple, but it works because there is clarity, accountability and support to make change happen. That is the power of coaching.

One of my recent coaching clients has become an ardent advocate of coaching after experiencing the transformative effects of coaching. I coached this leader when he was promoted to the role of CFO in the middle of the pandemic in 2020. After 3 coaching sessions he paid me to coach all his direct reports. There were changes in the organisation and so he had new direct reports assigned to him.

He paid so that I could coach them as well. One of the direct reports I coached paid for extra coaching sessions for himself. I asked the CFO a simple question. This is a significant investment. Why are you doing this? (I kind of knew the reason but I wanted to hear from the horse’s own mouth) He simply said. “I know what I have been through and it has benefited me. I know I will get my money back. They will become better, and I share in their benefits”.

In less than 12 months this leader is being considered for a higher role. The return on investment in coaching is phenomenal. This is not just a single case. All my coaching clients (100%) acknowledge that my coaching has made a positive impact on their leadership. Also, studies conducted by the International Coaching Federation put the ROI on Coaching as high as over 700%.

It can sometimes be difficult for some leaders to admit that they need to improve and be willing to take action. The sky is the limit once you come to that conclusion. If leaders are willing to go through the LeadershipCORE coaching process and if they are given the support, they need – they will almost always get better and influence their organisations in significant ways.

And, that is the spirit underlying all of my coaching. Every leader can benefit from coaching. Coaching is for anyone who wants to get better. It will help anyone to defy the challenging times ahead and achieve extraordinary performance!

Robert Marshall Bennin, CPTD, CFA, FIoD, is a Certified Executive Educator and Coach. He is the Founder and Chief Learning Strategist at TEMPLE Advisory, ( a specialist leadership development, executive coaching and strategy consulting firm focused on accelerating enterprise transformation. As an executive educator and coach, Robert assists highly capable leaders to get even better by facilitating their learning, enabling them to think strategically and expand their capacity for personal leadership and enterprise transformation. Robert is a Marshall Goldsmith Certified Executive Coach. He is also a Leadership Subject Matter Expert on the MBA Program at the African Leadership University in Rwanda.

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