Before the airplane touched-down in Guyana, I had only met one person who’d ever been there before. In fact, most people I talk to, and not just Americans, think it’s in Africa. It’s actually right next to Venezuela , Brazil, and Suriname.
Once I stepped out of the plane, coming from the middle of winter in the US, I was greeted by the warmth of dawn in this tropical jungle climate.
And soon enough, there was Peter. My client who had requested that I visit his facility and spend the next 4 days going deeply into his management and financial infrastructures, implementing what we have been coaching on for the past year, as well as meet, assess, and train his staff.
The technology of mobility is so incredible in today’s business world. I am able to coach clients in any sector of the world, and from any location, given a high-speed WIFI connection. I also experience how emotionally invested and deep my relationships become with the business owners I work with in helping them achieve what they previously thought was impossible.
Eye to Eye, Face to Face
And as connected as I feel with my clients, there is nothing that can replace the traditional way of working face-to-face with a business owner and their staff. Working ON the business while literally being inside of it.
After arriving, I toured Indesco’s facility. They distribute industrial equipment and supplies for several different industries such as fuel, agriculture, manufacturing, and mining across Guyana and the Caribbean. There was something about walking around, getting the tour, meeting the staff and seeing where it all happens, that instantly gave me more context for all of our previous business conversations. Understanding the culture of Guyana in itself, also contributed to getting Peter’s business world on another level.
I interviewed all of his staff and learned about how they each related to the business in their own unique way, which gave me more of a 360 degree view of Indesco. It was invaluable. In fact, they made my job a lot easier as some employees brought terrific insights into some of the breakdowns of Indesco’s customer delivery systems that were hurting the business.
After meeting his staff, his living organizational chart and strategy became more clear and we discussed the personnel architecture that needed to shift in order to serve the business on where it is growing towards.
Later, we dove deeply into some executive coaching and helped him build out some of his leadership and management systems that sorely needed to be put in place. What made this work was Peter’s passion and conviction that he needed a big intervention, and that now was the time to act. Having me there sent a message to his staff that this time, he’s serious.
Culture of Ownership
Perhaps, the most impactful part was training the staff on what it means to have a Culture of Ownership. What it really means for each employee to hold their own position as if they were a small business owner within Indesco. To have a culture of self-responsibility, accountability, integrity, clear communication, and proactivity. That their first reporting managers are themselves. Immediately I saw postures shifting, eyes shining, and something sparking inside everyone as they felt more involved in helping Indesco grow, and their own personal meaning and contribution within this.
Lastly, we met with his accountant, who was a grounded and brilliant entrepreneur in his own right, and figured out the missing links in Indesco’s financial reporting and management systems.
Ultimately it was a big success and now the next several months will be crucial in implementing all of the leadership, management, and financial systems, as well as transforming Indesco’s company culture from the inside out.
The core of all coaching, like business, is relationship. And the value of onsite coaching and training cannot be overemphasized. And, all of this wouldn’t have been so impactful if we hadn’t spent the last year coaching, struggling, and overcome roadblocks to trying and implementing a new way of doing it.