Tag Archives: hiring

Finding a mentor or a coach

One of the first questions I get asked by entrepreneurs, CEOs, and executives interested in mentoring and coaching is, “what’s the difference between them?”

Coaching is a process in which a coach asks a series of cascading questions (sometimes referred to as Socratic Method), to help the person being coached use their own experience, intuition, and intelligence (emotional and intellectual) to come up with the answers they are looking for. Coaching is not advice driven in that the coach asked questions but does not proffer feedback or attempt to move the person being coached in a particular direction.

Mentoring is similar in it’s approach to coaching in that strong mentors are also good coaches. What mentors bring to the table that coaches don’t is the ability to add in their personal sage experience in the areas the person being coached is struggling with. Mentoring is both question and advice/guidance based.

Now that we know the difference, here are the rest of the questions I get asked:

  • Do you (Mike) have a mentor or a coach: I have two Mentors who are also very strong coaches, Walt Sutton and Guff Muench. I am grateful for the time, energy, and wisdom they’ve shared with me. They are great men who I have a deep admiration for.
  • How did your meet your mentors? Walt and I were introduce by a mutual acquaintance. Guff and I were introduced through the Entrepreneurs’ Organization Mentorship Program (a program I founded in Vancouver with the help of the late Steve Cowan).
  • Where can I find a mentor ? I’ll get the self-serving part out of the way first – at ViRTUS we offer both Mentoring and Coaching. One of my mentors, Walt Sutton, has space to work with another entrepreneur or CEO right now as well. The other way is to consider successful people in your life who have accomplished something similar to what you’d like to accomplish (family friends, executives in your company, other entrepreneurs you know, members of associations you belong too, etc.). Approach them to see if they are interested in having lunch or coffee from time to time so you can learn from their experience.
  • If I want to hire someone to mentor or a coach me, what does it cost? The range for coaching and mentoring in Vancouver is between $1500 – $5000+ per month depending on the mentor/coaches experience and the time and energy they put into working with you.
  • How often would we meet? Weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly for anywhere from 1-4 hours is the time commitment you can expect for face-to-face or on the phone mentoring. As well you should expect to have unlimited access to your mentor or coach between sessions by email or phone in case something time sensitive comes up that you really need some support on.
  • What will we talk about? Mentoring and coaching conversations span the complete spectrum from business, career, personal, and family. The primary focus is on your success as a business leader and as a human being – however you want to define that for yourself.
  • Why would I get a mentor or a coach? Because the very top performers in their field, regardless of what field that is (business, sports, medicine, law, etc.) all have mentors and coaches who help them stay ahead of the pack and ensure they put their energy, attention, and focus on the behaviours and actions that will lead to the success they are looking for.

Re-Post: Jeff Booth interviews Geoff Smart, Who: The A Method for Hiring

I read this post from Jeff Booth a few months back and it’s worth re-posting so here it is:

Talking with Geoff Smart, Author of Who: The A Method for Hiring

by JEFF BOOTH on OCTOBER 29, 2008

I recently read a book that is I think will go down as one of the business classics. It’s a must read for any business leader dedicated to superior performance.

The tiltle of the book is WHO: The A Method for Hiring. The premise is that most companies focus on the “what” rather than the “who” and that hiring A-players is the most important part of any leaders job.  A-players are the right superstar for the job, meaning that they not only have the skills to be successful but they also fit within the culture of the company.

I am a fellow YPOer with Geoff Smart, one of the authors.  So I thought I would make a connection with him and ask him a few questions about the book so I could share those thoughts with you.  I asked him:

The A Method for HiringWhat lead you to the Top Grading Approach and the writing of the book?

Mostly seeing what a big problem hiring is. We have a genuine interest in the solution and we thought there needed to be a very clear “How To” method for solving one of the biggest challenges of business.

In your estimation, how many companies truly practice Top Grading or hiring “A” players?

Less than 1% and this is true regardless of size. Typically, larger companies have more structure around the hiring process than smaller companies but in either case, the effectiveness is about the same.

Have you been able to develop a quantifiable business case for the “A” method?

Peter Druekers research from years ago suggests that 50% of hires are mistakes and there is recent research to support that the number has not changed much. For the book we took examples of companies that had 90% hiring success around “A” players and backed into what they do. When we applied the process to other companies we saw them increase from the baseline of 50% to 90% within a year. In our own firm, we have had 100% success in hiring “A” players.

How has your book been received?

It has been amazing.  It was the number one book in the world sold on Amazon for two weeks. It has been on the New York Times best sellers list since it came out. When Randy and I came up with the idea to write the book 3 years ago, we looked at the great books on my bookshelf and analyzed what they had in common. From that initial look we determined they had:

1) A topic people care about.

2) Real stories – exclusive examples

3) Science behind the research – it could not be just a gut feel.

4) A simple how-to method.

Overall, our conversation was very informative.

I have to admit that as I read through the book, there was some real pain for me as I have personally made many of the mistakes during the hiring process that Geoff and Randy talk about in their book.  It also became clear that their system is one that we could easily use to increase our effectiveness in bringing the right people to our growing team.

Why Zappos Pays New Employees to Quit

An interview with Bill Taylor, Game Changer blogger for HarvardBusiness.org. Zappos knows that they can’t deliver great customer service unless their employees are committed to the values of the company.They attempt to bride new employees to quit during the initial training.

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more about “Why Zappos Pays New Employees to Quit“, posted with vodpod