“the” 5 steps to find a mentor/coach

“that delivers change in your Business Life”

From experience, the steps coaches take to find a coachee, can be as difficult as those, I suppose ~ often overlooked, in finding a coach. The relationship between coach and the person coached is extremely complex. The best description we have come up with is; that the coach should be a servant leader. Either way, it’s like walking through the veld and stumbling across the most valuable uncut diamond. Just waiting to be polished to reveal its value. (which applies to whoever the “finder” {Coach or Coached} may be!)

An entrepreneur who owns a manufacturing and retail outlet for his jewellery work, described the way they use to value a diamond. They use the steps, Clarity, Cut, Colour, Certificate and Carat (weight.) We found this interesting because, we had named the major steps in our sales process; Care, Competence, Challenge, Commitment and Creativity. So, you can see why these C5‘s resonated. For a detailed exposé of what these C5‘s mean in our sales process, I’ll refer you to page 88 Chapter 7 of our eBook, “herding cats!

Recently however, we were challenged to create a clear recipe for engaging with a Business Development coach.

Buyers journey

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The typical buyers journey can be described as Awareness, Consideration, & Decision phase. Trolling the net came up with the usual 5 “Golden Bullet” steps, 3 tried and tested ways, ask these questions, etc., but our thinking in this regards brought us back to evaluating our own Sales Process!

We followed the C5‘s in this process – if they were valuable to us – then the Buyers Journey should also find them valuable by following the same steps. If the searches need was “connected & satisfied” by our steps, then we may have found a good way to advise prospective coachee’s how to find a coach.


If the coach does not start off from this premise that they have to exercise care in their first interaction then, they may be wanting to engage with just about everything that moves. To be honest, not everyone can be coached and not every business frustration can be fixed just by the simple act of engagement. If they show willingness to diagnose the issue before prescription, then it is possible they will engage with the right attitude. Will they deliver the roadmap as a free service? Sometimes this plan can take some work, but look for a partner that will be willing to put “skin in the game!” This protects them, as well as you, from a less than perfect engagement.


Its amazing how a lot of “lists” say things like, “the Coach” should have run a substantial company, worked in your industry and other barriers to entry. Competence to lead, based on the servant mentality, is not about having it all figured out, or, creating a command and control relationship. “A coach is someone who makes you do what you don’t want to do, in order to be what you want to be” – Michael Jordan; OK, I guess that is one way at looking at it, but most “want to” do it anyway, they just lack “something!” That is why we define the major role of the coach as Inspiration and Expose to new ways of thinking. Your old ways, even overhauled could add a couple of percent to the outcome. New thinking must be used to define a “sea change;” an “order of magnitude” change.


Most of the entrepreneurs who we engage with, know, almost have hard-wired into their thinking, that there must be a better way. Almost by default this gives them a vision of their current and future state that is sometimes light years apart from the facts of every day life. Getting from where we are, to where they vision us to be, takes time and effort. The coach/mentor has to have the “gravitas” to be able to challenge the hard nosed, short attention span, of the typical entrepreneur who desires the stars NOW! Gentle and ongoing challenge is what makes the grind of applying the new ideas in an iterative way to start the application of the stages of change.


Along with continual challenge, the person shopping for the right coach should ask the questions associated with commitment. How can you evaluate commitment from the coach? What would that look like? In our sales process we look for a client that has a vision for the future state and has a good understanding of the path to reach that outcome. The most underused and abused tool in the sales process is the forecast. It’s the Global Positioning System that defines where we are, what we need to do every day of the year and what the end state looks like. It keeps us honest, informs our activity and stops projects being 99% complete for years and years. Do they have a system to define a point of departure forecast that points to the end results you seek?


Creating a new coat from the fabric you already own, takes the disciplines but also the lateral thinking and creativity of the entrepreneur. It is almost a truism, that creativity and structured discipline don’t go hand in hand. The coach should be that rare breed of person that can apply both of these disciplines in the measures demanded by the receiver, of their art and science. Creativity doesn’t have to be “off the wall” and so too much talk about how much radical and profitable change can be created may be a red flag. Creativity is not like having an “Old Master” paint like Picasso, changing your very essence by overlaying some mystical “better approach!” But rather, the art of creating something that works “for you,” PLUS the science of delivering order from chaos. The Implementation of a result that fulfils the mantra, “quality, quantity and repeatability!”

To illustrate the important outcomes from engaging a coach we used a few props in our slide deck/video presentation. What should be the template for the activity of engagement? Where should we work, in what order, what about my pain points? Care and Competence demands we use the System of Delivery template to define outcomes and prioritise them. Once we Credibly understand the outcomes to be delivered and display the Commitment to make this happen, we engage with another template ~ the 4 steps of learning or “delivering change!” This puts the emphasis on the correct outcomes in a focused way, channeling creativity to produce “just what is required!”

We invite you to take a deeper dive into selecting a coach by using 12 minutes to watch a video presentation introduction to the eBook “herding cats.” How to build the cornerstones of a profitable business.

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Peter French

Business Coaching is not consulting, it's also not therapy. It's a unique profession that lives somewhere in between these two poles - structured to leave lasting life and business value!

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