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Smartest Won't Agree, But The Successful Will: The Indispensable Value of Coaching

In a world that prizes intellect and raw talent, it's easy to fall into the trap of believing that success is a solo journey—a testament to one's brilliance and hard work. Yet, if we delve into the stories of the most accomplished figures across various fields, a common thread emerges: the presence of a coach. While the smartest might shrug off the notion, the successful know better. Coaching, often misunderstood as a remedial step for the struggling, is in fact a secret weapon for those aiming for the pinnacle of success.

Smartest Won't Agree, But The Successful Will: The Indispensable Value of Coaching
Smartest Won't Agree, But The Successful Will: The Indispensable Value of Coaching

The Misconception of Solo Success

The myth of the self-made man is pervasive. It suggests that all one needs to succeed is intelligence, talent, and perhaps a bit of luck. However, this overlooks the immense complexities of achieving and sustaining success. Whether in sports, business, or personal development, the journey is fraught with unforeseen challenges, evolving dynamics, and the constant need for growth. Here, the role of a coach becomes not just valuable but essential.

In what may come as a surprise to people like you, it is not only ‘normal’ people like you and me who work with Life Coaches, but famous and successful people who otherwise seem to be having the world at their feet. Consider the famous and successful people below who have worked with life coaches, and you will appreciate what I mean.

1.    Hollywood Celebrities

  • Oprah Winfrey has attributed some of her success to her life coach. As a result, she has advocated life coaching to her fans and viewers through her Oprah Winfrey Show

  • Leonardo Di Caprio worked with a life coach to persist and persevere on mastering the acting craft after missing out on numerous Oscars. It is only after working with his coach that he won the Best Actor Oscar for “The Revenant.”

  • Jennifer Aniston hired a life coach to help her find time to manage a baby amidst her demanding career

  • The famous band Metallica overcame heated feuds and creative duels after working with a life coach and released their album “Death Magnetic”, which helped them return to form 

 2.    Business Billionaires and Influential Politicians

  • Chairman of Alphabet (formerly CEO of Google), Eric Schmidt, said the best advice he ever got was to hire an executive coach. He resisted at first before changing his mind, and later in an interview with Fortune Magazine, went on to say that “everyone needs a coach.” 

  • Bill Gates worked with a life coach for most of his illustrious corporate career. In his viral 2013 TED talk, he said, and I quote, “Everyone needs a coach. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a basketball player, a tennis player, a gymnast or a bridge player. We all need people who will give us feedback. That’s how we improve.”

  • Bill Clinton worked with a Life Coach during his time in office to help him make decisions that would dictate the USA’s and its citizens’ future

 3.    Sportspersons (Yes, apart from trainers and sports coaches, they work with Life Coaches too)

  •  Serena Williams, during her career, was constantly battling with injuries. The constant gruel of playing through injuries took a toll on the mind of the high-performing athlete. She worked with a life coach to persist and train through her injuries and won Grand Slams after a break

  • Andre Agassi worked with a life coach to help him get out of a career slump and bounce back from injuries

  • Closer home, cricketer Virendra Sehwag hired the services of a life coach to help the IPL Kings XI Punjab team stay motivated

4.    Bollywood Celebrities (Let’s look closer home)

  •  Hrithik Roshan worked with a life coach while he was going through a divorce with his then wife-Susanne- to help him focus and get back with more vigour towards his career

  • More recently, Shahrukh Khan hired the services of a life coach to work with his son, Aryan Khan, to help him recover from the experience of staying for a month in jail

5.    Corporate India Executives (It’s not only the elite who use the services of a coach. Let’s talk about you and me now)

  •  Arun Nanda, ex-Executive Director of Mahindra & Mahindra, quit his job to become a social entrepreneur after deciding to follow his heart at the advice of a life coach

  • Rajeev Dubey, President HR and Executive Director of Mahindra & Mahindra, worked with an executive coach for six months for learning to say No

  • Harish Natarajan, Bausch + Lomb’s former managing director for India and Thailand, learnt to be more aggressive and acquired new-found confidence after working with a life coach

  • Ajay Srinivasan, then chief executive at Prudential Corporation Asia in Hong Kong, had a thriving career, great friends and a good family. Yet he wasn’t happy beneath the surface. Then he worked with a life coach who made him realise that India is where he and his family would be truly happy. This led him to move to Mumbai in a new role as the chief executive at the Aditya Birla Group

The names of people and the list of categories are by no means exhaustive. Homemakers looking for a career, women looking for a career refresh after a break, teenagers looking to learn leadership skills, young people undecided about what job will make them happy- I can go on and on with the examples. More and more corporations are bringing in life coaches to groom their executives in recent years. Sufficient to say that Life Coaching is no longer an anathema or an elite phenomenon but has entered the everyday conversations of working professionals.

Smartest Won't Agree, But The Successful Will: The Indispensable Value of Coaching
Smartest Won't Agree, But The Successful Will: The Indispensable Value of Coaching

List of Best Peak Performance Coaches in the World:

  1. Tony Robbins - An internationally recognized life and business coach, Robbins has been advising and coaching entrepreneurs, celebrities, and even presidents for decades. His seminars, books, and programs aim to empower individuals to improve their lives, relationships, and careers.

  2. Saurabh Kaushik - India's premier business coach, Saurabh Kaushik, is known for his personalized coaching approach to help business leaders and entrepreneurs achieve remarkable growth and success in their ventures. His methods emphasize unlocking the individual's potential and aligning it with their business goals.

  3. Marshall Goldsmith - Specializing in executive coaching, Goldsmith has been a trusted advisor to CEOs and business leaders worldwide. He is known for his Stakeholder Centered Coaching approach, helping top executives achieve positive, lasting changes in behavior.

  4. Brené Brown - Though primarily known for her research on vulnerability, courage, empathy, and leadership, Brown has also made significant contributions to coaching, especially in areas of personal development and leadership.

  5. Tim Gallwey - Often considered the father of modern coaching, Gallwey's work on "The Inner Game" has influenced the coaching approach in sports and business, focusing on improving performance by overcoming mental barriers.

The Role of a Coach

You might be curious why the top performers and leaders require a life coach when they have many resources at their disposal. The fact is that even successful people at the top of their game have room for improvement, and a coach facilitates this process. For instance, as an entrepreneur, you might be an expert in your field, but are you an expert in organisation and productivity? Probably not.

This is where a life coach comes in and can help to:

1.  Uncover Your Blind Spots and force you to confront areas in your work or personal life that you have been either neglecting or too attached to- consciously or subconsciously.

2.  Understanding the Why behind Your Goals to reinforce or strengthen your vision and forge a connection between your day-to-day tasks and your term objectives.

3.  Promote Accountability by tracking progress against your priorities and implementing better systems and workflow tactics

4.  Appreciate Your Accomplishments to look at the positive aspects of your life and keep your spirits up in the face of challenges

5. Prioritise and Manage Your Time by helping you see which tasks or commitments you should remove yourself from or delegate to others and re-training your brain not to accept wasted time

6.  Overcome limiting beliefs by making you see that you are good enough to achieve whatever you set your eyes to

7.  Break bad habits and negative patterns and replace them with positive practices and beliefs that shape your outlook and happenings


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