What Comes First, Coaches or Buses?


What Comes First, Coaches or Buses?

by | 17 Jun 2019 | Coaching, The Grey Matters Network Blog

In 2014 I spent a very fulfilling year obtaining a qualification in Business and Executive Coaching. My new qualification combined with my career as a Leader in a number of highly diverse organisations meant I was then accepted as a member by the ACI (Association for Coaches in Ireland).

I couldn’t believe the massive response I got from all manner of people looking for a coach. Unfortunately, it was to be good to be true as they were looking for a coach on wheels and I really couldn’t take a booking to take the 5th class on its annual school tour to Salthill.

It transpires that a namesake of mine has the coaches, in fact, he also provides Executive Coaches & Buses. We had a good laugh when I eventually got to speak with Tony Devine, the Coach Driver.

This got me thinking, how do I differentiate myself? Eventually, I concluded that as a ‘Management Consultant’ I would not be asked to bring the local ICA group to An Ghrianan at the end of July.

It worked, I stopped getting the calls, but it still had me concerned as to why there was more demand for transporting people by coach to their desired destination rather than coaching people on their journey to becoming the best version of who they are.

Was it the term ‘coach’? Does that term imply weakness to be addressed or strength to be more fully exploited?

Have the Millennials and even more so the GenZ generations demanded instant gratification and therefore impatience with the coaching process? Here’s my problem, what is the answer?

I expect there’s a lot of that. I read recently in Chip Conley’s Modern Elder that tech organisations are sweating over the fact that in the Digital Native world, companies are observing that technology skills are decaying at the rate of 30% per annum. So those that are not continuously investing through recruitment and training are going to be significantly behind the most recent upstart by the end of the current year.

Where does that leave all those other skills required to get the job done sustainably and effectively? These are often grouped under the term EI or EQ (Emotional Intelligence)

The good news is these skills haven’t gone away; in fact, they are growing in kind with the mature, experienced professionals we at The Grey Matters Network refer to as the Greyennials. The over 50 population will grow by 15% over the next five years.

How this works in practice is that the trailblazing newer generations can continue pushing boundaries in the secure knowledge that there is a Greyennial at your disposal with whom you can

  • Bounce ideas off
  • Validate assumptions
  • Assess the impact of decisions
  • Help keep the longer term strategy in focus and much more besides.

So, a Greyennial Management Consultant coaches you to be the best version of who you are in a sustainable way. He/She will also be a Mentor and advise you on the approach most likely to succeed based on ‘been there, done that’ experience. Chip calls this role a ‘mentern’.

And you know what, we may even drive the bus for you especially on those uncharted trips. We can usually plan that trip without the need of Sat Nav. Our prior experience becomes your current knowledge and our perspective might just help you see more of the interesting landscape around you.

Tony Devine is Managing Partner at The Grey Matters Network and a member of the Association for Coaches in Ireland.


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