“CEOs make Good Coaches: What motivated me to get into coaching, and how it correlates to my former role and experiences as a CEO” By Aubrey Rebello (guest)
Sharing my professional career journey, prior to coaching
I was fortunate to have had Leadership roles in a variety of Business segments. Among the most challenging was functioning as the CEO of a large Financial Services Company - managing the business while also strategizing and handling a merger. There was a great deal of learning through the merger process, especially in all aspects of HR.
After my retirement I was asked to continue as a full time adviser, as the parent group was forming a new and larger Financial Services Company. I opted to setup the Learning and Development Function; I was given carte blanche to cover employees at all levels from frontline to Business Heads.
After getting involved with HR and L&D I started thinking, “After this, what do I do?”
I noticed over my career as a Business head / CEO, when you’re at the top, it's lonely and you often feel the need to have someone as a sounding board, someone who will question your assumptions without you feeling threatened by it.
That is what made me decide to go into coaching. I felt that I had an advantage coming from Business, and having subsequently closely handled HR and L&D work.
Integrating and extending relevant experiences into developing my coaching practice
Having experienced of what it’s like being a Business Head, I can empathize with and appreciate the issues and concerns that a CEO faces even if our contexts differs. High performing CEOs still may have questions like,
“Can I do something better?”
“What is the element of risk in this decision?”
“Am I getting the full picture or is there a blind spot – what am I still missing?”
Many of these concerns cannot be shared with internal stakeholders and they are typically better handled by an unbiased coach who has time to listen and understand you, and bring in newer/alternative perspectives.
Most of my Coaching assignments that come my way are because of my varied business experience, backed up with Coaching skills that I have developed.
What I have learnt from my long business experience is the need to be agile, energised, spot opportunities, manage and motivate teams, interact with key stakeholders especially customers and your own Team. You need to do all this under the pressure of delivering good business results and with limited time.
In my Coaching Practice I have found that if CEOs can prioritise and manage their time well, they are able to do everything that is required, give good business results AND still have a good work life balance. However, they need to develop skills to have those shorter business reviews, be better at delegation and monitoring, and escape mail box pressure and information overload.
The CEO therefore needs a Coach or Mentor; someone who listens and understands:
(a) you as a person,
(b) your role, and
(c) Business nuances.
Who better to discuss with & move forward than a Coach who has also been there!
I also realized that business is heavily dependent on who heads the business and the energy he/she puts into it and the new thinking he/she brings into it. No business is a one person show but the CEO’s agility and perceptiveness decides where the business will finally go.
My practice in relation to the field
Mentoring and Coaching is still in its nascent stage in India but it is growing, with Indian corporates starting to see benefits of coaching and we can expect a 30% growth year on year for the next 3 years. Coaching fees for Corporates is in the range of USD $250 - $600 an hour. There is however a large untapped market for smaller companies and individuals at fees that may range in USD 100- 150 per hour.
From an accreditation standpoint, the course offered by ICF, which I have done, is the most recognised.
Most Coaches in India come from the HR Domain. Clients in India now feel the need for Coaches who have Business experience, have faced Profit Pressures and are still adequately grounded (not specialised) on the HR side.
These combinations are rare and there is a Gap needing to be filled.
CEOs/ Business Heads. This is your opportunity. You could be a Mentor/Coach to others though you may have sorely missed having one when you needed it the most. More than money, the difference you could make in the Clients performance is a reward in itself.
To connect with Aubrey:
Aubrey brings to the table over 40 years of rich & varied Corporate Experience as CEO, Director, and Business Head with Tatas & Bayer.
Aubrey has strategised & managed a major merger, was CEO of a large NBFC, & Profit Centre Head of a large Business. In all his assignments he has rapidly scaled up revenues & profits. In many areas he has also built up Structures & Processes from scratch.
Post retirement Aubrey continues as an Advisor to a Tata Company. Aubrey is also an Executive Coach to several Indian & Foreign Corporates He is also an expert in Family managed Businesses serving as a Business Consultant & Mentor to Business Families. Having had Leadership Roles in different work Areas & Industries Aubrey’s expertise is in Financial Services , Automobile Industry, Mergers & Integration , Materials Management , & Learning & Development .
Aubrey is an Engineer from IIT Bombay & a First Rank Gold Medallist MBA from IIM Ahmedabad. He is also a Certified Executive Coach - International Coach Federation & NEWS Switzerland. He has several hundred hours of coaching experience at the MD & CXO levels.