29/09/10

By Claire West

A former top executive has told how he turned his back on corporate life after 25 years and carved out a new niche — as a business coach.

Twelve months ago Robin suffered the same fate of numerous high flying corporate executives when he was made redundant.

However, never one to turn down a challenge, Robin saw his redundancy as an opportunity and the chance to escape the grind of corporate life.

Finding a new career path was a decision Robin did not take lightly. He looked into taking on a franchise, an idea swiftly dismissed, and then hit upon business coaching.

As a senior manager for the majority of his career, Robin knew he was a good people person and found the training and development of his team as one of the most enjoyable and rewarding parts of his job.

He said: “I spent some time thinking about what I was good at and what I enjoyed, after all, we spend the majority of our waking day working so it has to be fun. Business coaching struck me as something which would allow me to do what I enjoyed and at the same time share my business knowledge.

“I started to research the sector and came across Achievement Coaching International. I liked what I read instantly. It was very business orientated, practical and the founders behind the business had gravitas.

“I met with three of the four founding members and was very impressed. They clearly had considerable business experience and knowledge and were nice people, very easy to work with.

“The Business Breakthrough Coaching process ACI has developed really helps them stand out from the crowd and with a 100% success rate, is certainly one I was keen to become involved with.”

Robin started his business career at Ford Motors, his university sponsor, on the shop-floor as a production foreman. Six years later he joined rival firm BMW as sales co-ordinator.

After a 12 month sabbatical travelling the world, Robin joined struggling British Steel, mid recession where he remained for three and a half years. From there he moved on to Johnson Wax Professional where he worked his way through the ranks, eventually landing the position of International Account Director at sister company JohnsonDiversey.

He said: “My career has been varied, from the automotive industry to fast moving consumer goods. I've learnt a lot during that time about business and about how I work. Being able to apply that knowledge now in a coaching capacity is incredibly rewarding.”

Using the work of psychologist, the late Peter Millburn, Business Breakthrough Coaching uses an operational process which identifies the best way of achieving goals and getting things done — moving on to adopting a process-based way of working freeing managers from chasing relentless tasks-lists.

The process has five stages and 15 steps and is based around an individual’s preferred way of working. Each programme is highly tailored and with 30,000 different options, the team are yet to find two people the same.

Robin continued: “The process proves to people that this works and that as a business coaching team, we can make a big difference.

“For me, and the reason business coaching appealed, is that it is all about addressing a problem and identifying ways to develop a solution. Every situation is a challenge — something I enjoy — and I'm able to use the business knowledge I've gained over the years to support other companies.”

Robin believes the biggest challenge is showing businesses they need the support of a business coach, especially during such tough economic times.

“As businesses are beginning to come out of the recession with the realisation that they have survived, they're also very clear that they can never let this happen to them again. Some believe business coaching is a waste of money, others are too busy chasing every bit of business that comes their way, however others want to look at where they go next, how they grow and what processes they can put in place to ensure they're not in the same position again. That's where coaching comes in and the strengths of the ACI approach can clearly be seen.”

Achievement Coaching International trains, accredits and supports their coaches to use the Business Breakthrough Coaching tools, processes and techniques. These are unique to ACI and, when combined with the coach’s own business experience are proven to enable clients to achieve exceptional results for themselves, their people and their businesses.

Co-founder of ACI Terry Murphy, said: “Robin is the ideal candidate to become a business coach. We only work with people with at least ten year’s experience who have reached senior management or the boardroom. Robin clearly meets our criteria, has an excellent business brain and is a real asset to the coaching team.”