Simplifying definitions, coaches know the right questions to help you find the right answers, while mentors assist you in opening doors which have been opened before and consultants solve problems on your behalf.
Companies hire business coaches, mentors and consultants when their results are below their expectations, firms want to boost their businesses or there are issues in healthy companies which need to be addressed. Both coaching and mentoring should give a client new energy and valid alternatives to make necessary changes happen.
I would risk a thesis that every leader or manager (even very successful and experienced) would benefit from having a very good coach, mentor or consultant. It is because they can help you see issues from an external perspective. A manager who claims to know and see everything around him/her can hardly be called a leader.
There are plenty of coaches, mentors and consultants on the market. Like in other professions, not too many of them are really good. Few are very good at combining coaching techniques, vast business experience and ability to perform consulting to their clients at the same time. They can be called:
A coach/mentor/consultant in one
The selection of a very good business coach/mentor/consultant is a quite complex task. Many coaches with psychological background have a very limited business experience. Few serious CEO would ever listen to questions asked by a 27 year old coach, even with a valid coaching school certificate.
Too many experienced managers do not know coaching tools, not to mention their underdeveloped soft skills.
Top consulting companies are not affordable to a majority of SMEs and their value for money proposal is often questionable by many managers.
I see here two conclusions that can help you in your current situation.
If your budget is limited and you need a change in your business to happen fast and effectively, consider looking for a coach/mentor/consultant in one. This option also applies to a situation in which you personally feel you need support and advice to grow your career.
There are many CEOs who are recognised as inspirational leaders and who think about their next move after corporate life. When you are over 50-55 years old, you gradually realise that corporate world is far from ideal and maybe, it is time for you to follow your passions. If business and creating new leaders is your passion, why not consider helping others in making their businesses and personal careers a success?
Just think about it! You have had great career and experience. You have a vast knowledge, often from multiple companies and sectors. You do not call that experience a consulting know-how but it is what it is. You like to see people grow and you have formal coaching certificate or at least intuitive soft skills, which made people have pleasure working with you. If so, you are a perfect candidate to work as an independent coach/mentor/consultant.
Well, I followed that path 5 years ago and believe me, despite many obstacles, I do not regret it. I run two businesses that I am passionate about: WK Profit Consulting and WK Travel Inspirations. Combining work on the two businesses and being a coach/mentor/consultant has been very fulfilling for me, and I think it can be for you, too.
Thank you for reading this post. I am at your service as an effective coach/mentor/consultant, but if you don’t need me soon but you still enjoyed reading it, please like my post and share it with your friends who might be interested in their next career steps, including after their executive corporate life.