The essence of coaching 

By  Debbie Nicol

The essence of coaching


Robin Sharma wrote a best-selling book called The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari. It famously suggested that whatever ceases to serve our desired outcomes should be removed from our lives. More often than not, coaching unearths deeply-ensconced beliefs or behaviours which no longer serve the positive development of self and others; these can be found in everyone, no less senior corporate executives. Yet often, senior executives often resist the opportunity of digging deep with a new lens and ‘letting go’; why could this be so?

when will enough be enough?

What will be the impetus for an executive to discover coaching? Unfortunately statistics show that the majority of leadership training is delivered when most recipients are in their mid-late forties; not a timely intervention at all! Similarly, why do we wait to feel the heat before we need to change, such as having a heart attack to awaken a healthy lifestyle, the loss of job to alert us to a leadership need or an accident to prioritize work-life balance.

Moving into the unknown can be risky, yet what’s more riskier than staying in a non-serving situation? Why not plan to mitigate risk before it hits!

responsibility vs entitlement

Previously a title guaranteed leaders a following – that was yesterday’s myth! Today’s senior executives are as vulnerable, if not more so, than the majority of the workforce; vulnerable to external influences that previously stayed under the radar.

Working with entitlement suggests something is owed, a ‘given’ or a ‘right’. Working from a space of responsibility suggests we must earn that right through dedication, commitment and focus. That at times can be hard work, and we don’t know what we don’t know!


When we are vulnerable, nothing can be hidden; all is exposed! Willingly making oneself vulnerable is a leadership trait, allowing our actions and behaviours to be spotlighted. A mirror does not lie! How often do senior executives use the term accountability, yet how often are we accountable to ourself for ourself? Could the challenges of others be a bi-product of our own?

Senior executives are often heard asking: Why should I pay all this money for people’s development when they simply leave after it? Effective assistants are often heard replying: And what will happen if we don’t pay for that and they choose to stay? Coaching is a choice, a personal commitment and a priority to development. Life can indeed go on without it, yet what opportunities may be passing you by?

Debbie Nicol

Debbie is tenacious, resilient, can break complexity and ambiguity into concrete simplicity, eats the stage, loves to challenge, Author.
Debbie is a Change Practitioner, Facilitator, Conceptualizer, Design Capability, Asks the right questions, Builds Customized Solutions, Life's Mirror

Debbie Nicol

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