The Coach's Corner

Archive for June, 2016

Advisor or Coach? What is Doescher Advisors? (Part 3)

June 27th, 2016 // Tom Doescher //
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Tom Doescher - Doescher Advisors

Over the past two weeks, I have talked about how a movie, The Intern, has helped me explain what Doescher Advisors does (Part 1, Part 2). In this post, I will continue to provide examples, and hopefully I won’t ruin the movie for you. The following are takeaways from the movie that we aspire to bring to our clients as we serve them:

8. Early on, Ben was slow to offer advice and express his views/opinions.
      We try to learn the client and their business first, before offering our thoughts. As I’ve been reflecting  upon Ben’s approach, I’ve realized that our clients will benefit if we’re more like Ben.

9. Ben was humble. Nothing was below him. He cleaned up a mess in the main office, and he helped deliver the interoffice mail.
      Our goal would be to follow Ben’s example, and do whatever needs to be done.

10. Ben wasn’t judgmental of Jules or any of her team.
      After years in business, we recognize that things often look simpler to an outsider who is unaware of all the circumstances and compromises that led to a particular decision.

11. Ben was others-oriented. He was there to help the team.
      At Doescher Advisors, our two primary metrics are:
      – As we’re driving to our monthly client appointments, we ask ourselves, “Are we really excited about meeting with this CEO/president/business owner today?”
      – Then, as we’re leaving the appointment, we ask, “Did we offer this executive anything that will help them be a better business leader, or a better person in general?”

      If the answer to either question is “no,” we’ll resign from the job. We believe our clients deserve our best.

12. Ben was willing to take the initiative to figure out how he could help Jules and her team.
      In our standard business advisory agreement we state, “During the first few meetings and ongoing, through active listening, Tom will quickly learn The Client’s most important goals, both business and  personal.”

13. Ben gave credit to others on the team.
      Doescher Advisors’ goal is to help our clients be successful, not to take credit for their success.

14. Ben was upbeat and positive.
      There is more than enough negativity in the business world. Our goal is to be a positive influence on our clients and others.

I will finish my list of what I’ve learned from Ben next week.

Advisor or Coach? What is Doescher Advisors? (Part 2)

June 20th, 2016 // Tom Doescher //
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Tom Doescher - Doescher Advisors

Last week, I talked about how a movie, The Intern, helped me to explain what Doescher Advisors does (Advisor or Coach? What is Doescher Advisors? Part One). In this post, I will provide examples. Hopefully I won’t ruin the movie for you, but the following are takeaways from the movie that correlate to what we aspire to bring to our clients as we serve them:

  1. Jules was thriving without Ben. She didn’t need him.
    Our clients are talented, successful executives leading great companies, and they will be successful with or without us.
  2. Ben was comfortable in his own skin. He wore a business suit and tie every day, and carried a classic briefcase. He didn’t try to be a 20-year-old, but acted his own age.
    We recognize our “seasoned” state, and don’t try to pretend we’re younger than we are, although we do use Apple products.
  3. Ben was willing to learn. He observed and asked a lot of questions of many different team members.
    We are committed to being lifelong learners.
  4. Ben earned the respect of team members by the way he behaved. He tried to help and give to everyone, and not hog the limelight.
    We look for unique ways to add to our clients’ businesses. And we’re not looking to take credit for suggestions that work out.
  5. Ben wasn’t a “know-it-all,” although in the startup environment he could have acted that way.
    We don’t understand our clients’ businesses like they do. We look for gaps where we can add a new idea or two.
  6. Ben wanted the best for Jules, based on her definition of best.
    Our advice is based on our clients’ business and personal goals, not ours.
  7. Ben was willing to take calculated risks, like hacking into Jules’ mother’s computer (this was a great and hilarious scene).
    ΩIf we believe something is an opportunity for our clients’ business, we will bring it to them — even if it’s an idea that is way out there and nontraditional (i.e., out of the box).

I will continue the list of what I learned from Ben next week.

Advisor or Coach? What is Doescher Advisors? (Part 1)

June 13th, 2016 // Tom Doescher //
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Tom Doescher - Doescher Advisors

Scene 1:  My wife, Barbara, and I are often asked if we are “coaches.” For some reason it was bothering me to call us coaches, and I wasn’t sure why. Many of you know my original career goal was to be a high school football coach, but my failure to make the Western Michigan University football team changed that plan. So, while it would be natural for me to consider myself a coach, something was troubling me about that label. We are “partners/peers” with our clients.

Scene 2:  Barbara and I recently rented the movie The Intern, starring Robert De Niro as Ben Whittaker, a 70-year-old intern, and Anne Hathaway as Jules Ostin, CEO and founder of a ragingly successful e-commerce startup. One of Jules’ executives suggested piloting a “senior intern” program (i.e., hiring seasoned executives to work alongside the 20s-30s workforce, an idea that connects with Barbara’s June 8, 2015 post). Jules reluctantly takes Ben on as her intern.

I’m not a film critic, but found it to be a wonderful story. For a week or so, my thoughts kept going back to the movie. I couldn’t get it out of my mind. It took awhile to figure out why I was so enamored with the movie, but the bottom line is that I could really relate to Ben. Ben was me. I was Ben. No, I’m not saying I am Robert De Niro, although he did look great. I’m saying his character, Ben, is what Doescher Advisors strives to achieve.

Before I lose you, hang in there. First of all, Ben behaved as an advisor, not a coach. To me, a coach calls the plays and is generally in a superior position to the players. That definitely is not what Doescher Advisors is!

Next week, I’ll expand upon that concept.

The Advisor’s Corner

Tom DoescherYou’ll find stories from the trenches, business lessons, and pertinent questions to help you find inspiration, professional growth, and leadership savvy.

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