Why I Don't Coach

January 30, 2018

Why I don't coach.

First off, I know quite a few business coaches and life coaches and I've even experienced the blessing and benefit of both first hand. The point of this article is merely to highlight and contrast what I see as the differences between coaches and strategists. I'm sure many people will have differing opinions and insightful perspective that may contradict some of the things I'm saying. And that's okay. That's actually good. Hopefully, my own understanding and knowledge will continue to grow and increase and my own perspective on this topic will likely be somewhat different next year or maybe even next month.

I'm going to include a few of the highlights here in the written transcript. If you want to hear my thoughts a little more in depth you can watch the video.

What is a coach?

A coach trains an athlete or a tutor. Someone who prepares a student for an examination someone or instructs another. A coach must be an expert in a field or topic and possess a particular set of knowledge that the student, athlete or “padawan” does not have.

What is a strategist?

A strategist is someone who uses a plan a method or a series of maneuvers to obtain a specific goal or result. The focus is obtaining a specific goal or result.

The classical strategy model I use combines the technical expertise and knowledge of the client in their industry with the creative expertise and knowledge I bring from the design industry. This attitude of partnership encourages and promotes both synergy and collaboration. When we all work together toward a well-defined goal, we’re able to “move the needle” of brand development and business growth more than I could ever do by myself with contemporary graphic design.

The classical strategy process involves 5 basic steps:

Classical Strategy Process

1. Investigation - asking lots and lots of questions

2. Identifying Problems & Latent Needs

3. Diagnosis - analyzing, evaluating, scrutinizing, dissecting

4. Brainstorming - collaboration, thinking outside the box, creative problem solving

5. Way-finding - strategizing and planning (choosing a trajectory and creating a course of action) 

You may be wondering why I use the term “classical strategy.” I use this term because I have been influenced by the ancient method of classical education. Christopher Perrin wrote, “Classical education is a long tradition of asking questions and digging up answers, consulting others, then asking, seeking and finding once more. It is joining in the “Great Conversation… We also use the term classical to describe things that are authoritative, traditional, and of enduring excellence.” 

Classical strategy inspires me to be a learner and reminds me I don’t have all the answers. It emboldens me to ask questions and aids me in being a good listener.

This is what I enjoy doing. Have a great week.

Chris Fikes

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