The Wheel of Success

David Ferrers

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Good sports coaches work on The Wheel of Success. There are four arcs to The Wheel of Success:

1. Hard Work makes teams more Confident.
2. Confidence enables them to Win.
3. Winning is Enjoyable.
4. Enjoyment makes Hard Work easier.

And so the wheel goes round and round and success comes more and more often.

The point is that Winning starts with Hard Work.

In this day it is fair to say that most business people work long hours. In many cases the hours seem to be exhausting and perhaps somewhat over the top. But the fruits of their labors do not always lead to success.

So, what is going wrong? Why does the Hard Work not lead to the desired results?

The answer is that their work is not Well Directed.

Have you ever watched a football team where all the players are working their socks off, running around like demons and getting nowhere? Such teams do not have a plan, they have no direction.

Good managers excel at directing the efforts of their teams. But there is a paucity of good leaders in the business arena. Why is it that when more money spent on training than at any time in previous history a proportionate number of good leaders are not emerging?

I think that there are two reasons. The first is the criteria that is often used for selecting leaders. In working with many large corporations I find that by far the most common practice is to promote the person who is currently doing the best job at their current level. This is a classic case of promoting the best salesman and hoping he’ll turn out to be a good sales manager.

The problem is that the newly promoted individual is often given little or no mentoring in their new role and no specific training in either the tasks they need to perform in their new role or in leadership. The result is that they go on doing the things they’re good at, the things which have brought them success and they do more and more of those things.

Hence they work longer and longer hours doing more and more of what they have always done. And this does not help either them or the colleagues whom they are supposed to be managing.

A lot more care needs to be taken over the selection of leaders. Good employers select people for promotion based on leadership criteria rather than on the ability to carry out tasks.

The second reason why employers do not get the leaders they need is because they do not give their newly promoted managers appropriate support. Promotion brings with it a great deal of stress. The individual knows that more is expected of them. They know that they need to deliver more to justify their new position and their new reward package.

We are working in an age when Redundancy can strike at any time and where failure is frowned upon, even vilified. The fears of redundancy and failure hang over all managers like the sword of Damocles.

These emotional issues are always hidden by the mangers, but they go on churning around inside them and hinder decision making and output. No-one wants to make a mistake, least of all a newly promoted manager. In such circumstances outside coaches are often highly beneficial.

Why specifically are outside coaches?

Because the last thing that a newly promoted executive wants is to admit to his colleagues or his new boss that he/she does not know what to do. You have no idea how many times newly promoted executives have said to me that they find it an enormous relief to be able to talk in complete confidence to someone about their fears and concerns.

At the end of a recent coaching program a client wrote to me: “In 18 years at (name of his company) this is the most useful exercise as a manager I have undertaken. It has opened doors, taught me a lot and clarified a huge amount. ”

Good coaches know a lot about business. They have been there and done it. They know and understand the pressures. They are good at helping managers and leaders plan how best to direct their hard work so that it improves their confidence. And once their confidence is up, they can start winning. Then they will enjoy themselves and the hard work will become a whole lot easier.

David Ferrers is the Chief Coach of Personal Performance Coaching Ltd. The company has a very successful track record in developing managers in corporations of all sizes. They believe that most managers are under-achieving because they are not using anything like their full potential. The release of that potential is the objective of their coaching. Learn more about how they operate at


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