By: Reza Taeb
Saeed Mohammadi is a successful coach for senior executives and big business owners. He is an instructor at a global leader around the world in coaching, facilitating and mentoring center .
Please introduce yourself and tell us a bit about yourself.
Before I tell you about my background, I must give you a brief introduction about myself:
For a while now, I have had a big dream, and that is to change my country’s economy by providing business enterprises of all sizes the skill sets necessary to grow by channeling their respective strengths into meaningful, sustainable and achievable business strategies. Having studied in various academic disciplines, and my years of teaching and managing various businesses, have convinced me that I need to have a purpose and mission in my life, otherwise life, at some point, will become repetitious. I am delighted to say that in the last few years, since I established my life’s mission and started working on it, I have been a happier man by the day. But if I want to introduce myself in a typical way, I will start by saying that I am 39 years old. I first studied engineering at university level and then I got a degree in management. I have published six books on management and personal development, and I am the founder of several brands in Iran. In the last couple of years, I have held some of the most attended educational seminars in Iran. I am also an instructor and consultant to senior managers of the largest private and public organizations in Iran. Another teaching position I currently hold is as instructor at one of the world’s most prestigious international coaching, facilitating & mentoring centers. Let me give you an example of the importance of coaching and having the right person doing it. In my opinion, football has many similarities to business.
Those who love football know that Barcelona, Real Madrid, Manchester United, Chelsea, Inter Milan and Juventus are the best football clubs in the world and attract the best talent from around the globe. They have the best goalkeepers, the best defensive lines, the best midfielders and the front lines to win matches. Having said that, everyone knows that it is not only the players who make a champion team as the important role of a team’s manager, coach, psychologist and many other factors affecting a team’s performance cannot be ignored. Now imagine if the manager and founder of one of these clubs said that they were the expert and wanted to be the head coach.
The fate of a team participating in a tournament with the manager as its coach is only one thing and will not come as a surprise: Elimination from the tournament! I have worked as management consultant and coach with Iranian entrepreneurs and senior executives over the years and I have found that they are very hard-working and diligent. But unfortunately, they make similar decisions when it comes to areas of expertise instead of focusing on their personal proficiencies. There is another story I told the chairman of the board of one of Iran’s largest industrial groups: When Jack Welch revived General Electric, he made an important decision. Jack Welch always said that “if we can’t be the best in an industry, we have to get out of it”. This kind of thinking shows the management style of chief executive officer of a corporation and how he intends to run his company. I have very solid mentoring and management coaching experience in the food, construction, vehicle, education, banking, insurance, oil and petrochemical industries and in all these companies it’s the management style at executive levels that determines their ultimate success, regardless of the sector or type of business. And just like for a football coach, the championship and success of the company I work with is the dream that gives me incentive to work harder.
Please define executive coaching and explain its effectiveness and importance. Is it a science or an art form?!
Regarding the definition of coaching, I would like to get help from a professional named John Whitmore, author of the book “Coaching for Performance”. This book is almost the first serious book in the field of coaching that has been translated into various languages. In this book, coaching is defined as unlocking a person’s potential. In my opinion, coaching can be described as follows: A coach helps you break out of your mental and physical boundaries and move towards your established goals with a courage and creativity that you have never experienced before, while working with maximum resolve to achieve dazzling and extraordinary success. If all this happens, you have had a good coach by your side and you have experienced the coaching process. One person who has researched the effectiveness of business coaching is an occupational psychologist and management expert by the name of Adrian Furnham, who has demonstrated, through numerous studies and specific tests that he has developed, that successful coaching in management and workplace is possible and can have meaningful results.
Statistics from the Robinson Resource Group in Illinois, US, show that the return of investment in business coaching can be up to 700%, which at first glance may seem like an exaggeration but numbers don’t lie! Statistics from other sources also show that about 70% of business owners who have used business coaching services have experienced an increase in revenue of at least 3 to 10 times. Studies have also shown that 83% of the businesses whose executive branch has been coached in management, have been able to become the top brands in their respective industry. Increased job satisfaction and motivation, improved health of managers and reduced workplace stress levels, more free time and creativity are examples of the results of coaching of managers. According to the World Coaching Federation, 99% of those who have used these services are satisfied with having a coach by their side.
The following are some of the benefits of coaching that I have personally observed many times in various organizations:
•Increased devotion and loyalty in employees and customers
•Better morale of management team and employees
•Increase in sales volumes
•Increase in general satisfaction across the corporate body You may be interested to know how I achieve this amount of success for the organizations I work with.
The answer is simple: I listen very carefully to the voices of managers, employees and customers. Of course, it sounds simple, but as you can imagine it is a difficult and complicated undertaking to implement.
You may also want to know what services I provide to my client companies. Here I must add that just like a football coach, I do my best to make my team (that is, the management team I work with) a champion and I do it in 3 ways:
1. Personal coaching of senior managers or members of the Board of Directors of the organization
2. Organizational coaching through a needs analysis of the corporation and its business
3. Training and implementation of coaching culture in organizations to achieve the desired results.
What have you tried to achieve as a business coach? How do you assess the future of business coaching in Iran?
I see a bright future for business coaching in Iran because this practice of using an independent expert to provide an outside perspective for a business is still quite new among Iranian companies, and so it has room to grow. I have seen dozens and sometimes hundreds of people working in accounting, financial management, sales and marketing and human resources departments in companies that I have been hired at as a consultant and business coach. For these companies I am the first such coach although what I offer can be so vital and important for the organization. This only tells me that many at executive levels are still not even familiar with what someone like me can offer their business. Going back to the mission and purpose that I have determined for my life, I believe we should work to have an impact in the world. To do something great, you must bring an added value to your surroundings that is different and important at the same time. Your contribution to your world must be meaningful and effective with tangible results that can make you proud. You need to get your customers to say that this person or company has made my life better.
As an executive coach, I try to touch the heart of my customers. This will never be possible by producing products similar to my competitors. My ultimate goal is to make a difference in the organization I enter, and instead of looking at sales and profits, try to induce a sense of pride in the hearts and minds of each and every employee in a company, regardless of rank or position.
As a final point and as a business coach, I would like to say to all managers: Being the largest and most talked about in business doesn’t necessarily mean being the best. Today, new approaches must be taken to stay efficient and avoid ill-timed business growth. Coaching is not a skill that can be transferred, but a way of thinking and being that can be taught.
If you are starting a business or are a senior manager in a company, I suggest you learn the business approach that I coach and familiarize yourself with my principles. Learn to balance your life and business so you can enjoy your life more. Every day of your life you should be able to see the fruits of all that you have achieved until that point.