MM 087 - Manufacturers and the Coaching Conundrum


    This week we're talking about an under-utilized method for growing your manufacturing business, a business coach. Learn about the benefits, what makes a good candidate and how it works.

    Guest: Colonel (ret) Burl Randolph, Founder, President, Chief Consultant of MyWingman, LLC
    Website: MyWingman, LLC
    Burl offers a free consultation if you want to learn more about his coaching service - contact information is on the Guest Experts page.

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    • [4:00] Burl explains the difference between coaching and mentoring and introduces the concept of your professional and/or business blind spot.

    • [5:00] An important distinction is that the coach is not the expert, the player is the expert in their industry.
    • [8:00] A coach is the person who provides you with unfiltered advice and feedback. It is very difficult to get objective feedback from subordinates. A coach is a person whom the CEO can freely vent to without being judged.
    • [17:10] Coaching is best for someone who has a willingness to learn, willingness to grow and willingness to execute on the outcomes of a coaching session.
    • [23:00] A big part of the coaching process is accountability. Who else will hold a CEO accountable? The coach can play this role.
    • [24:00] Burl shares some questions you should ask if you are considering a business coach and when a coach is not a good idea. Some people are simply uncoachable.

    Interview Questions:

    Question 1: Burl, let’s start off with level setting. The term ‘coaching’ probably conjures up all kinds of perceptions in the minds of manufacturers. Let’s hear your definition of what it means to be coached or the process of coaching? What’s the difference between a coach and a mentor?

    Question 2: What are the benefits of coaching? Who can benefit from coaching in the manufacturing world? Are there certain criteria like leadership level or company size?

    Question 3: Let’s say you were going to coach a CEO at a mid-size manufacturing company, could you describe a month in the life of the coach and coachee (if that’s a word)?

    Question 4: What are a few questions one should ask themselves when contemplating using a business coach? Are there any reasons coaching might not work?

    Challenge Question:

    This week our challenge question comes to us from a manufacturer of steel tubing located up in Washington State. Here it is: “We’re a B2B steel tubing manufacturer and I’m the Marketing Manager with a small team of 3. We, the marketers, know that we need to be doing content marketing and sharing our expertise. We get the benefits of that. When I try to sell the idea to our CEO and VP Sales, we get shut down because they say if we share our information, then the competition will get it too and we lose our edge. Do you have some tips about how to get them to move away from product brochures and trade shows (we spend half million dollars a year on trade shows) to buy in to the idea of creating content.”

    • Provide results through examples. Use examples of the competitors or other companies in the area who are having great success at content marketing. Understand the difference between marketing and sales.
    • Content marketing does not promote your proprietary information, it promotes your expertise in a particular problem faced by the target audience. Ask to do a small pilot program.
    • When you share expertise, you develop TOMA and credibility in the minds of the target audience.


    • Take advantage of free consultations and learn more about the possibilities of coaching for your professional life.

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