CorporateCoach eNewsletter: Issue No. 9 December 2001

Corporate governance

Brought to you by the Brefi Group: "Developing your business through strategy, facilitation and executive coaching – internationally."

Web site: /coaching
Editor: Richard Winfield,
Subscribers: 1045 copies, worldwide

Welcome to this issue of CorporateCoach – a free newsletter for senior executives and teams in organisations interested in using coaching to improve corporate performance. Please share it with colleagues and contacts who will benefit from reading it.

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HOT NEWS 1: CorporateCoach breaks 1000

You will see that we are now sending this newsletter to 1045 subscribers around the world. And we know from the feedback that we are contributing to management development in many countries and organisations that do not have access to formal development courses. We are delighted to do this and look forward to the emails from our readers. We are also getting 6,000 individual visitors a month to our web site family. Welcome to you all.


  1. Editorial: Developing more powerful business leaders
  2. Coaching notes: Inaugural speech of Nelson Mandela
  3. Tools notes: Setting well formed outcomes

1.     Editorial: Developing more powerful business leaders

The end of 2001 has been a busy time for the UK team at Brefi Group. We have been building a business base in Birmingham, culminating in a privately hosted breakfast event at one of the main theatres in the city.

Some thirty guests had an excellent discussion and we thought you might like to know of some of the themes that emerged: -

Communication – Peter Wall of lawyers Wragge & Co introduced this subject with comments about the value not only of talking to your staff but of taking an interest in them, asking them what they thought were the problems and managing their expectations.

Promotion of fee earners – this was a key concern of accountants and lawyers present. Their firms depend on the effectiveness of their top fee earners. But they also depend on the strategy and management of the firm. How should you select your managers? And, what training do they need as they move into a management role?

Development of senior staff – several speakers from the floor explained their company's process for training junior staff, but commented that they had no equivalent for senior staff. Once promoted, they had to sink or swim.

Personality traits – there was some discussion about whether you can train people, or whether their behaviour depends on their personality.

Qualifications – John Phillips of the Institute of Directors gave statistics about how few managers and directors had professional qualifications, and Chris Monk explained how Birmingham Forward is focusing on skills and education for people working in knowledge based businesses as part of its campaign to attract companies to Birmingham.

Role modelling – Many people at the top fail to recognise the impact of their own behaviour on others. An example given was of people who prefer to work at home, ignoring the impact of their absence in the workplace and the message it sends.

At Brefi Group we have set our sights specifically on helping develop senior managers and directors so that they and their organisations can fulfil their potential. Guests at our breakfast event confirmed our own experience that even in organisations that invest in training and development there is a tendency to ignore the people at the top.

But, who has the greatest impact on the organisation?

The end of year is a time for looking back and reviewing progress. How effectively did you set objectives at this time last year? How effective were you in achieving them? What impact did they have? We include for your revision at this season some notes on setting well formed outcomes.

Perhaps one objective for the coming year should be to recognise that life long learning is for everyone – including yourself.

In a recent interview, the managing partner of a law practice told me "We all agree that everyone else must change!" So, whoever, you are – at the top of an organisation, or in a more junior position – we challenge you to recognise your potential, and make appropriate resolutions.

We quote in this newsletter from Nelson Mandela's inaugural speech. In 2002, let your own light shine, and thereby give other people permission to do the same.

HOT NEWS 2: Brefi Group in the media

Members of the UK Institute of Chartered Accountants will have received a copy of Winning Business Strategies. Have a look at the article "Leading by example" on pages 216-219, for which we were asked to list the qualities that separate a great director from the merely average and to suggest how an aspiring director can rise above the rest.

And on pages 48-50 of the January edition of Growing Business there is an excellent article on coaches as performance enhancers. Brefi Group is one of the organisations featured. As Richard Winfield is quoted as saying; "Coaches act as a sophisticated sounding board. Coaching works well in tandem with traditional training. If training is not managed well, you might learn a lot but not apply it. Coaching is very useful in terms of applying skills."

2.     Coaching notes: Inaugural speech of Nelson Mandela

"Our deepest fear
is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are
powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness,
that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves,
who am I to be brilliant,
successful, talented and fabulous?
Actually, who are you NOT to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small doesn't serve the world.
There's nothing enlightened about shrinking
so that other people
won't feel insecure around you.
We were born to make manifest
the glory that is within us.
It's not just in some of us;
it's in EVERYONE!
And as we let our own light shine,
we unconsciously give other people
permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear,
our presence automatically liberates others!"

3.     Tools notes: Setting well formed outcomes

Setting well formed outcomes is at the core of coaching – and of achievement. If you intend to make New Year resolutions, then try this technique.

Here are some questions that will help you set outcomes that you will achieve.

  1. What do you want?
    Check that your outcome is stated in the positive.
  2. Is the achievement of this outcome within your control?
    Do you have what you need to achieve it?
  3. What will the achievement of this outcome do for you?
    How will achieving this outcome benefit you?
  4. What might stop you achieving this outcome?
    Why have you not already achieved it?
    What might be the benefits of not achieving it?
  5. When and where do you want this?
  6. How will you know when you have achieved this outcome?
    What evidence will you use to let you know that you are achieving this outcome?
  7. How will achieving this affect other areas of your life?
    Is this outcome acceptable to other people?
  8. What is the first action you must take to achieve this outcome?

It is likely that the first time you go through this exercise you will find that you cannot answer every question satisfactorily. That is when it is being useful to you and identifying weaknesses. Keep cycling the questions until you are satisfied with every answer.

The Google Toolbar

You can download the Google toolbar for free at This puts Google on your browser and gives you various additional facilities like searching within a web site.

We aim to make the Brefi Group web site family the premier UK developmental site for teams and individuals in organisations, so do please send us your suggestions and requests for further development. And let us know what you think of this newsletter, and comment on the content.

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Brefi Group is a change management organisation that provides corporate coaching, consultancy, facilitation and training. We can also advise you an your Internet strategy and design web sites.

We hope you enjoyed this issue of CorporateCoach. If you would like to learn more about how we can work together, then please contact me, Richard Winfield:

Telephone: +44 (0) 7970 891 343