Accelerating to burnout or sustainable growth? Why China needs performance coaching, now

Jeffrey 刚 Wu 吴, Director of Performance Consultants, China, shares his vision for performance coaching in China

– 5 mins read –

My new role marked a significant personal change, however I have always been an admirer and faithful follower of the way of coaching, having previously studied and worked with David Brown, CEO, and the Performance Consultants team. This was a ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ opportunity to carry the torch for the late Sir John Whitmore’s company and principles of Coaching for Performance, as Sir John’s final masterpiece, Coaching for Performance Fifth Edition, was published here in China.

Coaching is not new to China (Sir John Whitmore’s previous work had been a national best-seller). In taking up the role with Performance Consultants, I considered some important questions:

What kind of leadership style and performance culture do Chinese domestic enterprises need at this time?

What do Performance Consultants bring to the table?

I strongly believe China needs Performance Coaching because it is the only sustainable way to ignite potential within an organization’s people. This is rooted in my previous experience observing change and growth in organizations.

In recent years, “Inspiring Individuals” has become a buzzword among leading managerial thinkers and big-name CEOs. However, in the pursuit of growth, squeezing every ounce of physical and mental reserve from employees is common. The work schedule called 996 (from 9 am to 9pm, six days a week) has become popular in many organizations while even more extreme policies are on the rise. There are concerns around exhaustion and stress, regarded as leading causes of sudden death in white collar workers and high-flying executives. Meanwhile, business owners in search of a “magical way” to solve their challenges engage external managers on very high salaries, only to fire them when short-term results are not achieved.

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Despite these efforts, China is slowing down. Economic growth dropped to 6.6 per cent in 2018, the lowest rate since 1990. For organizations looking to grow, there are real obstacles to change: the risks of failure in trying something new or simply the lack of a clear starting point amid ongoing pressures. In his seminal work Drive, Dan Pink shows us the true path to access people’s potential is through intrinsic motivation. However, despite evidencing sustainable growth, radical change of this sort is a challenge.

Through learning and practicing coaching, leaders can become more aware of their purpose and the true reality of the organization. Adopting a coaching style helps leaders to harness the internal wisdom of their people and develop a way to transform the organization from within.

We believe coaching culture can take root and spread faster and further, both by increasing awareness at the top, and demonstrating visible performance enhancement at ground level. In China, Performance Consultants is offering our flagship Coaching for Performance leadership workshop series. We are also delivering specific functional performance improvement programs such as Safety Coaching and Sales Coaching.

China’s economy is developing from a focus on volume to growth through sustainability and quality. It’s time to change and realize the benefits to profit, people and planet that are possible through Sir John Whitmore’s vision. China has much to gain, and Performance Consultants in China is ready.

  • Book your place on our next public Coaching for Performance Leadership Pathway.
  • For more information or to bring Coaching for Performance into your organization, please contact James Neville.

The author Jeffrey 刚 Wu 吴 is Director of Performance Consultants China.

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