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Training vs. Coaching...

After watching and being involved in sports my entire life I wanted to answer a question I have been asked many times "What is the difference between Training and Coaching and how does it affect the team?" Quickly looking at it they are very similar in nature yet completely different but how would you define them and what place does each have in the workplace? Are they both necessary or one more of a priority?

In answering these questions I find it best to describe it in the most simplest of terms; a sports analogy. A business environment is much like a elite level sports team. In the organization there is a owner, upper management, a coach, trainers, players and support staff. Each has their job to do. The coach's job is to lead the team and the athletes to train daily to better their own individual abilities to benefit the team. Therein lies the differential. The coach does not train his players for success he coaches them. He may design the training drills but its is not him who engages in them the athletes do.

If we first design the Sales Department like a Football team we might see it as this... The General Sales Manager is the Head Coach, New Sales Manager is the Offensive Coordinator, and Used Car Manager the Defensive Coordinator. The Sales Team are the players and the remaining personnel are support staff. When looked upon at this level the pieces start to fall into place.

Take the General Sales Manager. They are responsible for the overall success of the team, like the Coach they are held accountable for the results. In Sports it's never fire the players, fire the Coach. So it's their job and destiny to drive the team to greatness. How do they do it? Some look at it as a top-down approach. Hire the best Coordinators and they will attract the best players. This in my opinion is the Short Game. Others look at a bottom-up philosophy or building the foundation first with a solid Team, attracting great coordinators and facilitating change and success gradually and consistently, the Long Game. Look at the sports dynasties and you will see this. The flash in the pan teams go for it in one year expending enormous amounts of capital to get the players and coaches together for one year in hopes of glory. Why does this happen? Because it's only sustainable for a year or two, best. It's the owners who think that they can continue it past that by leaning out the team afterwards and still enjoying the success. This doesn't happen.

Anyone can implement the Short Game however if you take the Long Game and run with it. Look to all levels of the dealership and how you can improve them. What will the Coach do to compliment all the personnel? What plays will he design, how will he coach the team, what training regimens will he mandate, and how will he prepare for the games? Every day is a new game, some are exhibition and some are playoffs, all depends of where you might stand in your targets. Next come the Coordinators, are they working together, do they have team cohesion, are they looking for the big plays or short gains, is their interest their own or that of the team, are they aware of what the players going to want and need to be successful, and can the Coordinators develop processes/plays to engage and create success? Looking down the line what support staff will be needed to facilitate that?

Now, comes the drafting of the team. Where do we look for the talent. In Football, it comes from the grass roots, house league, high school, college, and semi-pro leagues but they also find talent elsewhere like track, soccer, and other sports disciplines. Where are you going to find the best of the best? Are you going to look to the Industry or are you going to take stars from other avenues with similar backgrounds and successes. These are the decisions that are made with a plan in place. I know I've found superstars from Hospitality, General Retail, Education, and Athletics. I even found an amazing young man who was a factory worker that had to change vocations due to an injury. His drive was incredible, his work ethic was unparalleled, and his pure joy of having a job was displayed in his genuine love for his position and garnered success month over month. This is true drafting of a team.

Now in lies the question of Training vs. Coaching

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