As a Professional Communication Expert and Executive Coach, I’ve rubbed shoulders with many corporate trainers and industry specialists over the years. I’ve met individuals who specialize in everything from leadership to stress management. I’ve even met one professional coach who specialized in personal hydration training. Though many share similar characteristics and interests, every once in a while, I cross paths with someone who breaks the mold.
The Performance Coach
Jez Cartwright is one of those individuals. He is the Coach, Catalyst, and Facilitator at Jez Cartwright Ltd., and specializes in enhancing professional performance. His early interest of comparing athletic performance outcomes as a young man has transformed into a passion to help business professionals optimize their performance. He has honed his craft over time and is now a world-renowned performance expert with an international clientele.
This past week, I had the good fortune to sit down with Jez and ask him a few captivating questions to get a glimpse of his perspective and approach to enhancing performance. The following is an excerpt of the interview with a focus on the methodology that has propelled his success.
Ryan: “What is a performance coach?”
Jez: “A performance coach centers around helping people become better at what they do… For those of you who have seen the television series Billions, I’m similar to the character Wendy, the inhouse performance coach to the central hedge fund. Alternatively, I make reference to professional athletes who perform at the highest level. These athletes have teams of coaches and trainers dedicated to enhancing their success, and that’s what I do for business professionals.”
He then followed up with a comparison between business professionals and professional athletes.
Jez: “I’ve had the pleasure of working with Olympic gold medalists and the like, and I’m amazed by their maniacal determination to improve; I mean they will do anything to give them the slightest advantage. However, in business we don’t utilize that logic. We think that we can do it by ourselves, and perhaps it’s our ego or our pride that prevents us from reaching out for help. But when we reflect back on who we are and how we’ve become who we are, we realize that we’ve had many teachers and coaches along the way. Yet there seems to be a barrier that people encounter when it comes to asking for help as a professional…. And I haven’t met anybody yet that doesn’t want to get better at what they do.”
Ryan: “If someone from an organization was interested in securing your services, what could they expect? Or what would that look like from their perspective?”
Jez: “It really comes down to understanding what’s happening within the organization. Sometimes it’s ‘We’ve got a problem’. Other times it’s ‘We want to get better’. It really boils down to understanding their appetite as to what they want as a result. Part of it is being a detective and searching for the clues to accurately diagnose the situation. It’s crucial for me to uncover the core issue and the real problem, as opposed to what’s showing up on the surface. Another part of it is being the diplomat, because everyone may know what the problem is, but nobody wants to talk about it. The proverbial elephant in the room. It’s a matter of working out how to have that conversation tactfully, and in a respectful way.”
Ryan: “What is one of the key lessons that you’ve learned through being a performance coach?”
Jez: “When I was younger, I was more gung-ho about implementing changes, but I’ve learned that being tactful and respecting every individual is paramount. Ultimately, some people probably have an inkling that they might be part of the problem, and that’s quite a hard reality for many people to face. It’s not always the case. But sometimes people aren’t entirely honest with themselves in certain situations. In these cases, my job is to find a way to connect with the individual, then motivate them to make a strategic change. There’s a reason why these people have ascended to their position, and they’re typically very skilled and accomplished. If we can just make a few changes to unlock their full potential, they’ll never look back!”
He also offered a word of warning to those considering securing his services.
Jez: “Once I diagnose the problem, people might not like the answer. But at the end of the day, I’m not hired to be liked, I’m hired to help people deliver and optimize performance. I’m committed to making a lasting impact.”
After speaking with Jez and reflecting on his responses, I’ve deduced 3 key take-aways to enhancing performance:
- Reach out for help when necessary.
- Continual learning and improving are crucial ingredients to a life of optimal performance.
- The most effective performers not only understand this reality, but embrace it.
Check out the full interview and level up your performance today!