The Coach behind Steve Jobs, Eric Schmidt, and Bill Gates

What do businessmen such as Steve Jobs, Eric Schmidt, and Bill Gates all have in common?

You might say intelligence, ingenuity, and a great deal of success. And you would be right.

But there is one key element to their success that you might not be aware of. Namely, these men utilized a coach to help them optimize their workflow and meet their most desired goals.

The brilliant coach who worked with these men and many others was Bill Campbell. He was a household name in Silicon Valley and his legacy still lives on. Bill was loving, encouraging, and helped the world’s greatest businessmen build momentum toward their goals during the dark and positive times of their journey. Bill was able to understand the limitations of even the brightest minds, and gave them the tools to achieve operational excellence.

You might be curious as to why the business elites would need a coach when they already function at such a high level.

The answer: Coaches promote accountability and bring insight to “weak links” in our productivity and prioritization.

Even business leaders at the top of their game have room for improvement, and a coach facilitates this process.

If you are a freelancer, developer, entrepreneur and or consultant, working with a coach might be the solution you need to achieve the results you have been looking for.

Let’s dive deeper into the dynamics of a coaching relationship and why accountability is so vital for achieving your personal and professional goals.

The Role of a Coach

“One of the defining characteristics of coaching is that it creates a measuring tool for action and a means for reporting on self-learning. Good coaches never scold, or blame; they simply help you realize what works and what doesn’t when it comes to the commitments you make to yourself and your business.” – Karson McGinley, Life Coach

As an entrepreneur, you’re probably an expert in your field, but are you an expert in organization and productivity?

Probably not.

Luckily, coaches are.

Looking at Your Blind Spots

A coach will take a bird’s eye view around your goals and how to achieve them. This outside perspective will force you to confront areas of your business that you have been neglecting consciously or unknowingly.

This isn’t due to ignorance, but an inability to see the big picture around achieving your goals.

It can be easy to get tunnel vision while running your business, and we can become blind to the factors that will really drive progress.

Whether we like to admit it or not, we alone can’t see the whole picture of our doings from our personal point of view

We are limited in scope. It’s natural.

We have emotional ties to our projects which influences our perspective and actions. A coach doesn’t have these same attachments to your business, so they can give you an objective outlook on what’s working and what’s holding you back.

Uncovering your blind spots isn’t always fun, but it is precisely what you need to do in order to level up your business.

Understanding the Why Behind Your Goals

Looking at the why behind your goals is as important as understanding how you will achieve them.

If we don’t have a clearly defined why, you limit the momentum you have in executing on the how.

Tasks just become tasks if there isn’t a strong inner drive to understanding why the tasks matter in relation to your goals.

Most of us have an idea of why we want to do or achieve certain things. But it’s not until we fully flush it out and bring it into the open that it really comes to life.

A coach knows how to ask the right questions and provide feedback that will help you form a real comprehension of your why.

The why behind your goals relates directly to one of the most important aspects of running a business: vision.

Bill Campbell knew the power of vision, and loved working with founders and entrepreneurs that believed in their vision. Sometimes in the flurry of operations, vision can get clouded. A good coach will always help you refocus on your vision and how operational elements can be organized to support that vision.

Progress Tracking

Tracking progress can be tedious and something many of us avoid.

Sometimes we are happy with our business progress, but other times, we would rather not know where we are lacking.

You need to keep accurate metrics and make use of that data in order to level up your business.

A coach will help you implement the right systems for tracking and hold you accountable for keeping your numbers up to date.  

Most of the time, we need better systems and workflow tactics to improve how we track progress.

It is something we need to stay on top of, and over time, it just becomes part of our daily routine.

Appreciate your Accomplishments

Tracking progress is useful for uncovering issues, but more importantly, it helps you recognize where you are excelling in your business. 

When we don’t track progress, it’s easier to focus on our shortcomings. It’s natural for our minds to gravitate toward the negative side of things, but we can train ourselves to focus more on the positive aspects of our business.

Keeping your spirits up plays a big factor in achieving your goals.

Why Accountability Works

Time Management:

When tasks are top of mind and you know you have to deliver, the way you decide what to do with your time changes.

When there is a clear set of action steps, you can define and plan out time accordingly.

You will become better at managing your time in order to fit in the actions you need to take to meet your goals.

When you are held accountable to a coach, they will push you take ownership of your time.

A big part of time management comes down to re-training your brain to not accept wasted time.

As an entrepreneur, you are juggling a variety of different business duties and commitments to other people. And sometimes, you need to learn how to say no to certain requests.

According to James Clear in his book Atomic Habits

“Being specific about what you want and how you will achieve it helps you say no to things that derail progress, distract your attention, and pull you off course” 

You want to do it all, but it will eventually wear you down and take time away from the essentials you should be focusing on. A coach will help you see which tasks or commitments you should remove yourself from or delegate to others.


Your accountability to a coach helps you mentally prioritize your thoughts and actions.

A lot of the time, we think some tasks are high priority when in fact there are a number of other tasks that should be higher on your to do list.

We need to remember that there is a variety of hidden mental biases that can influence our thinking and approach to issues. One such bias is called “confirmation bias.”

According to Kendra Cherry, “Confirmation bias can lead you to place a greater emphasis on or even seek out things that confirm what you already believe while at the same time ignoring or discounting anything that opposes your existing ideas.”

This means if we have always prioritized tasks in a certain way, we will naturally seek out ways to keep supporting our methods while being closed off to better ways of managing tasks.

A coach plays a big part in helping us understand where our own biases might be getting in the way of progress.

By bringing your goals out into the open with a coach, they become a living entity instead of just words on a to-do list. In your discussions with your coach, the gaps in your prioritization will come to light.

Habit Formation:

“We all deal with setbacks but in the long run, the quality of our lives often depends on the quality of our habits.” – James Clear, Atomic Habits

Throughout the years, we all form bad habits around productivity. We typically form a system around how we go about completing tasks and it works to an extent.

But we rarely question if the habits we have formed are optimized for true progress.

Your brain works naturally to create habits that are comfortable, leading us to accept wasted time.

We need to be intentional about what habits we form and how to make them stick.

Being accountable to a coach will automatically shift how you approach reaching your goals and will help you to form new habits that are aligned with growth.

Researchers at the University College London found that the average time for a new habit to stick is around 66 days. It takes time and commitment to really ingrain a habit.

This isn’t a set in stone number and the time it takes for a new habit to form will vary from person to person, but with consistent accountability, these habits will stick and become second nature.

Character Refinement:

Once you are held accountable, it’s not only the task at stake, but your character as well.

We stick to the things we are accountable for because deep down we want to show we embody traits such as responsibility, drive, effectiveness and trust.

As a business leader, it’s important to be a shining example of these traits and create a company culture that promotes accountability and trust.

Your commitment to building positive character traits with the help of your coach will influence every aspect of your business and refine you as a person.

Take Action Now

Through this exploration, I hope it has been made clear that working with a coach will benefit you regardless of what stage you are at with your business.

A coach can take a unique perspective around your business and how to achieve your goals.

They will be direct about what changes you need to make and help you create action steps aligned with your vision.

They will hold you accountable which leads to better prioritization, time management, habit formation, and character development.

A coach could be the catalyst you need to level up your business and become a better person through the process.

If you are serious about reaching your goals and taking your productivity to the next level, the accountability coaches at TaskDoneHQ are here to help. 

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