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Succeed in the business jungle with a Tiger feat.

Byline: Shahid Naqvi Business Staff

With British manufacturing officially in recession the spectre of mass redundancies once again hangs over the West Midlands, delivering a sharp prick to the feel-good bubble.

The deepening gloom was reinforced last month when the region was revealed as having fewer people thinking of starting their own business than anywhere else in the country.

Against this backdrop employers are finding it increasingly difficult to keep staff motivated amid growing disillusionment over their uncertain futures.

We are, it seems, in dire need of a shot in the arm. Enter business coach Phil Beardwell.

Through his new company, Tiger Team, he is aiming to put the get-up-and-go back into the business world.

The concept, which unsurprisingly takes its lead from America, involves implanting a business coach into a firm for a period of time to work with staff.

By this input, so the theory goes, the company creates a happier workforce, productivity is increased and key personnel are less likely to leave - all of which ultimately translates into greater profits. 'It's about getting people from a 'can't do' to a 'can do' mentality so when they go into work they say 'yes - another day in paradise!'' says Mr Beardwell.

Essex-born Mr Beardwell, who now lives in Hampton-in-Arden, created Tiger Team in March after years spent as a manager in the financial world, mainly in insurance.

A positive and enthusiastic person by nature, he realised that there was a wider market for the motivational skills he had successfully used to increase productivity in corporate roles. 'I thought why not bottle the skills I have, put a name to it and sell it back to business,' he said.

'I was executive manager with Canada Life in the Midlands but got made redundant last November. I got a job as area sales director with Sunlife Financial back in Essex, but after a lot of soul-searching, decided to fulfil a long-time ambition to go self-employed.' A series of training courses with the Life Coaching Academy followed, making him a licensed business practitioner and trainer, before the business was launched.

A firm interested in using Tiger Team would first have a coaching-needs analysis carried out by Mr Beardwell or one of his associate freelance coaches.

Based on this, a programme for action is submitted, tailored to the needs of the company. If, for example, a firm is in the process of making redundancies, career coaching could be one identifiable area of emphasis.

'We would help people produce their CV and get them into a peak state to go into an interview and get a new job,' says Mr Beardwell. 'We do the same thing that Andre Agassi's coach did to get him back to number one by taking the person and looking at their internal state. What might be missing is the state the person is in internally that carries out the winning.'

The same process of building someone up to reach their full potential can also be used during company mergers, says Mr Beardwell. 'There may be a situation where everyone has to re-apply for their jobs, which is where the coach can come in.

'People may be good at their job but not very confident about selling themselves, whereas others might be confident but not so good in their role. We can make sure the best get through.

'We build up powerful states in people to enable them to carry out challenges they might not be able to see themselves doing.'

The same principles are adopted for people in stressful executive positions to help senior staff cope with a managerial role they have more often than not taken on without any training.

According to Mr Beardwell, the service he offers will appeal to forward-thinking companies which see the benefit in instilling a feeling of well-being among staff.

And with the Government placing greater emphasis on promoting work-life balance, he believes this will be an increasing number of firms.

'If a member of staff's life is out of balance, they will look to change things,' he says. 'They might change the organisation to one that understands what he wants to do in life.

'A lot of money is spent by companies these days trying to find ways of keeping staff. It's no good continually replacing quality people - forward-thinking companies are realising that.

'Our coaching is action-orientated. We don't want to know about the past.

'We want to know what is happening now and what they want to do in the future. There are a lot of companies in America doing this already. They will have someone walking around with a hat on saying 'coach'.

'People can come up and talk to him and together they work out their goals. That is worth more than having ten internal trainers who only run programmes that meet the needs of a small number of people.'

Other areas covered by Tiger Team include building organisational skills, business acumen, team-building, leadership skills and training a member of staff to become a coach themselves.


Mr Motivator in business, Phil Beardwell
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Aug 8, 2001
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