• Debra Chantry-Taylor

What’s the difference between a Business Coach or Leadership Coach & a Professional EOS Implementer?

Updated: Aug 25

What’s the difference between a business coach, leadership coach, business mentor, business consultant or a professional EOS Implementer?

I often get asked what a Professional EOS Implementer really is? “I mean surely”, they say, “it’s just a consultant or business coach isn’t it?” “And weren’t you that before anyway?”

In fact, just recently I had someone engage in debate with me on LinkedIn, claiming that I was just a consultant & even then I was really only a consultant because those who cannot do, teach.

It was an interesting conversation on LinkedIn which caused me to reflect on my journey – where I came from, where I am now & what being an EOS Implementer means to me.

Because the truth is on my journey, I have been the teacher, the mentor, the business coach, the leadership coach, the moderator, the facilitator, the business owner, the business leader, the chair & the consultant. I’ve even had the failures, after the successes & a long time after I finished consulting & teaching I might add, so I didn’t consult because I couldn’t do 😊

Now, I am most definitely an EOS Implementer.

A Professional or Certified EOS Implementer is described as an experienced, seasoned entrepreneurial leader – something that I believe describes me to a tee.

You see my journey started with running businesses.

Originally for other people, taking flatlining businesses with several hundred staff from flatlining to growth.

In the role of GM or CEO, I worked with the Leadership Team & the Board to take these businesses back to growth phase, through:

  • Clearly defining a vision – why we existed, what we could do & who we did it for

  • Engaging with the people, through defining our ‘way we work around here’

  • Holding them accountable for the ‘measures of success’

  • Being prepared to have the difficult conversations so that we got the best results.

NOTE: Funny how I could do those difficult conversations for other people’s businesses but then always struggled in my own businesses!

I didn’t really know what I was doing or why I was doing it – it just felt like the right thing to do & it got results.

We even won business awards, against large competitors, which pleasantly surprised me.

I even enrolled in my MBA, because I didn’t think I knew what I was doing.

And through that I learned 2 things:

a) Study is not really for me &

b) Getting experience in real-life taught me more than my MBA did.

After a few years of doing this successfully for other businesses, I finally resigned from my last GM role on because I couldn’t live with what the CEO & Board were prepared to live with. Guess I’d now call that being values driven.

I went on to do a few contract / consultant roles, helping smaller businesses to get some of this stuff right before starting my own business.

For a couple of years it went surprisingly well. Living the high life while growing the business, merging with another business – everything seemed quite perfect. Except that the one thing that I wasn’t good at, was the due diligence. Before we merged, I should have got some help I should have looked at what was really going on, but being an entrepreneur & an optimist, I took things at face value.

Long story short, I had to put the company into voluntary receivership & went back into Corporate to lick my wounds & rebuild my finances.

During this time, I was approached, by Business Mentors, to do some Business Mentoring. I wasn’t sure what I could offer but they convinced me that with my business experience, there was a lot I could offer. So I underwent the Mentor training & started mentoring & coaching Business Mentors clients, which was a huge amount of fun.

A Mentor, in the true sense, is someone who shares their experiences with a Mentee to help them make better decisions. In reality, I couldn’t help but also teach then some of the models & tools that I had used in running businesses. And I also found myself playing the role of a coach, helping them to see where they could do better & holding them accountable for doing what they said. The best part was also celebrating their successes.

To this day, I still work with one of these Business Mentor clients (some 9 years later) except now it’s as the Chairperson of their board & I help to run their Sales & Business Strategy days each year.

Leading on from this, I was approached by the Marketing Association. An internationally affiliated & accredited organisation, offering Certificate & Diploma Courses in a variety of Marketing subjects.

They wanted to redesign their Certificate of Digital Marketing, based on international standards & asked if I would go & be their Course Director. Digital was a space I had a huge interest in, so I joined & worked to rebuild their Certificate Course. In the space of 12 months we went from running 2 courses a year to running 6 courses a year.

As part of running that course, I was also asked to teach on their Certificate of Marketing Management – teaching students about strategy & execution. I don’t think any of my teaching methods were very ‘normal’ – in fact I often got asked if I should tone it down, because I used non-academic speak, but my students loved it & so I carried on in typical Debra style.

From here I got approached by the Icehouse, on the recommendation of one of my guest lecturers, to go & consult in their Start-Up division as an Executive in Residence.

I’d quit corporate life at this point & was consulting into a company that was exporting into China as their Innovation Manager & Governance support for the CEO.

I had to say no initially to The Icehouse as this role was almost full-time, but as it started to become less full-time & I handed over responsibility to staff that we employed, I was able to say yes to the Icehouse.

My role at The Icehouse was to take start-ups through a Hatchery programme, which taught them tools to apply to their business idea, to ensure that they could build a sustainable business. I would say this was a real mixture of teaching, consulting & coaching.

As part of this, I got interested in Market Validation, & started to work, under the guidance of the MV team & Dr. Rob Adams in the Market Validation Team, helping businesses truly validate an idea before committing to it. I was definitely a consultant at this point but given that I did talks around New Zealand for the Icehouse on the subject, I guess I was still really a teacher at heart.

I was now well recognised as an Executive in Resident (EiR) & Business Coach at The Icehouse & started to get involved with established businesses as well as start-ups. Working on their strategic plans, their people, their KPIs & measures of success & just generally helping them to grow their business.

Through doing this I got asked to be a mentor for many incubators – Icehouse, Lightning Lab, Lightning Lab XO & 0.Ventures.

I also travelled all over New Zealand for The Icehouse doing talks & workshops around my various specialties – Food, MV, Hatchery & Strategic Planning. I got to meet some amazing people, especially when I did a strategic planning workshop for WIFT – I met movie stars & producers that are world famous!

One of my proudest moments was making it as a finalist in the NEXT Woman of the Year in the Business Section. Only 30 women recognised overall as finalists & only 6 in the business section. I didn’t win, but it was such an honour & a privilege to be recognised for the work that I did.

As I worked with the Icehouse & continued to build my personal reputation, I had people coming to me specifically & I set up a Business Coaching & Marketing Agency (Ventell) that could help businesses with their growth ambitions. We had a few coaches & a few marketing specialists who could work with businesses as & when needed. We did some fun work!

After 7 years with The Icehouse, I eventually realised that there was starting to become a values misalignment. I have huge respect for them & what they do, so I won’t go into it, needless to say, I couldn’t stay & I had ideas of my own.

I was a consultant to them, so I chose to continue working with them but also go off & do my own thing. I had a successful business coaching practice outside of their work but I still wanted to help more people.

By now, I was also a member of EO (the Entrepreneurs Organisation) & had trained as a EO Moderator plus I had undertaken some formal Leadership Coaching training – 2 more strings to my bow & both had got me thinking about what was really important to me.

And they had whetted my appetite to help more people.

I realised that I wanted to help people create better businesses – to help people get what they really wanted from their business & I thought that a mixture of community / peer support & coaching was the way to do this.

So I leased the building across the road & set up The Common – The Entrepreneurs Playground. A business playground, event space & shared working & meeting space, supported by strong business coaches & support functions.

That was fun but challenging. HUGELY challenging.

So many lessons learnt, so much lost – my house, my Porsche, my toys. All to fund a business that I knew had potential but was probably a bit before its time & not in the right location.

Interesting that a Market Validation specialist got this wrong!

That said, we hosted some amazing events, worked with some global brands, supported some very cool businesses, employed some beautiful staff, gave many interns a chance at their first real jobs & who can forget hosting MAFS in our space – reality TV is very special and not something I ever wish to repeat!

And then my brother & my Mum passed away in the space of 10 months. Both were hugely important in my life & left a massive hole!

It made me realise that life is too short.

Having a great business is one thing but if you spend your entire life in business then what else do you have?

I’d always said to my business coaching & leadership coaching clients that you have to build a business that supports what you want out of life & suddenly that became even more important.

We closed down the Parnell branch in December 2019 with the intention of opening up the new space that we had found in May 2020.

Lots of things, COVID included, had other plans. We lost the new building & then COVID secured the temporary closure. Yes, I still think about where I can take this concept next!

Just before we closed, a company called EOS, booked our event space to launch their proven process & model / system into New Zealand. This system, the Entrepreneurial Operating System, that had been operating around the world for many years was finally coming to NZ.

I didn’t know what EOS was & I couldn’t even make their talk, but I was piqued by their name. As a member of EO for 3½ years, what was this EOS?

I immediately clicked with Francesca who was organising it & she gave me 2 books to read – Traction & Get a Grip.

This was a life changing moment for me.

I read the 2 books & realised that this Entrepreneurial Operating System brought together everything I had intuitively done for years – managing / leading businesses & coaching / facilitating. It was business coaching, it was leadership coaching, it was facilitation, it was all about leading a life that meant you could do what you love, with people you love, make a huge difference, get compensated appropriately & have time to pursue other passions.

As Jim Collins says,

“Magic occurs when you combine the spirit of entrepreneurialism with a culture of discipline”.

This is what EOS is all about.

I immediately told Fran that I wanted to be involved.

There’s a lot more to it, however I flew to Sydney & did my training in December 2019 to become a Professional EOS Implementer.

Which brings us back, after a very long-winded story, to what is an EOS Implementer & why is it different to a consultant or a Business Coach or a Leadership Coach or a Business Mentor?

The role that I play in businesses, as a Professional EOS Implementer, is 3-fold.

I am without a doubt a teacher – Teaching practical tools & timeless concepts through a simple model & a proven process that is used by hundreds of thousands of businesses (successfully!) around the world.

I am a facilitator – Helping leadership teams to get comfortable with being uncomfortable, so that we can build a healthy leadership team. I help you call out the elephant in the room, stop you from getting caught up in circular discussion & help you solve issues at the core of their root cause, once & for all.

I am also a business coach & leadership coach – Much like a sports coach, I have an outside perspective. I can be the trusted advisor that looks from the outside in, to help you to make better decisions. And I will hold your leadership team accountable for achieving the vision.

Personally, I am fortunate enough to have had my successes & the failures. I was also the curious child who also questioned everything.

Now, with my 25+ years of experience, formal accreditation & academic qualifications plus years of coaching & consulting experience, I know the questions to ask.

It has been a journey, as you can see, & for those of you who have made it to this point, thank you for taking the time.

What I hope this story helps you understand is that the reason I am now an EOS Implementer is that I am passionate about seeing people get what they want from life by getting what they want from their business. That is what EOS is all about & it’s so much more than being a Business Coach or a Business Consultant.

By working with the whole leadership team, teaching the tools, the model & the proven process, my role is to get you to a place where you can work independently of me, with a proven process & system.

I’ll help you along the journey, celebrating your successes, helping you to learn from your mistakes, until you are ready to graduate & work without me.

My specialty is family owned & professional services businesses – I just can’t help myself – that’s where I get my joy. Working with people I love, doing what I love.

The goal of an EOS Implementer is to create independence, unlike a business consultant & some business coaches.

We want to teach you, empower you & have you graduate, fully able to run EOS in your business without needing us.

If you think you could use some help with your family business or professional services business then please get in contact – let’s just chat & see if / how I can help.

The best time to have started working on your business was before today – the 2nd best time is NOW!

Book me for a chat – virtual or in-person - https://calendly.com/debra-chantry/quick-coffee

Debra Chantry-Taylor

Professional EOS Implementer