Performance Coaching - Billions
I have already written about the excellent TV series, Billions. It is a text showcase of how powerful people fight their battles. It is also a practical explanation of the game theory. One of the key protagonists in Billions is named Robert Axelrod. It is also the name of the author who has written an influential and fundamental text about Game Theory.
One of the main characters in Billions is Dr Wendy Rhoades. She is a performance coach working for a hedge fund, Axe Capital. She is a trained and licensed therapist. But what she excels is in performance coaching. She breaks people apart, finds out what drags them and what holds back, fixes it and re-assemble them. She upgrades the minds of the employees of a billion dollar hedge fund. All the people working that company has to make crucial decisions that can swing hard. Wendy is the catalyst in getting the best out of them. Rightfully she is the head of HR at Axe Capital.
I have been awestruck at the writing and the character development of Billions. I have binge-watched all seasons of the show. Every dialogue is embedded with a lot of interest context, which is frustrating, but that is also exciting if you know it. Many interesting real-life celebrities make a cameo role in this. Mark Cuban, Jocko Willink, Anna Kournikova, Tim Ferriss are the few that I recognised and recollect now.
I have been thinking specifically about the Wendy Rhoades character. I wished if every HR team in a company is equipped with these skills. I know it is too much to ask. HR has so many things to run for a day to day business. But just imagine, if there is someone like Wendy in a company. A person who is like a therapist but doesn't come with that label. A person who can listen actively, understand the context and coach to realise their potential without being pedantic. That person necessarily not be in the HR department. The learning and development department has that vision, but their one size fits for all approach of training might not be the best option. If that quality of coaching is in a manager or team leader, your work can improve exponentially.
We do have life coaches and executive coaches who specialise in consulting and improving the C-Suite execs. I wish we have such a culture or options available for regular folks and employees too.