The Coaching Effect Blog

The Coaching Effect Blog

    Habits, Rituals, & Routines from the 2019 Coach of the Year, Harry Hicks

    by Kathy Collins / September 4, 2019

    I always say if you need something done, ask the busiest person you know. Or, if you want to learn the habits of a successful person, spend time with one to better understand what makes him or her tick. Harry Hicks is exactly the person the EcSell Institute wants to learn from on how to create daily habits to help drive high-performance coaching.

    So, in that spirit we did our own research on our 2019 Coach of the Year in order to learn more about what makes him a successful leader. Harry graciously took the time to provide us with honest, straightforward advice on how to maximize effectiveness as a leader.

    For those who did not attend our Coaching Effect Summit this year in Charlotte, North Carolina, Harry is a Senior Sales Director at West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc.

    West has been a valued client of the EcSell Institute for many years and continues to grow sales year after year. Senior leadership within the organization understands that their leaders have the largest impact on team performance, which is why they continue to partner with us and commit to that investment in their leaders.

    I hope you enjoy the interview with Harry as much as we enjoy working with him. EcSell is always looking for that next inspiring coach as we approach our upcoming Coaching Effect Summit next April in New Orleans, so there’s plenty of time to learn and implement these helpful tips.

    Okay, here we go!

    Q: Let’s start at the beginning…what does your morning routine looks like?

    A: My morning starts at 4:30 am six days a week. I don’t set an alarm on Sundays. I sleep until my body wakes up, usually between 5:00 am-5:15 am. I go to the gym every day, except on Saturdays that are above 40 degrees. In the Spring, Summer and Fall, my Saturdays involve going to the golf course for the first tee time of the day. Golf can be a nice relaxing change of pace with others that appreciate a beautiful sunrise and dew on the grass, so mother nature can subtlety coach you as to why you misread the putt.

    Q: What is your favorite hobby/activity?

    A: I don’t really have a favorite of all my activities—I enjoy them all. Diversity is key and using all muscles is important to me. Anything from cycling, weights, group exercises, from yoga, Pilates, cardio resistance training, swimming, etc. (first love is snow skiing, but it’s tough at 4:30 AM in Ohio.) 

    Q: Do you prefer a morning workout or after work workout?

    A: I prefer all physical activities in the first hour or so in the morning. This is my selfish ‘me’ time. After my time, I focus on all kinds of initiatives and supporting people. Working out early in the day enables consistency. Too many other things get in the way of good intentions with evening workouts.

    Q: Everyone is wondering, what does a high-performance coach eat for breakfast?

    A: Breakfast is generally a generous bowl of oatmeal, cinnamon, nuts, blueberries and other seasonal fruit. Washed down with two cups of coffee.

    Q: Is there something you HAVE to do before running out the door?

    A: Taking time to be grateful for the opportunities that the day will bring. Followed by checking for urgent text messages that may have come in overnight.

    Q: Do you do anything specific during your commute to work? Listen to podcasts, tune in to the radio, sit in silence?

    A: During the commute to the gym or airport, I listen to the radio to get caught up on the world, national and local events.

    Q: What’s the first thing you do when you get into the office?

    A: Triage emails, read the news, or catch up on industry updates. 

    Q: Do you create a routine on the road as well?

    A: I always try to keep the same routine on the road. Sometimes it’s a challenge when I’m in different time zones, (6-12-hour time changes can be tough!) So, if I don’t work out due to very little sleep, I justify it by taking the day off AND know that the consistency of my workouts provides me with the endurance to focus on the tasks of the day regardless of my global location.

    Q: Do you end up eating your lunch with other team members or are you an eat-on-the-go kind of guy?

    A: Where and with whom I eat lunch is dictated by where I am located. I definitely prefer to eat with team members, customers, people. Regardless, I always eat.

    Q: What is a non-negotiable for you throughout your work day?

    A: Hmmm. A non-negotiable…must eat and take time to think and plan. Almost everything else is negotiable.

    Q: Where do you go for leadership resources or industry news if you have time to learn throughout your day/week?

    A: Resources are generally industry news, talking with people in similar roles, different experiences, talking with team members, Harvard Business Review articles, LinkedIn articles, books,  EcSell Institute articles on coaching. I’m always searching for new insights.

    Q: How many times do you check your email inbox per day?

    A: I generally check my email inbox 3-5 times per day. Sometimes more, sometimes less if I’m in day-long customer meetings.

    Q: Do you do anything specific right after work?

    A: Re-enter family life. Get caught up on what’s going on…always some excitement in the family…

    Q: What does your evening routine look like?

    A: Eat dinner is #1. Maybe help prepare, definitely clean up or pay the bill at the restaurant.

    Q: How do you wind down at night?

    A: Talk with non-business people, something always needs to be done like water flowers.

    Q: What is the Coach of the Year reading right now?

    A: The First Wave by Alex Kershaw. It’s about D-Day warriors who led the way to victory in World War II. Those brave men and women faced and overcame challenges that I never will. Really puts my life into perspective.

    Q: What’s one coaching lesson you had to learn the hard way?

    A: There’s a few: reacting to an assumption that I made based on my view of the world. NOT knowing what is going on with someone personally creates a huge mis-understanding and perspective gap. Not having the knowledge of what was going on in his world caused me to not coach in an effective manner.

    Q: What’s one coaching moment that is most memorable to you?

    A: The most memorable coaching experience(s) is having a team member come to me with challenges and expectations that together we can openly talk through various options that make sense for a positive outcome. Establishing a ‘coaching process’ that really works is valued by both parties once authentic trust is established. In my personal life, I find it rewarding to have college students and people in the work force contact me for possibilities and recommendations.

    Q: What do you do that makes you a Coach of the Year kind of coach?

    A: Establish authentic trust.

    Q: What’s one thing you want to do this year to elevate your coaching game?

    A: The challenge is to boil it down to one thing…we all can and need to improve our game. Gaining additional psychological knowledge, creating collaborative environments, creating patience to listen more intently and not interrupting. Establishing the right balance of listening and constructive feedback.

    Q: What piece of advice would you give someone if they were working to become a high-performing Coach of the Year like yourself?

    A: Approach everything with a positive attitude. Be authentic. Be open to possibilities and understand other perspectives and most importantly, establish TRUST!

    So there you have it. Our 2019 Coach of the Year's tips, tricks, habits, rituals, and routines. Even though we just scratched the surface of what makes up a high-performing leader, we hope you gained some insight or ideas from Harry. If you want more inspiration check out this blog from our year's past award winner: A Day in the Life of Our 2018 Coach of the Year, Curt Reekers

    And for an even deeper dive into what great leaders do to increase sales, enhance performance, and sustain growth year after year, grab a copy of our colleagues' best-selling book, The Coaching Effect

    The Coaching Effect Book


    An EFFECT businesses and leaders can no longer ignore. 

    Available on Amazon


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    Kathy Collins

    Kathy Collins

    Kathy Collins is the VP of Client Success at Ecsell Institute. She currently handles software maintenance, client needs and support and all company operations. As an empowered facilitator, she dedicates her work to efficiently improving upon strong organizational process and the corresponding measurement and tracking that coincides.