We make life hard for ourselves in this country, with our ‘stiff upper lip’ approach to business. Your typical Managing Director will soldier on alone, thinking they are supposed to have all the answers and perceiving outside help as weak; whereas, they adopt a different attitude in the States.
Regardless of seniority, American business leaders view it as entirely normal to engage a Coach (or a ‘shrink’ for that matter); treating them as trusted advisors as well as a source of inspiration.
In the UK, somewhere along the line we learned that life has to be difficult; that if we are not striving for things beyond our reach then they are not worth having. I come across many business people who are so busy making a living that they don’t stop to acknowledge the fact they are not making a life. They may recognise when they are not having fun and they worry about finding that elusive balance; but their response is to peddle harder on that hamster wheel rather than taking the time to define what it is that gives them a sense of satisfaction as well as achievement in their professional lives.
On top of all that we then add insult to injury by refusing to let anyone help us. ‘Surely I shouldn’t need somebody else’s help to work things out!’ you cry, ‘What does that say about me?’ Well, it tells the world at large you mean business; it shows vision, ambition and a determination to succeed. Here’s how one client describes their experience of Coaching:
“Robyn is not coming in to fix us – we’re not broken per se – we do not need some kind of instant fix. What we do need is help for us to help ourselves to that next level because there is much more growth in the business and, therefore, new challenges ahead. We have an ambitious growth plan and know we need to grow together if we are going to continue to be a success. It’s about helping us to help each other to be the best that we can be.”
As you can tell, I am lucky to be working with business leaders who are already successful in their field and who recognise that the key to sustaining success is to keep on improving – as an individual, as a team and as an organisation.