Through Executive Coaching I understand only too well the importance of having clarity about what you want; and an evidence base for success. Armed with that knowledge I’ve still made life hard for myself, on occasion! And I’ve moved on an aspiration without having all the ingredients in place that would ensure success.
It reminds me of the time when one of my employers (in)famously made the six o’clock news and the company went belly up overnight. The majority of their 2000 employees lost their job; along with their shares which they were literally just about to vest.
Personally, I was in the process of remortgaging to enable large-scale renovations on my home. I knew exactly what I wanted. So, I notified the bank and promised I’d have another job in no time. The renovations required me to move out for several months. And so I asked around my close friends to see who would be happy for me to stay with them; for the duration.
They were taken aback by my request. “You’re being made redundant. You won’t be able to renovate now.” My reply was that “I’ll have another job in no time. So, can I stay with you?” Subsequently, I was offered two jobs and secured the next phase of my career within a month.
The thing I remember most is having absolute certainty. I had total belief that I would find suitable alternative employment – and quickly. Also, that gave me the confidence that I’d be able to deliver on my objective.
The learning from this story is that clarity and belief are a given. In addition, you need to have a benchmark for success, so you know what must be present if you are to achieve your goal.
Over the years I’ve learned to trust my instincts. And my benchmark for success is that ‘feeling’ of certainty. Once I have that installed, I can pretty much guarantee a positive outcome.
I’ve read that the amount you are misaligned with your goal, however small the percentage; is the amount by which you’ll miss out. And I know this to be true. When I look back on projects that didn’t come off or aspirations still unmet; I find self-doubt instead of certainty. It may be a dollop of self-doubt or a soup bowl full. And that is the extent to which I fall short.
Reasons I went into Executive Coaching included recognition of its value in flushing out underlying self-doubt (common to us all). And the job satisfaction that comes from being able to help business leaders tap into all that latent potential; and achieve their wildest aspirations. Not only do Executives benefit; so do the people they employ.
This ability has always been one of my strengths; and a differentiator in business long before Executive Coaching became a buzz word. Over the years, I’ve heard many people declare what they want and what they’re going to do. And yet relatively few realise their intentions. Usually, that’s because at some level, they lack the belief that they can pull it off.
In situations like these, we all need input from someone objective who can challenge the integrity of our decisions and the ecological nature of our goals.
Both you and I agree on the similarities between the sporting world and the business world, Robyn. And it has been interesting this week, during the World Athletics Championships to hear criticism of UK coaches and the low level of investment made in them as opposed to the athletes and their wider support teams. )Olympic gold medalist Greg Rutherford made this point highlighting it as the reason he went to the USA for his coaching – like Mo Farah and so many UK athletes have done.
It always pains me to acknowledge the Americans being superior to us in anything! But without doubt their cultural acceptance of coaching as a ‘need to have’ as opposed to a ‘nice to have’ (in all walks of life) puts them streets ahead of us!
‘No man is an island’ wrote the great metaphysical poet John Donne. And none of us in business, or sport, or in life, should isolate ourselves into an island like status, whereby we deny ourselves the support of those who can take an informed, qualified and intelligent look at our “whole” and offer support for improvement.
Call it executive coaching if you like!
I agree with your sentiments Jeremy. It makes Team GB’s achievement at the Rio 2016 Olympics even more phenomenal; delivering arguably the greatest achievement in British sporting history. It makes you wonder what we could achieve if we invested in our UK coaching infrastructure; and gave access to quality home-grown coaches early on in a talented athlete’s career.
In business, I don’t mind what we call it. So, long as CEOs and MDs know that this service exists. I’ve spoken with numerous X-CEOs who wish they had known about Executive Coaching whilst they were still in the driving seat.