I would like to share with you one of the powerful mechanisms by which coaching can bring about the very changes that we believe to be within our reach but that we just can’t get to.
It doesn’t matter whether it is personal; losing weight, exercising more, drinking less or professional; implementing plans, measuring performance, delegating more. It is difficult to do by ourselves, despite best intentions, we keep on doing what we always do, even when we know it isn’t the right choice for us.
Imagine driving, happily obeying the speed limit of 60 miles an hour. We see the “30mph Ahead” warning and may choose to slow down slightly at that point, but chances are we will continue at our speed or something close to it. Why? 1. The new speed limit remains ahead, so it isn’t an instruction but a warning at this point, and 2. because it is the easier choice. Path of least resistance. Inertia.
As All Cricketers Know – Timing Is Everything, but sometimes a Coach Will Put The Boot In…. Just Ask Joe!
From the point of view of a business coach and an armchair England cricket fan there was a fantastic little story in the news on Friday 29th regarding Joe Root.
Joe is widely considered to be one of the most naturally talented cricketers in the world and a future England Test Captain. However recently he has experienced several disappointments in his form and identified “simple” batting errors as the underlying cause..
Two weeks ago at Lord’s Joe was struggling, both emotionally and technically after giving away his wicket cheaply in recent test matches. Joe also took the unexpected first test loss to Pakistan rather personally.
So this is the time when a good coach steps in with reassurance and some practical tips on how to improve the batting right?
No – it seems. Well not as far as Mark Ramprakash is concerned.
But first – a declared interest....
Who On Earth is Glen Mills?
Like all great sportsmen – Usain Bolt has a coach. His name is Glen Mills. You have probably never heard of him. He can’t run faster than Usain Bolt, he can’t do Bolt’s training for him, and he can’t eat the diet for him either. But without him, Bolt would not be the incredible athlete that he is today. Why is that?
Glen Mills is credited with turning Bolt into the icon he is today. Mills is Head Coach of the Racers Track Club in Kingston, Jamaica which is nick-named the 'Sprint Factory'. He's been coaching for 42 years and is behind the reinvention of Bolt from a 'talent with potential' to world No.1
We recognise fairly readily the sporting analogies. However when it comes to business it is a different story for many. What is it that stops us (confession time - actually not me – I have a coach too…. ) from applying that same logic to our businesses? Maybe it is because as business owners we try to be the superhero and do everything ourselves. To stick with the race analogy, we know we can run fast but are we ready to be transformed into a gold medal winner?
Here is a simple equation to ponder: INTENT + ACTION = RESULTS
The intent of course could be dissatisfaction based, vision based or a mixture of both.
Often the intent is there, but the action is not. Why is that?
We probably understand that “If you lose money, you can earn some more - but if you lose time, it’s gone and you can’t get it back!”
I often meet people who want, sometimes desperate, to change their life or business. What we often hear is that not is not the right time. … Maybe a few weeks or 6 months feels like a much easier time. “I’m snowed under, call me again in a couple of weeks because I really want to work with you, but just not right now”. It could be seen as a simple put-off to get rid of an annoying salesman, but actually I believe it. The person saying it is honest in their intentions.
One of the most frequent comments I get from smaller businesses is “How can I grow my business when I am on my own?”
Most small businesses never get to the next level. The truth is – this is a mind-set trap, and one that can be broken out of. It is simple, not easy. It requires vision, focus and commitment. The trap is fundamentally a belief of owning a job instead of owning a business.
It’s a trap because you’re probably already so busy that you don’t feel you have time to grow the business and can’t handle more than you already do. As a sole trader, or small business owner your priority as a business owner is not to grow a successful business. This is self-preservation. If you try to do that you’ll end up feeling burnt out.