No one knows your business better than you do; you probably already have an experienced team and great advisors and mentors around you; you might even think you have a clear vision and plan for the future? So why do you feel like you’re not moving forward as quickly as you would like, not realising your business and personal goals; generally not feeling in control and lacking balance in your life?
In his book ‘The Inner Game of Tennis’ the author and renowned coach Tim Gallwey wrote that: “Your performance is equal to what you are capable of when you remove obstacles”. He went on to put forward the formula: 'performance is equal to potential minus interference'.
A business coach will work with you to define and address two key questions: what is your potential individually and as a business, and what is the interference or ‘stuff’ preventing you from reaching that potential? More importantly, your coach will help you identify the specific actions you need to take to keep moving forward, and how to be accountable for taking that action.
That’s why business owners need a coach - and it’s why coaching is different to the services provided by other types of advisors and consultants.
Harvard lecturer and author Ronald Heifetz popularised the metaphor of the dance floor and the balcony in the context of leadership. As a business owner, you may be consumed by the day-to-day challenges you face in your business. Being stuck on the ‘dance floor’ and running the business based on the tyranny of the urgent.
Sometimes, business owners need to get off the dance floor to “gain both a clearer view of reality and some perspective on the bigger picture”, that is, to ‘step on to the balcony’. Having this clarity is important in being able to run your business efficiently, plan for growth, seize new opportunities, or looking ahead to avoid a future crisis.
There are always times when a business owner needs to be hands-on, because you know that “if you want to affect what is happening, you must return to the dance floor.” The challenge for business owners is getting the balance right, when to be on the dance floor and when to go up to the balcony - knowing how to use one to leverage the other.
Your business coach can help you develop awareness around knowing when to step on to the balcony, challenging you to see the bigger picture and get a clearer view of reality. Working with you to identify and consider your options, your coach will help you determine the actions you need to take to move towards achieving your business vision and personal goals – all while you keep the music pumping on the dance floor!
Quotes: Heifetz, R., and Linsky, M. Leadership on the Line: Staying Alive Through the Dangers of Leading. Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 2002.
As we head towards the end of the year, it’s a time for business owners to reflect on the year that was and start thinking about what’s next. For many it’s often one of the few times throughout the year where, as a business owner, you can step back from the daily hustle to think about what you’ve achieved, the challenges you face, your vision for the business and how all this aligns with your personal goals.
You might even make some commitments to yourself about business opportunities or challenges you want to tackle in the coming year, or a more personal commitment like improving your fitness or spending time with your family. You get back into it in January full of enthusiasm and with a clear focus, only for these commitments and your vision for the future to be quickly overtaken by the ‘tyranny of the urgent’.
Why does this keep happening? How do you get back in control? What is needed to take your business to the next level and where do you start? Is the way you are working sustainable for you and your family - what’s your end-point? There is certainly no shortage of information or advice on any of these questions. A cursory Google search will reveal dozens of articles like ‘9 Essential Steps to Crafting Your 2020 Business Goals’ or ‘Six Ways to Take Back Control of Your Life’. You’ve got people in your network, mentors, staff and family who are often a great source of ideas and insight, not to mention the advice that you pay for - professional services, advisors and consultants. So what’s missing?
This is where a good business coach can help. In his book ‘Coaching for Performance’ author and coach John Whitmore discusses the principles of awareness and responsibility that are at the very core of human growth and effectiveness. Building awareness and responsibility is the essence of good coaching. Awareness is the product of focused attention, concentration, and clarity. A business coach will help you create greater awareness - about your vision and goals, your current reality, and what options are available to you to drive change. Responsibility is about ‘owning’ our thoughts and actions. Consultants, advisors, and mentors can come up with great ideas and advice but they’re not responsible to act on it - you are, if you choose to or if you get around to it! A coach helps business owners take responsibility to act, through developing effective strategies, actions plans, and the individual and team accountabilities necessary to deliver the desired outcomes.
So what’s next for you and your business? As Nelson Mandela once observed, “vision without action is just a dream, action without vision just passes the time, vision with action can change the world.” A business coach can help you with both - vision and action! Do you feel it’s time to get serious about taking your business to the next level, fulfilling your business vision and achieving your personal goals - will 2020 be the year of knowing and achieving ‘what’s next?’ Request a free business coaching consultation.