Some years ago, a member of a business owner peer group responded to a roundtable question about what he planned to do to get ready for the coming year. His answer surprised a number of people who were expecting the usual strategies of goal setting, customer research, talking with the bank to raise money. What he said was, “I first try to think about what my path to success should be to reach my goals and the goals of the business.“ He said that everyone has a different idea of their path but not many actually sit down and think it through in actionable detail.
The next question was how do you do that? His answer was, “I talk with all my “coaches” and they help me mark out the path. Those of you around this table are on my list of coaches. So are people I have met along the way whose opinions I respect and who have the courage to ask me the tough questions I need to answer whether I like some of those questions or not.”
He added that he also had a 1:1 coach that he hired several years before with whom he talks once a month. “At the end of each of our talks, we agree on tasks I want and need to complete and goals I want me and the business to meet. We start the next week with me reporting the results to the coach. The toughest part of that conversation is talking about why some of the tasks were not completed and goals that were not met. “
Several people in the meeting looked shocked at all the effort he was putting into actually reporting to people who were outside his company and they asked why he did all that. His answer was very interesting. “I believe that accountability is the main driver of accomplishment. All of us in this room lead an organization. Unless we are publicly traded, we do not have a board of directors looking over our shoulder. Maybe some of us have our businesses to avoid the scrutiny and roadblocks we may have faced elsewhere as employees. But at some point, we come to realize that we need something and some people who want us to succeed and help us get out of our own way on the path to the success we seek. They probably don’t tell us what to do. They help with questions and conversations that help us ourselves get clear and specific about what we need to do.”
So, it you are wondering if you need to see if coaching can help you have a more successful path, look up certified business coaches and business leader peer group firms and find resources and people that are a good fit with you and get on that path.
Paul Riecks is a Principal at INSIGHT. At INSIGHT, we believe that every business has the opportunity and the potential to be as successful as its owners want it to be and deserves the chance to reach that potential. One of the best resources available to business owners and CEOs for help in reaching their company's potential is the deep pool of knowledge shared with other business owners and CEOs. So, what we do is form INSIGHT Groups-each with 10-15 owners and CEOs- and facilitate their monthly meetings where they advise each other, share ideas and experiences and gain the clarity they need to achieve the success they seek. www.gaininsight.net