As a personal and corporate coach, I’ve spent a lot of time understanding and enhancing the process of helping people and companies get from where they are to where they want to be.
Some of this has come from experience. Even before I began coaching, much of my work was built around growing teams of people and growing the businesses I was part of. It was both the most important work I did, and the most fulfilling. This growing of people and organizations accounted for my successes over thirty years in high technology.
But I have not let my experience be the only guide to understanding what works. I have also invested heavily in more formal education. I became part of the John Maxwell Team of coaches, speakers, and consultants, which entailed hundreds of hours of education. I have read constantly, talked with other coaches, and spent time reading on the subject from sources as diverse as the Harvard Business Review, Psychology Today, Success Magazine and many others.
You see, I am not that smart. I am not a fount of original thinking, full of great insights. What I am is a constant student, and a great teacher. Every study of talents and aptitudes I have ever taken say so. Spiritual gifts evaluations say so. My own clients and employees have said so.
So when a client takes me on, they are not getting Mr. Brilliant. They ARE getting someone deeply experienced and deeply taught by the best, someone who is good at putting together the lessons of the best in the business, condensing them, and helping others put them to work in a way that is best suited for them. Clients don’t just get me, they get a host of the best, combined and wholly focused on their individual path to success. This path works for individuals as well as organizations.
All this experience and learning has helped me develop a general path to help people get from where they are to where they want to be. It looks like this:
Creating an identity is the first step. Often our identity is lost in the day to day. It gets lost in business. It gets lost in serving others. But to move forward in life, we have to know who we are, at our very core. If we don’t know this, if we can’t explain what makes us who we are, good and bad, then any other work is guesswork and nothing more.
Once we have a sense of identity, we begin to develop a sense of purpose, even of spirituality. We tap into what feeds our spirit, what excites us, what drives us, and we begin to make changes to feed those things, because those things give us the energy to grow and change.
Next, we build on our communication skills, and beyond communication, connection.
These three things allow us to begin and build a life of integrity, a life of truth. And when we are able to live in integrity, we are no longer trying to live our life in compartments that sometimes conflict with each other. We are able to take the energy that we used to spend reconciling our inner conflicts and put that energy to work in making change.
Only then, when we have made these first steps, do we start taking the steps to reaching our goals. Because now we have cleared the path of it’s biggest road blocks to reaching success. We learn to think better. We grow higher quality relationships. And we can begin to use our past to create a future we want.
As we move towards that future, we need to do one more thing: develop a process of renewal and long-term growth. This sets up for not just a time of success, but a lifetime of success.
So those are the steps. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be addressing each of the subjects in detail. No, it’s not a substitute for coaching, because it lacks the interactivity, the focus on you and your uniqueness, or the accountability that coaching provides, but it does give a framework that might be useful as you make your own journey.
Be well. Travel wisely,