PRACTITIONER NOTES FROM AN EXECUTIVE COACH TO ENTREPRENEURS
In my experience, the job of coaching applies many nuanced skills with a contextual awareness of what to say, how to package it to an individual, and when to say it.
Some of this relates to basic knowledge of an industry, markets, business, and strategy.
Other aspects relate to a basic knowledge of human beings, professionals, leadership, and the ambitions and constraints of being an entrepreneur.
Some finer points of coaching entail the structuring of an engagement with appropriate expectations, performance criteria, and a certain amount of hope and belief.
However, today I want to address a subject that most coaches and consultants do not address: the personal mindset and field of energy of coaches and how they get their “head into the game.”
The unseen, unspoken context
Good coaches not only understand the “game”, they have embodied a set of principles and narratives, enabling them to generate inspired, on-point insights and prescriptive actions — which their players or clients execute and achieve consistently good results.
Good coaches not only live the game, they become the game: they use “structured imagination” within the precepts of the game and the salient aspects of a present condition (the field of play or current-state situation of the business).
Good coaches not only bring passion, rigor, and discipline to their teams, they activate an unbending intent that, with a little bit of synesthesia or envisioning, becomes a beautiful, multidimensional symmetry of light, feeling, and visceral resonance.
More than just a lens or a framework through which to see into a situation, this abstract but living symmetry takes on a life of its own.
In my experience, this symmetry whispers and nudges me throughout coaching session, giving me profound insights and hints about what to say next or where to take the conversation.
I cannot recollect a single instance in all of my years of coaching where following these whispers and nudges has produced a bad or even mediocre result.
So, the question for the day: “How does one activate, build, and burnish this tremendous resource, making it more prominent in how I lead, how I conduct my life with conscious, deliberate intention and attain remarkable if not unexpectedly great results?”
I will continue, in this blog, to explore that one question.
Today, I want to share with you what I do everyday and, in particular, a short procedure that I perform before engaging with client or project.
Holistic, omnidirectional symmetries
As a coach, I am accountable for holding an energetic context and interpersonal framework into which my clients step and interact.
From the practice of martial arts and, in particular, my personal experience in learning Aikido as a college student, the metaphor of a dojo and stepping onto the mat works pretty well to convey what I mean by an energetic context and interpersonal framework.
As a beginner learning Aikido, I found myself immersed in a cultural context that included acknowledging the founder (Sensei), the master of the dojo and teacher, the role of student, and the requirement for a concentrated situational awareness of being, standing, and moving.
My teacher also stressed the significance of stepping on the mat as a participant, requiring that I step into a mindset as a peaceful combatant, ready and willing to commit with complete focus and abandon.
I now want to convey the equivalent of stepping onto the mat from the perspective of the teacher and, in particular, a coach to bootstrapping and enterprise-funded entrepreneurs.
Aikido has one overarching aim: a sustainable personal and interpersonal condition of peace.
Entrepreneurship has one overarching aim: bringing a unique economic or social value into the world.
Entrepreneurs build companies, not just products or services, but living and breathing organizations that attract, serve, and keep profitable customers for life.
Most successful entrepreneurs have a penetrating, holistic, direct, unfiltered, and dynamic knowledge of their companies, their customers, and the business ecosystem in which their companies thrive.
A rookie mistake that many entrepreneurs make begins with an obsession to a detail or the need to get a myriad of tasks done while forgetting or disconnecting themselves from this holistic, omnidirectional experience of the business, its customers, and its business ecosystem.
I cannot overstate the importance of entrepreneurs to evoke holistic, omnidirectional symmetry of their total business as a daily practice and, most critically, evoking it prior to any important meeting or project that requires inspired insight and sustain flow.
In future posts here, I will introduce the daily first-thing-to-do-in-the-morning procedure of planning a day’s work in 5, 15, and 45 minute sprints. This will include a Daily Workplan download.
Today, I want to explain how I get my “head in the game” of coaching and energize my dojo – into which my clients step and engage their destinies.
I read the following declarations before every coaching session, speaking in a soft but audible voice and sense-feeling each word as it rolls off my tongue.
I read these declarations with the intent of stepping into a mindset and a condition of being (technically, an ontology) where each proposition is not only true, but “rings” true in the fiber of my being.
I read these propositions with the intent of embodying them…much as sports player who suits up for real “for keeps” game and conducts a few short warm-up routines…all as ritual for getting their heads into the game.
I coach entrepreneurs in building their businesses.
These entrepreneurs get inspired value from their interactions with me, my insights, tools, and social networks.
They learn how to focus their passion, creativity, and imagination on their day’s work.
They achieve extraordinary results, every day.
Each day, they make substantive progress towards the realization of their ambitions, dreams, and desires.
Each day, they build confidence, clarity, flow, and pool of expanding good will.
I love the feeling of deliberate co-creation with these entrepreneurs.
I love hearing about how customers use their products or services.
I love helping customers to discover and use their products or services.
I love the experience of contributing to their customers in getting huge benefit from using the products and services of these entrepreneurs.
I love seeing how these customers enhance their quality of life or economic productivity.
I love envisioning how the people, groups, and organizations—related these customers—now say to themselves and others, “Things have just gotten better, less stressful, and more fun around here.”
I love sense-feeling how these people, groups, and organizations bring into the world even more benefit, value, vitality, and fun for others to experience.
In myriad, small and unannounced ways, I love knowing that I contribute to the quality of life around the world through my support of entrepreneurs.
I love that these entrepreneurs create massive wealth for themselves and those who followed them.
I love that some of these wealthy entrepreneurs will in turn support other bootstrapping and rising entrepreneurs, co-creating with me a global vortex of innovation that will benefit all humanity for millennia to come.
I am forever grateful for the privilege and honor of assisting in such a direct and personally meaningful way.
I am that I am free, satisfied, thrilled, and eager for more.
Again, I perform this declaration as a condition for my stepping into the dojo of my coaching practice.
This declaration represents one of several procedures that I intend to publish in a forthcoming book on the structured use of imagination and the daily “habits of mind” of insanely great entrepreneurs, innovators, and transformational artists.