OUR CULTURE celebrates self reliance. We applaud the “self made man” as if such a thing could even exist, and we have a deep desire for independence and autonomy. The USA holds up the archetype as cowboy or business mogul as one who courageously takes on all challenges and doesn’t rely on anyone else.
It’s a wonder that society can exist at all!
The truth is that we deeply need each other throughout our lifetimes. It doesn’t end when we graduate from school, either – it just changes in character.
As a business leader, you have a range of goals you want to achieve. You want to create an enduring organization where people are motivated to do amazing things. You want to be a leader in your industry and locale, developing a loyal customer base who will fight to give you their business.
You want to enjoy your life and feel like you made a difference.
Do you know how to do all that? Nope. I don’t have all the answers either. My education was a huge help in giving me a great start, but honestly I’ve learned much more from the people I’ve worked with over my career.
I use books and blogs and websites an awful lot, because I love learning new stuff. But that’s just the mechanism of communication. All three of these suffer from being almost entirely single-direction, from the writer’s mind to my eyes, but often the biggest difficulty is trying to figure out what to DO with this amazing information.
So I rely on a lot of people who help me ACTUALLY improve. My colleagues and friends that I’ve met through business mechanisms. Online discussion forums. My family. People at church. My own coach.
These people help me ponder the dizzying array of options, and together we try to figure out how all this knowledge at my fingertips can best be applied.
Yes, it requires a degree of maturity and humility. There’s things I’ll admit to a good friend that aren’t yet safe to discuss with a business colleague. That’s totally normal, a natural part of the human experience.
The point is that I strive to have SOMEONE I can talk to about difficult issues.
So here’s my question for you: Do you have someone you can talk to honestly about:
- I feel like I’m just making everything up as I go along, yet I’d like the nice packaged formula.
- When managing employees, it seems like there’s no right answer. Maybe not even a best answer.
- I’m afraid I’ll run out of money and be destitute.
- I don’t know where this industry is going.
- Some people just frustrate the heck out of me.
- I desperately need customers, but they’re incredibly hard to please.
- I never know if I’m violating some law out there that I’ve never heard of. It’s all quite mysterious.
You don’t have any of those running around in your head? How fantastic! I want to find out how you did it!
For the moment, though, I’ll work with the people in my life and rely on our energy and intelligence to figure out the best we can.
Are you feeling a hole in your skills and abilities to build the amazing business you envision? Well, that’s what a business coach does. <blatant plug>