Coaching Is Just Management Sped Up

Coaching is just management sped upWhen you coach you have to take in feedback and make decisions affecting other people in real time. You say one thing in the wrong tone and your team is turned off. Trust is lost. You have to be extremely careful in how you treat them at first, once you have trust though, it’s much easier to get them to buy-in to your system.

When you manage people in a business situation it’s very similar to a sports game with some obvious differences. The decisions you make as a manager will affect how your staff (team) view you in the future. If you’re a demanding asshole most of the time, your staff doesn’t have many reason to stick their neck out for you or really do the right thing for the company.

When you’re coaching you don’t have weeks to get things done, you have minutes. Generally you coach youth or kids much younger than you, who are less mature than you. You’re forced to abide by the nobler motive, you can’t argue, name call or act childish under any circumstance for fear of losing the trust of the team.

You see managers all the time who’ve lost the trust of their team. I like to ask managers what their staff would say about them behind their backs after several cocktails. If the answer is “not good” we have work to do. You can’t manage in a bubble, people talk, your reputation precedes you. It’s all to common these days to find disengaged staff and a leader who is completely delusional. It’s sad really.

I think the business community could learn a lot from coaches, especially management. Do you want to become a better manager? How about a better leader? Try coaching a team. You think motivation in the workplace is difficult, try convincing a bunch of 10 year olds to pay attention long enough to learn about Volleyball, that’s difficult.

Coaching forces you to be a leader, you get better by default. The more you try to learn to be a better coach, the better leader you end up being.

Coaching is the one area where the athletes provide instant feedback, you can look at the faces of most athletes and tell if they are enjoying practice or loathing it. That is a skill all on it own, I’m not good at it yet, but I’m learning.

Your Privacy vs Being Accessible

Eric Schmidt quote on privacy

The new world is I’m Googling you the second you email me. I’m going to find everything I can about you. Google can find almost anything these days. I should be able to search your name and contact information and find all relevant information about you. I mean it’s 2014, you have to assume everyone is going to Google you at some point, right?

Now the privacy pundits will tell you to stay as anonymous as you can, as Lloyd Christmas once said, “lot of bad drivers out there!”. But REALLY, really?  How many people do you know who have been stalked?  Is that even still a thing?  We’re too concerned about privacy that we’re losing out on business opportunity.

I had a meeting booked with an organization, the night before the meeting I search the person I was meeting with on Google (I do this with a lot of people surprisingly) the only site other than LinkedIn said she was in Swift Current not Regina. I sent an email asking about her whereabouts, I receive nothing in return. I Googled the organization to find a phone number but there’ only a Regina contact. The “Contact Us” page had a form to fill out, no numbers. Finally I search for her email because for sure her phone number would be in the salutation at the bottom of the email right?  Wrong.

It was 30 minutes till a meeting with someone in another city that I had no number for, what would you do?

I didn’t make the meeting.

The lady called, she was upset. I didn’t mention the difficult time trying to find her contact info let alone a phone number. She didn’t want to hear what I had to say, her mind was made up.

I hate offending people. I don’t like upsetting people. I really try hard never to miss a meeting. By that time I think it was for the best. To help someone with social media when they won’t as much as publish a phone number is relatively impossible.

Answer the new phone. Be accessible, especially your workplace. Nothing says we hate our customers like not being able to find a phone number to call.

Google yourself. Google your company. Google your company name and “contact info”. See what comes up. If it isn’t exactly what your customers want then change it.

Oh yeah, how your customers find information about you will change, it will always change, it’s in your best interest to ask them periodically if you’re still providing information where it is most easily accessible.

Get Used To Feeling Stupid. It’s a Sign of Growth.

Get Used to Feeling Stupid. It's a Sign of Growth - Julien Smith

I love that quote from Julien Smith.  As kids we don’t care about feeling stupid, we don’t care how others will react, we just approach problems with a clean slate. To a child there are no repercussions, that’s why they use their imagination so much. Somewhere between having a child like sense of wonder, and being a grumpy adult, we lose our imagination. Or as Hugh McLeod would say,

“Everyone is born creative; everyone is given a box of crayons in kindergarten. Then when you hit puberty they take the crayons away and replace them with dry, uninspiring books on algebra, history, etc. Being suddenly hit years later with the ‘creative bug’ is just a wee voice telling you, ‘I’d like my crayons back, please.”

 

The real world eats away at us, older people are quick to call out ludicrous ideas, and unless they’ve heard about it before they don’t trust it.

School teaches us that being wrong is bad, you should listen to what you’re told, shut up, and sit still. That problem with that is, I’m 28, I STILL can’t sit still, I never do what I’m told and it’s still relatively impossible to shut me up.

So what happened to our world?

In her brilliant Ted talk on why it’s OK to be wrong, Kathryn Schultz tells a hilarious story on how she was wrong about a simple sign on the side of the highway.  But she reminds us that being wrong is fine, it’s a sign of growth. And we can never shy away from sharing how we truly feel. It’s those who are willing to risk being wrong that are going to make a difference in our world.

I coach volleyball, I’m also on the Regina Volleyball Club board as the coaches rep. I had a ball bag of another coaches and she emailed me to leave it in my backyard for her to pick up and exchange for the ball bag she had.
I put the bag in yard and a couple days go by. It hasn’t moved. A week goes by, it’s still there. And this was February in Regina so her bag was pretty much entirely covered in snow before I messaged her asking about why she’d neglected to pick up her bag nearly two weeks ago.

Her response: Jeph, I picked up my bag two weeks ago, I exchanged it with your bag. That’s your bag in the back yard covered in snow.

Me: Well don’t I feel like a horses patoot.

Go on, risk being wrong. And the next time you feel stupid, look at it as a good thing, you’re growing.

Stop Blaming Other People

I'm sorryWhen you blame someone else for something, no matter what it is, you’re protecting yourself from being wrong or at fault.

When you say you’re sorry and take ownership of the situation, the common misconception is that it makes you look weak or powerless. When actually, saying you’re sorry humanizes you and makes you more likeable.

It’s easy to blame others, it’s hard to blame ourselves.

Understanding this is imperative to you making it in this world. It’s a scary place out there and you need to have thick skin if you want to make it. You have to own up to your mistakes. Take responsibility for when things go wrong, don’t point out where others messed up, shut up and fix it yourself. If you get the reputation as the person who takes responsibility, who gets things done, and isn’t afraid of being wrong, you’re grooming yourself to be a leader.

When you blame others for something, it gives you nothing to do about it. Once you blame yourself, you now have something to work on. In the book Bounce it talks about how world class athletes sometimes feel lost when they win, because they have nothing they need to work on. The most successful athletes in the world are the ones constantly working to make something better.

Get in the habit of taking the blame, point the finger at yourself and don’t being afraid to fix a situation. People look up to others who get shit done. Especially in the world we live in, we all need to strive to take the blame more often.

It starts by not blaming others.

The Two Things Every Leader Of A Nonprofit Must Have

Dr Seuss QuotesA vision and they must care, a lot.

I’ve worked with many Nonprofits,  as well as volunteered on several boards (currently president of one and vice president of another). I’ve seen the good and the bad, the purpose driven and the lost souls.

One day going back and forth with a good friend discussing the growth strategy of Nonprofit organizations she pitches me, “if you want to run a successful Nonprofit the person in charge has to have a vision of what they want to create and they must care a whole lot.” This struck me as odd because how could something so complex as the leadership of a Nonprofits be summed up by satisfying two variables? It couldn’t possibly be that simple could it?

This moment in time reminded me of a Woody Guthrie quote.

“Any fool can make something complicated. It takes a genius to make it simple.”

Nonprofit leadership comes down to two things. Having a vision and caring. A leader with an inspirational vision but doesn’t care is a snake oil salesman. They have grandiose ideas, they’re smooth talkers, they could sell a Ketchup Popsicle to a women in white gloves. But when the chips fall, when the going get tough, when the real work begins, this snake oil slinging fella is nowhere to be found. Read more

How Risk-Averse Entrepreneurs Succeed

Timothy Ferriss

Learning  relearning how to start a business is something we all need to remind ourselves about from time to time. You only fail when you think you get “it”.

Here’s a video that Timothy Ferriss put on his blog. An interview with another entrepreneur (Noah Kagan of App Sumo). But not just an interview these two go back and forth on how to start a new venture, what questions to ask, how to test early as possible, how to call your own bullshit, and how to begin with the customer.

They even take an audience member and help him create a business. Literally, he pivots during the interview and they actually begin taking orders for this “new product” on air. Ridiculous!

Watch it…