“I will accept your influence, guidance, and direction if (and only if) I believe that you and I share similar goals.”

“I will accept your influence, guidance, and direction if (and only if) I believe that you and I share similar goals.”

—David Maister, former Harvard Business School professor

Image from Unsplash by Nik MacMillan

How coachable are you? How open and receptive are you to the guidance, direction and influences of others in your professional or personal life?

I begin working with all new clients with an all-day, one-on-one workshop in my office to clarify and fully align on the specific goals and objectives we intend to produce. With this up-front investment to align our objectives we can optimize the full benefit and value of our relationship.

EXERCISE:

How can and will you enhance the receptivity and coach-ability of yourself and those around you by doing the up-front work of assuring shared goals for your efforts?

Be a lighthouse rather than a lifeboat

“Be a lighthouse rather than a lifeboat. Guide by example, and let others find their own way.”

—Barbara Kipfer, author of 14,000 Things to be Happy About

Image of a lighthose on a clear day

Image from Unsplash by Courtney Corlew

To what extend do you consider yourself a leader? Perhaps you are a manager or executive. Maybe you have your own company or plan on starting one soon. What is your leadership style? Are you a lighthouse that shines your light as a vision to guide and inspire? Perhaps you operate as a lifeboat, constantly doing far too much of the heavy lifting and seeing it as your job to save people and carry them to safety.

Who are the leaders that have inspired you through their good examples and challenged you to always be and do your best?

The key word in the last sentence is “Your,” which points to the critical aspect of living an authentic self-directed life.

EXERCISE:

Where might a “less you” and “more them” approach to leadership be the best approach to realize greater fulfillment and success for everyone?

Note: If you happen to be a parent, please try this approach with your children. Feel free to reply to this post and let me know how things go!

A man’s pride can be his downfall

“A man’s pride can be his downfall, and he needs to learn when to turn to others for support and guidance.”

—Bear Grylls, British Adventurer

Image of Bear Grylls

Image of Bear Grylls from DailyExpress

If you were to look up the phrase “rugged individual or adventurer” on the internet, you would likely see a photo and description of Bear Grylls.

He served in the British army, trained in unarmed combat, desert and winter warfare, survival, climbing, and parachuting. He is also noted for his numerous expeditions, including:

  • Climbing Mount Everest
  • Circumnavigating the United Kingdom on a jet ski
  • Crossing the North Atlantic in a rigid inflatable boat
  • Climbing remote and “unclimb-able” peaks in Antarctica

Although much personal attention has created his celebrity status, he points out most vividly, with today’s quote, that in virtually all cases, his successes involved and were dependent on the support and guidance of others.

EXERCISE:

Where in your personal or professional life have you been going it alone to achieve what you desire? Where and on what matters it is time to more fully embrace and yes, request the assistance of others in your various communities?

Check out Grylls’ Wikipedia page, and note how many of his accomplishments include many other people backing his efforts.

Turn Within for Guidance

“Turn Within for Guidance.”

—Author Unknown

Road sign reading "Listen to your inner voice"

Image from RamDass

Coaches use powerful questions and engaging inquiry as a means to help clients gain expanded perspectives and insights into their worlds. The time devoted to these discussions can be transformative.

The key to such interactions is based on the concept that virtually all the answers lie within each of us, if we are willing to do the hard work and look within.

By no means do coaches, mentors, trusted friends, or advisors have a monopoly on such questions or the power to create breakthroughs.

Consider yourself as the coach you take with you wherever you go, to always have the ever-ready guidance you seek.

EXERCISE:

Generate a list of your own powerful and provocative questions in a journal or notebook. Take the time to discover the deep and valuable answers within you.

A book that has become a favorite of mine is A More Beautiful Question by Warren Berger. Consider picking up a copy to strengthen your capabilities in this area.