WIIFM? (who cares, nobody trusts you!)

A couple of months ago I found myself in the midst of a major disagreement between business partners that had the potential to bring down everything. It was a powder keg ready to explode and battle stations were manned. It got so serious that all communication ceased and insults, erratic behaviour and downright childish tantrums became commonplace. Strangely, more common in private and family businesses than I imagined.

The issue: It was intimated that one of the partners wasn’t being as open as they needed to be on a particular deal and that it was heavily skewed in their favour. Trust was brought into question.

The atmosphere was toxic and required external assistance. How can someone with such a strong track record of getting results and building a business be considered as untrustworthy within the very same context that got them where they are today? How can you be this successful without being responsible, fair, and… trustworthy?

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Let's Get Engaged (and watch business soar)

There’s a good reason why the thing that comes before a wedding is called the ‘engagement’. That’s because engagement is the first sign of serious commitment. But just how engaged are your people, really? Chances are you might think they are fully engaged…but in reality, most people are just showing up for work because they have to.

Changing this situation isn’t easy, but it is high stakes: get it right, and watch your business soar.

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Inspiration vs Desperation – The Problem with Humans

Navigating the pathway through your business is a testing and rewarding experience. When things are going good it never seems easy, and when times are tough, it always feels much harder than it should be. One thing that always gets drummed into us is to surround yourself with great people, but when is the best time to call on them for help?

First, we need to understand the distinctive phases of business growth. Having worked with and presented to hundreds of business owners over the past 15 years, I can put my hand on heart and explain the progression of a growing business as thus:

ExcitementAnxiety - ConfidenceGood TimesCloud 9Frustration StressDisillusionedRe-energisedProud

Notice anything?

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Coach Kids & Learn Everything You Need to Succeed in Business

Just over a year ago, on the brink of the junior soccer season, our coach quit in a shock  move.  Our first game was a week away and we had too few kids, no real plan and now no coach. I was the one left standing out the front when the club president asked which parent wants to coach the team from here on. I barely heard the question but the result was overwhelming, I didn’t step back quick enough!

With a whistle around my neck and eyes wide shut, the chip on my shoulder was substantial;  I know soccer, I AM a coach – how hard can this be! The next 18 weeks became a mix of disappointing loses, close losses and demoralising losses. We scraped for a couple valiant draws and two triumphant victories. Despite there being no official score or ladder at this level, we all knew exactly what the scoreboard read – we weren’t doing that great…initially.

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Got elephants? Let’s tackle them.

I once observed two members of an executive team in a family business come to blows in a  management meeting. Siblings. You can just imagine the scene and the horror on the faces of the other people in the meeting. A week later as I prepared to be relieved of my role as coach to the executive team, the CEO explained that bringing the issue to the surface that lead to the fisticuffs was exactly what I was brought in for; “brilliant work, mate – thank you” he said, “we can finally get on with running this place.”

We recently took a look at the differences between coaching, mentoring, training and consulting. One more key difference that a coach should bring to the table and which other disciplines will actively avoid, is dealing with the elephants.

Elephants in the room, that is. Most – actually, probably all - businesses which have reached the point of requiring the support of a coach will have elephants in the room. Those unspoken issues which swirl just beneath the surface can have significant impacts on company culture, the engagement of staff members and clients, productivity and, quite frankly, overall happiness.

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Coach, Mentor, Consultant, Trainer – know the difference

One of the questions I routinely encounter is: ‘What’s the difference between a coach and a mentor?’ Throw in ‘trainer’ and ‘consultant’ and I get called all four of those. Let’s set the record straight!

It’s a good question because these are distinct services and each has its place. Of course, a combination of them can, too, be the best package for your organisation. Any easy guide looks like this:

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Swimming Against the Tide & the Genius of Donald Trump

Swim Against Tide Let me share a story.

 During 2016 I have hosted 3 round-table discussions on the one topic: ‘Setting a Vision – who does it, does it work, what are your stories?’ They’ve been attended by business leaders ranging from micro businesses, SME’s and corporates. On each occasion when the group was prompted to come up with an example of an energising vision, to my surprise the SAME example popped up in the 3 separate discussions: “Make America Great Again”. Not one local (Australian) example. Just those 4 simple words.

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