On the Eve of Success…Thank your Coaches.

As I train for the San Francisco Half Marathon, and think about tomorrow’s race, I reflect on my training program and the influence of my coaches.  They have nurtured and expanded my dreams and goals, shared knowledge that allowed me to succeed in my training and racing, kept me going when times were dark, and pushed me when I didn’t think I could perform at the level they expected.

It is the last part that amazes me the most.  Left to my thoughts and plans, I would never have set such ambitious workout plans. I just didn’t think I could do them.  Many days I couldn’t…I was right.  (And days when I was overjoyed when my schedule read “Rest Day!”) Yet, there were days when I did reach their expectations of me, and I was astounded and proud of myself for my workout accomplishment. Who knew?!

Similarly, when I ran for a Board seat of my local Homeowner’s association, it was the encouragement, support, and guidance of my mentors that got me elected…and then appointed Board President.  I would not have set such goals or achieved those successes by myself.  I must thank my mentors and coaches for my success.

In my retained executive search practice, I find that nearly 100% of CFOs and CEOs with whom I work have had great career coaches and mentors.

The message to share here today is two-fold.

First, recruit and develop your own coaches as soon as you envision a goal for yourself…or as soon as you identify a passion and need to set goals. This includes your career goals as well.

Second, listen to your coaches when they believe in you more than you believe in yourself.  Then, thank your coaches when you are on the eve of your success.  We couldn’t have gotten as far without them!

PS: Based on my training success, I’m resetting my goal for tomorrow’s race.  Now I hope to place Top Three in my age group in the S.F. Half Marathon!

Results will be shared in my next blog post.  Stay tuned…

Freedom isn’t Free

 

We often hear the adage, especially from our military servicemen and women, or our First-Responders, “Freedom isn’t Free!”  Here, FDR gives us another angle: “…it must be earned.”  Just like leadership cannot be given away, it must be taken away, freedom and leadership both must be earned.  What have I done today, to earn my freedom and leadership?

 

-Paul

Happy Independence Day! 

We often hear this proclamation, but what does it mean to us today? For business leaders, it has special meaning. “This is America!” Where we can become anyone we want to be, and work in any career we choose. We are not told what to study, which fields to work in, or which employer to work for. Leaders know this freedom can be both a blessing and a challenge when building a business.
Being able to lead a business is a blessing, and we thank our forefathers and our previous generations for this gift of opportunity. We also know that it was a choice on our part to pursue our careers and ambitions. Our challenge is in the reality that our teammates have this same choice…same freedom of thought and career commitment.  They can be totally committed, or they can leave our team at any time.
Business leaders need the commitment of our teammates and followers to be able to pursue our dreams and goals of building our enterprises. They have the same free will as we do, and chose to commit to our team. We must give them good reason to join us, and stay with us, on our journey. They have the same independence of choice given all of us in this country, and all free countries of the world.
So on this Independence Day, let’s reflect on the gift of career choice, and, as business leaders, earn our teammates’ commitment for another year.
-Paul