OK, confession time – I am a geek. There, it’s out there… I absolutely love science, and neuroscience is my favourite of them all. There used to be a theory that after a certain age the brain was not capable of creating new synapses and therefore you couldn’t really learn any new skills, hence the old wives’ tale ‘you can’t teach an old dog new tricks’. Fortunately for those of us who are reaching a certain age, in 2014 neuroscientists were able to prove that the striatum, a region involved in motor control and cognition, produces new neurons throughout life. They may know a thing or two about stain removal, but it turns out those old wives weren’t right about everything.
Sometimes when we have been in business for a while we can fall into the trap of believing that we know all there is to know, because we have been there and done it, got the t-shirt, and understand how the world of business works. We can assume that support from a coach or a mentor wouldn’t be particularly beneficial. After all, what could they teach us with all our years of experience?
But the power of coaching doesn’t only lie in those moments of teaching and enlightenment – it also lies in accountability and just feeling like someone has your back. I once worked with an incredibly experienced client who has held Director-level positions in key blue-chip organisations, and has the war wounds and trophies to prove it. Now working for himself running a company with a small team, we spent some time refreshing his whole approach to generating new enquiries and converting leads to clients.
During the six hours we spent together we developed a clear, multi-channel sales strategy, an efficient and streamlined process, and a kick-ass pitch. Over 85% of the content was already in his head before we started – he knew how to form a strategy, he knew how to structure a process and he knew how to talk about his business. My contribution was a little MJB Graham sparkle and working with him to bring all the areas together in an aligned, practical and cohesive plan of action.
At the end of the day we arranged to speak just under a week later to see how some of the actions on the quick wins we had identified were going. On that call his energy and enthusiasm were incredible. They had made a fantastic start on the actions and he was a man who had fallen in love with his business all over again. Having a workable plan and being held accountable for delivering on the actions is an unbelievably powerful thing.
So, if you have a plan to grow your business make sure you aren’t keeping it a closely guarded secret. Having someone who holds you accountable for delivering on that plan will ensure what needs to get done gets done. Who knows, you may even decide that that someone should be a coach.