it's lonely at the top
“Anything worth doing is worth doing well!” This is one of the hundreds of pearls of wisdom my father imparted on me. He also said “The beaks and the feet are better than the meat”. He had so many that I’ve lost track of many of them. These two stuck with me though. I recall trips to our summer home, “camp” as we Mainers call it, and learning how to use a chain saw, swing a hammer and countless other things. There are things I know how to do and I have no memory of learning those skills. I have no doubt that they were learned at camp.
At home, I learned to cook. My mother taught me the basics of grilled cheese and spaghetti sauce. She also taught me when it was best to grab a pizza and stay out of the kitchen. My Grandmother taught me how to clean out my closet.
With Mother’s Day in the rear view and Father’s Day in a few weeks, I wanted to take a few minutes to talk about those who shape us. As a young child, we are initially impacted by our parents or guardians. Through the early years, they teach us how to talk, walk, read etc. As we grow, we have teachers and sports coaches guide us through our primary education and life experiences. Many of us have religious or community leaders as well who help shape who we become. Some of these people become lifelong mentors.
As we enter the professional world, co-workers and supervisors who lead the way surround us. They teach us by example, or through structured instruction, what our job entails. The procedures, the processes and the job requirements. In the Navy, I had senior sensor operators I still have the utmost respect for to this day. I was a challenging student and they were some of the most patient folks I have ever met.
As you work your way up through the business world, you form more personal relationships with the executives above you. Many of us find mentors in this area as well. I have had great experiences working for some fantastic leaders in the final years of my military service and throughout my post military professional career. The benefit of a strong group of co-workers cannot be overstated. Having good relationships with professionals who are doing the same work as you and facing the same challenges is imperative to your success as a businessperson.
If you have a sense of drive, it is only natural for you to want to reach the top of the ladder. Whether this is finding a spot as the top executive in an established organization or starting your own company, we all want to reach that pinnacle. It’s incredibly rewarding and exciting when it happens. But there’s a catch.
When you find yourself at the top of your field, or as the CEO of your own company, there are two things you no longer have, supervisors and coworkers. Your support group is gone. The old adage, it’s lonely at the top has never been more evident. Taking stock, and realizing this, is crucial. Sure there are professional contacts that you still have, and there are countless other business leaders in your industry that you are forming new relationships with, but they are just as busy as you are. Where do you find someone to bounce ideas off of, someone to help you identify your goals and keep you on that path? I strongly suggest a business coach.
I know what many of you are thinking. “I don’t need a coach, I know what I’m doing.” There is no question you know what you’re doing, you wouldn’t be successful if you didn’t, but there are some substantial and quantifiable benefits of having a business coach. In an online Inc magazine article, they summarize the benefits and share 10 reasons that young entrepreneurs use business coaches.
“No matter what stage your business is at, a business coach can make you work harder and progress faster than you would on your own. From providing a much-needed ego check to helping expand your network, a business coach can give you both the tools and perspective you need to go from point A to point B”
The list of benefits are
1. You'll go outside your comfort zone.
2. You'll get personal attention from someone who knows your business inside and out.
3. You'll finally have someone who isn't afraid of correcting you.
4. You'll learn how to make your ideas a reality.
5. You'll gain a needed confidante.
6. Your networking opportunities will skyrocket.
7. You'll make more money.
8. You'll develop self-confidence.
9. You'll be held accountable for what really matters.
10. You'll hear unbiased opinions.
If you still think you are fine without a coach, consider the folks who have succeeded and give credit to their mentors or support team;
This list goes on and on.
The bottom line is this. You need to have conversations about your business with someone who “gets it”. You should NOT be relying on your spouse or family to share in your enthusiasm and energy, or to help walk you through the pros and cons of a decision. Find a coach you can connect to and build a long term support relationship with. I promise you will be better for it.
If I can be of assistance, or if you would like to talk about your business with me, please call anytime.
For the Inc Magazine article, click here: https://www.inc.com/young-entrepreneur-council/10-reasons-to-hire-a-business-coach-now.html
These posts reflect current events and humorous observations that encourage us to think about how we do business.