this PacMan bites!

At the beginning of our coaching journey, EMyth gave us the perspective of the 4 stages of “learning.” Basically, there are I’m sure, more PC (politically correct) words to use, but, lets stay with the originals. This graphic we use every day when communicating with clients. As a litmus test, to understand where we are in the learning relationship of helping them.

Consider using it yourself as you lead your team members to greater understanding of a concept. There is no doubt that you will not engage with a new subject unless you are inspired to do so. “Half-‘n-half “they” say, (half the energy from you and hopefully half from the subject of change!) Absolutely your coach needs to inspire you but you also need to realise that you may have some burning platform that you are inspired to "jump off!"

Either jump off, or put out the fire and start rebuilding! It turns out, that this view of the work we do together can turn out to be dangerous if we don’t get the context right and understand the roles we play.

lets try some context

Another very important EMyth perspective is the role of the entrepreneur in the business. Of course, the perspective is very contextual to the business under review but in general terms, the entrepreneur in a business has a vision of what their business should look like. They started it, had a very real dream of what it would look like when it was working. Most times the myth is that they never reach this point of contentment as they bring special technical skills to creating the business in the first place – then, people, employees and contact with the market changes all that. They end up with something that doesn’t even remotely represent their initial dream. They need to jump in ~ or stay “IN” ~ the middle of the chaos of the business to “keep it running!” After all, they know exactly what they want it to look like. So, in Hard Hat technician mode, they play the role of super technician in their business for most of the day!

Sometimes, they may manage to get out of technician mode, standing back from the processes and systems they have created in their business. Systems should not exist if they don’t meet their ultimate deliverables which are; REPEATABILITY, QUALITY & QUANTITY. To achieve this, the systems obviously need the competent technician to enliven ~ to activate ~ them, but they need to be measured and conducted by a competent manager. You get what you measure and not what you pay for, so the technical produces the outcomes you desire, only if you manage and orchestrate the process through measurement.

So, the roles of an entrepreneur evolves and demands on their time continue to rise. They are pulled this way, that way and every way until the frustration of servicing their baby ~ their dream, can be so daunting that it leads to the business consuming you. Your whole life, every thought, every breathing moment is taken up with servicing your business, to the detriment of every other aspect of your life. But, that is not how it should look. LIFE is supposed to encompass work, work is something we “do,” not to consume you and break other aspects of being human.

And so, the most important hat (persona) for the entrepreneur becomes visible, the hat of strategic thinking, of charting the FUTURE for your business, of making strategic decisions and asking your manager to design and orchestrate a system to achieve that vision and train the technician to deliver. Of course, you can wear these hats through the day and add value whenever you do. But, how much time are you spending in these roles? Are you spending time in one role to the detriment of another ~ is that green baseball hat of strategic thinker worn enough to make the future of your business assured?

Here is EMyth’s perspective, do you know where you are spend your time? We have a very simple tool and a week of analysis would give you sufficient data to start working on the this GAME CHANGER dynamic.  

​back to this PacMan bites!

Our work as a Business Development Coach with an entrepreneur, is to inspire and educate, that brings the relationship to the point where they have the tools to “fish.” The leader of the business uses this dynamic to build the engagement and the outcomes that they require in their team. These first two steps are used to bring to life the project they believe is necessary in the business relationship and ensure a changed future.

Einstein is quoted as saying; “no problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it” So, we have a dynamic we want changed ~ and a history ~ “this is what we have always done” ~ that needs changing. The next 2 steps in the process of learning start and here. As “they” say, this is where the devil lurks ~ in the detail!  We coined  the saying that in APPLICATION, it is where the entrepreneur and the manager agree on whether they are going to build – a mud-hut to create just what is needed for the enterprise or ~ to build a Cathedral.

Cathedrals are things of great beauty, expensive, huge and costly to acquire, build and maintain. They are world best-practice examples of the system you may envision. For 10 years, our practice was populated by point-solution world best practices. Before we engaged and became certified as coaches, we made a good living representing these best-practices. Our customers paid us the big bucks!

We delivered professionally and laid the ”blanket” of best practice point solutions on our clients employees, but, after 10 years, after a detailed 1-on-1 analysis of EVERY delivered solution for derived value, we found that not a single client had traces of our “solution” ~ a half life of about 6 months! It turns out, that these beautiful systems are undermined, turned into “what we need”, or just ignored. Technicians know what needs to be done and so the expensive cathedral collects dust!

Now, the bottom half of the learning circle awaits both of us as we strive to deliver value. Here are 4 things where a visionary leader can get savaged if they decide to get involved with this bottom half;

  • adversely influencing the outcome by getting into (and staying) in manager or technician mode
  • not encouraging a “skin in the game” a bottom up design input
  • building huge frustration as they use time outside their responsibility.

The entrepreneurs work is to create the visionary view of what needs to be produced, laying the preverbal sharp teeth on those that design, apply, orchestrate and deliver the desired outcome of repeatability ~ quality & quantity. This is not giving up responsibility of creating the future, because if this system doesn’t deliver ~ or never comes to fruition, the leader has abrogated their accountability for the future to another. We are accountable for the outcome and that requires a deal of oversight, and as we call it; the C5’s; Care, Competence, Challenge, Commitment and Creativity! 

refer you to page 88 Chapter 7 of our eBook, “herding cats!”

This can be a frustration as we go through the first project, but hang in there, it will get easier. Entrepreneurs can ONLY mix this cake by standing outside it, working “ON” their business rather than climbing into the bowl and getting mixed up in the chaotic ingredients of the solution, being smothered “IN” the technical detail.

so, what’s the outcome?

The biggest frustration we see in entrepreneurs, that are involved either with a coach trying to navigate this “learning dynamic,” or, transferring it through their own activity by coaching their own team is; “they get it”, they know what they want, they are inspired and believe they have a grasp of what is needed. BUT, they can’t get on with it because they;

  • don’t have the resources to define the application in their business,
  • don’t have the people or the cash flow to resource the system,
  • don’t have the change management skill to “engage” everyone,
  • don’t do their entrepreneurial work because they get “sucked in,”
  • don’t expect to do this work and so just stop learning while they work "IN" their job,
  • don’t find the time and therefore we end up where we started – no change!

What is the best way to take this on? Firstly, a strong desire to change ~ then, seek out someone that will help you understand the first two dynamics. So, with the team alongside you, they can help to facilitate the transition from the first two steps in the “learning circle” to the second delivery dynamic within your team. You will never have every quality resource you want but, with help, you can cut the time, use the techniques and your abilities to make a successful and productive “mud-hut” that will make that dream one-step closer.

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Peter French

Business Coaching is not consulting, it's also not therapy. It's a unique profession that lives somewhere in between these two poles - structured to leave lasting life and business value!

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