A life coach
Some companies only hire consultants who get lots of public notice, the ones who speak at every convention, who pay for full page ads in all the industry trades.
They’re seeking validation of their own status as much as programming help, proof that they’re in the Big Leagues, at least subconsciously. And, if something goes wrong, if the advice doesn’t work, they’re covered, because they hired “the best.” Right?
There’s nothing wrong with that, by the way. It’s their money, and most of the consultants with big names earned them the hard way, by succeeding at some point.
I’ve always believed the very best consultants are more coach than technocrat, more focused on improving individual performance skills than on their own publicity and achievement.
The best I know have names you don’t know and probably won’t recognize.
Yes, the best coaches know technique and mechanics but what they teach is how to tap unmet potential.
They ask as many questions as they answer, and offer insight and perspective — often intuitive — focused as much on life as on skill or talent.
They un-stick the stuck, and they offer a safe way to try, and to fail, without blame and judgment.
They leave you not only a better performer, but a better, more rounded person. At least, I think they can.
The best athletes in every sport — LeBron James, Tom Brady, Serena Williams — have coaches, people who help them perform better even though they themselves are unable to hit home runs, or score 50 points, or throw a touchdown pass.
If you and your team don’t have a coach you can rely on when the bullets start flying, I encourage you to find one this year.
It’s worth the investment to unlock potential, to see if someone with training and experience — even someone no one in your company’s ever heard of — can bring a different perspective to situations you’ve stopped considering, and with that perspective, re-light your own flame.
This year, challenge yourself by more than your monthly revenue. Don’t talk yourself into settling for what is. Dare yourself to take a glimpse of what might be.