In this section, you’ve learned a strong management methodology. But setting it in motion, day after day requires discipline, and that requires self-coaching. Huh? “Self-coaching?” What does that have to do with meeting management or marketing? Good question. It’s a little bit like business psychology. Let’s start with a definition—self-coaching is a systematic way to inspire, educate, and lead yourself so you can be an effective, enlightened leader.
Fulfill your promise
There isn’t much wiggle room in professional sports contracts. Athletes must take care of themselves so that they play at the top of their game. Likewise, you’re agreeing to give your best to your employees and customers when you start your own business. If you don’t take care of yourself physically, emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually, you won’t find the stamina or know-how to lead your team.
Coach your team.
Leadership demands a passionate sense of purpose, clarity of mind, and stratospheric levels of integrity, energy, and interpersonal skills. You can’t get there without self-coaching. As Dee Hock, founder of Visa International, said, “If you look to lead, invest at least 40 percent of your time managing yourself.” If you can’t manage to manage yourself, you’re doomed to inspire your troops about as well as Dilbert’s pointy-haired boss.
It’s an aphorism that bears repeating: People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. If you have more “issues” than National Geographic, you’re too mired in your own muck to care for the people under your watch. You’ll also remain mystified why people don’t pay you the respect you think you deserve.
Time management improves because you’re focused, organized, and alert. Better interpersonal and decision-making skills also help dispatch more issues as they arise, preventing future course correction headaches. Sure, it’s tough to find time to do everything that coaching yourself entails, but avoiding it altogether will make life harder than it should be.
Keep your antennae up
Get in touch with your emotions, motivations, and feelings. You’ll have a better sense of what makes people tick, and you’ll know what to ask and when and how to ask it. Approaching and comforting a struggling employee is an underrated skill—and difficult to pull off without going to school on it.
Positively influence others
Think like a parent, even at work. Whether or not you realize it, your attitude and behavior seep through your entire company or department. If you’re cheerful and optimistic, your teammates are more likely to be upbeat and positive. If you’re moody and negative, you’ll have an office full of grouches
Make work more enjoyable
Office life gets easier the harder you work at self-improvement. You start going with the flow instead of fighting the current. As you get to know yourself better, you’ll engage people more authentically throughout life. You’ll think more clearly. You’ll laugh more. You’ll feel more caring and energized. You might just get that Zen feeling that life is unfolding exactly like it’s supposed to.
All coaches need a playbook that spells out their championship strategy, even for coaching yourself. Yours is the next seven chapters. It starts by clarifying the life you were born to lead, then shows you how to realize that vision by setting and reaching goals and treating yourself right. Remember, the healthier you are, the healthier your business will be.