“To win big, you sometimes have to take big risks.” Bill Gates
Last week, my co-founder, Amy Humble, and I spent a day and a half with a coach being coached.
Because coaches need coaches.
We contemplated many things and learned a lot too, and I thought it might be useful to share with you some of our newfound insights:
First, we talked about how a business is a living, breathing entity. People animate a business—it doesn’t have a sentient, living, growing existence without them—and people need to be nourished and nurtured. As the people go and grow, so goes and grows the business. It’s easy as the business founder to fall into the trap of seeing the business as just an extension of yourself. But that’s a limited, and limiting vision, and adds to our risks in achieving our objectives. There is great value in seeing the business as separate from yourself.
I was also reminded that while trust and a will to work together are foundational and necessary conditions, they are still insufficient to move us off the launch point of an S Curve in scaling a business. The ways in which we work together shift. When Amy and I started working together, she was a vendor, and I was her client. As time went on, we could see a significant growth opportunity by working together more frequently and consistently. Ultimately, we saw the greatest value in merging our respective companies into one.
It’s led to many conversations about how we can make the most of our partnership as a business opportunity and as a launching pad for individual growth. Like anything worth building, whether a personal relationship or a business relationship, both of us being willing to be deeply vulnerable has been essential and not always easy. Work is indeed a wonderful place to undertake personal growth.
Our most recent coaching days led to a decision on our part to reconfigure some of our responsibilities, not just because this is what CEOs and company presidents do, but because we can see each other’s superpowers—and our own. We believe that evolving our roles to maximize and play to our strengths will help us each contribute the most we can.
It’s good work figuring out how to build something and make it grow, because it gives us chances to grow too.
Our podcast guest this week is General Stanley McCrystal, a highly decorated U.S. Army veteran and retired four-star general who commanded large contingents of U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. He is also the author of Risk: A User’s Guide, in which he shares lessons learned from war zones and global conflict and applies them to professional development. One of the things we’ll discuss on the intimidating topic of risk is that the most considerable risk we often face, and the most difficult to deal with, is ourselves. I hope you’ll join us; General McCrystal shares hard-won insights into confronting the necessity of risk.
What do you have the will to do and the desire to do well, but you don’t know how?
What do you aspire to where the greatest risk to success is you?
To what extent are you getting the coaching you need to change the way you need to change yourself, or the people around you, so you and your business can grow?
As always, thanks for being here!
P.S. We are doing a LinkedIn Live Tuesday, December 13 at 2pm EST with Allie Chipkin.
P.P.S. If you want to better coach others on their growth journey, you may want to become a Smart Growth Advisor™ in 2023. We are offering 20% off to our newsletter subscribers. Sign up here and use the code Growth22 for a discount.