𝗧𝗼 𝗥𝗲𝗮𝗰𝗵 𝗛𝗶𝗴𝗵𝗲𝗿 𝗣𝗲𝗮𝗸𝘀, 𝗕𝗲 𝗢𝗽𝗲𝗻 𝘁𝗼 𝗢𝘂𝘁𝘀𝗶𝗱𝗲 𝗔𝗱𝘃𝗶𝗰𝗲
Updated: Jul 9, 2022
Even with skill, motivation, and luck, you may start to plateau.
Most accomplished people, whether Olympic-level athletes, admired leaders, or expert founders need coaches to reach and stay in top form.
❝𝑰𝒇 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒏𝒆𝒗𝒆𝒓 𝒑𝒖𝒔𝒉 𝒃𝒆𝒚𝒐𝒏𝒅 𝒚𝒐𝒖𝒓 𝒄𝒐𝒎𝒇𝒐𝒓𝒕 𝒛𝒐𝒏𝒆, 𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒏 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒘𝒊𝒍𝒍 𝒏𝒆𝒗𝒆𝒓 𝒊𝒎𝒑𝒓𝒐𝒗𝒆.❞ – Anders Ericsson
There are several approaches to improvement. Let’s climb this mountain!
Push the Boundaries
In my experience as a COO, I see two patterns when founders want to develop themselves and grow the business but are stuck.
The Founder Who Will Not Hear Feedback
Under the guise of pressure and persistence, they ignore even the best advice. In a way, this makes sense when you think that founders had to launch and get traction exactly by denying the naysayers and pushing forward.
However, after initial traction, to reach the next level we need some self-review where consider the advice of others as a leader.
The Founder Who Will Not Delegate
This tendency is also grounded in past success. An entrepreneur had to do everything at first and now has a hard time letting go.
However, we must realize that behaviors which initially brought success now hinder growth. More on delegation linked below.*
Accept Outside Influence
Once you are open to taking advice, you want the right type. Ideally, you will find experts who have experienced a similar journey (e.g. other founders who are several stages ahead).
Choose people willing to say what you need to hear, not just what you want to hear. In other words, a coach is not a cheerleader.
When talking with experts, consider this approach:
Start with a specific problem or desired progress
Provide history, factors, options, and desired path
Bring firm objectives but be flexible on their approach to questions
Respect their time by meeting infrequently (maybe once a quarter)
Seek Continuous Improvement
Do not set goals alone. Engage your coaches and your team to set high expectations on both leadership development and company growth.
Next, determine and measure progress in specific terms (e.g. revenue goals, OKRs, skills, and ratings).
Finally, determine when to review feedback and to respond publicly on what you learned and how you plan to improve.
You do not have to change totally or immediately. Pick 1-3 areas which matter to you and talk openly about your desire and plans to improve.
Being vulnerable is always hard yet often rewarding. Soliciting feedback from others will push you higher.
I strongly recommend reading Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise by Anders Ericsson
* More on Delegation here: https://bit.ly/3aaUXLa
Photo by Pixabay which can be found here: https://pixabay.com/