“Don’t sit down and wait for opportunities to come … get up and make them!”
Madam C.J. Walker, Cosmetics Entrepreneur
Who wouldn’t say of themselves that they are doers, right? We constantly do, do, do! In corporations “busy” is the second frequent answer behind the standard “good” to the question “How are you?”. Often both answers are rather set phrases than real insights and rather conversation stoppers than starters. But real execution starts with a real conversation, sometimes that’s a conversation with yourself, and – in an ideal world - leads to laser focused actions towards a set goal. From thinking to doing - continues the little series about the double human coaching approach.
Today I was at the kick-boxing gym. When walking in I was greeted with the usual “How are you?” I spontaneously and truthfully replied “Tired!” and right there, I had three people looking up slightly surprised and a brief but fun conversation started followed by a full-hearted hourlong execution on the trainer’s promise to wake me up. Of course, the trainer would have probably also executed on a full-on Monday morning work-out without my outside of the standard reply but this very simple interaction led to a couple of special check-ups on me during class and a “I’m awake now” verbal blink from my side in the end.
Now, of course a 10-year strategy of a multibillion-dollar company is a totally different story than a kick-boxing class, as is e.g. starting a new career after years and years in the same old job on a personal level. But all executions - strategy or personal - follow a simple pattern: first you need to define it, learn or know about it (the strategy, the plan, your desire for change, your purpose, the gym schedule …), then you need to set goals (increased customer focus, more market share, higher revenue, find new job in next three months, exercise daily and be awake …) and then … the hardest part follows – doing it!
I guess Nike’s “Just do it” doesn’t cross only my mind when it comes to bringing a thought to action. But even a simple sentence like this can imply complications. What if I don’t know what “it” means? Say I lead a team of people in IT, how can I contribute to more customer focus? Say I’m just done with my old job, disengaged at work but don’t know what exactly I want from my next gig. That’s why it all starts with a conversation to clarify the it.
Then the “just”. Just implies that it’s easy, right? Well, it can be. Once it’s clear what brings the highest impact doing “just” that is easy. Once obstacles are removed the path is open and you “just” follow it along. No matter if someone is working to achieve business or personal goals, having the most promising and highest impact behaviors identified, obstacles removed and everything mapped out in a plan, makes them are ready to go.
Just ✔️and it✔️! Still no doing – yet! In order to get yourself or people in general into doing mode we need to feel that this is worth it, that we will be rewarded (and not punished!) for our actions and that we have an impact on the results. To really do something, people need to be sure that they can take risks and that someone has their back when they fail. Ultimately people seek empowerment, trust in the process, the people around them and in a favorable outcome.
Coaching takes all of that into account: We help leaders and individuals identify the it and how it relates to them and their people. We help them derive the key behaviors and actions. That includes planning, prioritizing and a sharp laser focus on the real essential stuff. Getting stuck in detail and losing track of the big picture hinders strategy execution. And most importantly we help them to address obstacles and remove them, to empower themselves and others and to build trust and commitment – towards themselves, for a trustful relationship with their people and towards the outcome.
I have your back! You can do it! I know you got this!
P.S. Want support from inspiring women to get into execution mode: Check out w/ sisters, a new online live peer-to-peer coaching program for women I’m offering together with my colleague and dear friend, Cindy Hurley-Leister. Reach out and we’ll include you!