Sunday, April 26, 2009

Executive Coaching and Self-Reflection

I maintain that executive coaching and self-reflection go together like a hand and glove. Just tonight I read a post from B.J. Hawkins, Making Work-Life Balance Work in Your Entrepreneurial Company. In it he related what I think is a brilliant insight. In talking about his past work life, B.J. related,

"I was working an average of 18 hours a day. A lot of our clients were located in the Caribbean, and flights from the West Coast are long and arduous.

Fortunately, I've engaged for years in a practice of self-reflection, asking trusted advisors to help me see myself as others do. In the early 1990s, their message was clear: I had been paying lip service to a desire for more free time, but my actions were indicating otherwise.

That, in turn, led to a change on my part ..."

The practice of self-reflection. You can either self-reflect and change or take your choice (or not) of several other alternatives ..

  • Let market changes wipe you out

  • Slip into mediocrity

  • Experience burnout

  • Have your spouse leave you

  • Lose your investment

  • Miss out on that promotion to SVP

  • Miss company targets

  • Have your kids forget your name

Well, you see what I mean. Self-reflection is about gaining clarity. My clients may sometimes be sick to death of me going on about clarity, but they listen and realize that clarity rules. To tell yourself the truth is powerful. To take ownership of those insights and act on them is a downright rocket launch away above and beyond most of the population ... and your peers, and the competition, and the ...

My second encounter this evening with self-reflection:

Someone from Frame of Mind Coaching reminded me about the importance of journaling. From founder Kim Ades,

"Kim designed the Frame of Mind Coaching program to provide her clients with a supportive infrastructure where they could develop the skill of deliberate thought. Kim understands that the single greatest difference between those people who are stratospherically successful and everyone else is their THINKING. She knows that we all have the propensity to shift our thinking and achieve success.

The foundation for creating Frame of Mind Coaching lies in Kim’s ardent belief in journaling as the absolutely most effective and profound vehicle to make substantive and lasting changes in your life and career."

Your greatest means of moving forward is you. Your greatest barrier is you. Think about that. What you think is who you will become. How you work and lead will be a function of how you think.

A little self-reflection may be in order here. Start with a pencil and a piece of paper. It will force you to be more succinct.

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