Do you, or your client, have a really big decision ahead of you?
Maybe you are deciding if it’s time to transition into coaching. Maybe you are deciding whether or not to launch a new business. Maybe you are considering ending a personal or business relationship.
When you have a big decision ahead of you, you can choose to be like Spiderman, or you can be like a Viking…
When Spiderman swings across the city – one high-rise building at a time – his web is always attached.
Unlike Superman, he can’t fly, so he never lets go of one building until he’s attached to the next.
When Vikings invaded a new country, they set fire to their ships, when they reached the shore. They let go of any attachments.
Burning your ships was a strong signal to the enemy that the Vikings were so committed, that the only way home was to win the battle. It also reinforced their own level of commitment.
The Viking Approach
I tend to operate like a Viking:
- My first ever job was as a human resources officer, at a children’s hospital, in London. I did it for nine months but the bureaucracy sucked the life out of me. One day I heard someone give a talk about teaching. I quit my job the very next day, to become a teacher.
- After I was fired from my job as an Assistant Principal, I knew I didn’t want to go back. I sold my dream home and my dream car and traveled to Thailand. After 6 months, I flew to the United States. I invested most of that money to apprentice with a great coach.
- I proposed to Monique, 10 days after I met her.
- And, early in my coaching career, I had become the CEO of the personal coaching wing of a big international business coaching firm. I was thrilled to be a CEO. And one day I invited my own coach to meet the leaders of the organization. After the meeting, he looked at me and said, “I get why they want you, Rich. I don’t get why you want them.” The company was huge and no one had ever heard of me, so on one level it made no sense. I was scared. But I knew he’d spoken a deeper truth and I resigned the next day. (By the way, that firm no longer exists…)
The Viking approach helps you build your commitment before you take your next big leap.
The Spiderman Approach
However, for some people – and in some situations – it’s important to model Spiderman. Don’t let go of all your attachments at once. Great entrepreneurs can look like huge risk takers but they’re often mitigating their risk.
So, you’re an executive or an entrepreneur who wants to become a professional coach… That’s great.
What if you block out one evening a week for coaching but you keep the day job? What if you ask your boss if you can work four days a week, instead of five – and you coach on your free day? (I’m yet to meet a top performer who couldn’t get their boss to say yes to this request!)
Varian Brandon has been a client of mine for over six years. She was a founder member of 4PC and she’s now on the faculty of 4PC. She’s also the Ambassador for a new program we’re about to launch.
When we first met, Varian was a senior sales executive in the corporate world. She’d been a high level executive for over 20 years. And she kept that job for our first three years of coaching together. She took on coaching clients but she didn’t let go of the safety of her corporate job until she was ready. Now she has a coaching practice that is so oversubscribed, her events in 2021 were sold out at the start of 2020.
Laurie Arron is Assistant VP and Chief of Staff at AT&T. She became a member of 4PC last year, while she was still doing that demanding role. She wanted to be a professional coach but she also wanted to be surrounded by a community of top performers. She’s spent the past year building her courage and her confidence. And 2020 is the year she transitions into full-time professional coaching of leaders like her.
David Block is an accountant and financial professional by background. He has been accounting and preparing tax returns for over 25 years. David first became a client of mine over 5 years ago. And he’s done something fascinating.
He’s added coaching to his portfolio of professional skills. Which means he’s able to give deep coaching guidance to someone who was seeking financial support. And he’s also an extremely rare coach who is able to understand financial matters at a very high-level. David never gave up his day job. He used his coaching skill set to up level his entire approach to working with clients.
The Spiderman approach helps you build your courage, your confidence and your community before you take your next big leap.
How about you?
Do you tend to operate as a Viking, or as Spiderman? And what approach would serve you best for your next big decision?