Who's YOUR Coach?
If I told you that Tiger Woods won all those majors without a coach or Rafael Nadal won the French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open this year all by himself, would you believe me? Probably not. If you're a professional athlete or trying to become one and want to attain the highest degree of success in your sport, then it's almost a given that you need a coach. Someone who analyzes your game, makes technical adjustments, gives emotional and mental support and maybe even works with you on a nutritional or physical fitness plan. During the victory speeches, you see how important coaches are to the success of their athletes.
But many of you reading this are not professional athletes (though we can dream), but we ARE professional or soon-to-be professional sports businessmen & women. And we all have career aspirations and goals ... Whatever and wherever they may be. The actual goals may be different than an athlete, but they are still goals that you strive for and hope to achieve. But yet, how many of us have a coach to help us along our journey to success?
Rewind a little over a year ago. I'm sitting on a train in France with a Nike executive and she tells me about her coach. The first thing I thought was "Ok, this woman who I have a business relationship with just confessed to me that she was in therapy. This is going to be an interesting train ride." But I quickly learned it's not therapy, which focuses on past events, experiences, circumstances and thoughts, which are normally affecting the person in a negative way and then looks for ways to correct or make adjustments. It's life coaching which focuses more on the totality of life and well being - how you can accomplish your goals, live your dreams and bring joy, fun, satisfaction and power to all areas of your life. While there is certainly nothing wrong with therapy, life coach is fundamentally different.
So for the past year now, I have a weekly call with my coach to discuss my life, my goals, what's bothering me, what's making me happy, etc. Everything is fair game and open to discussion. And it's not a coaching session where he tells me "you need to do this and then that." It's a discussion that causes me to explore the feelings and possibilities within myself, to look behind natural actions and reactions, to dig deeper and look for alternative solutions. As I am very focused on my career, we talk a lot about this. He doesn't have a sports marketing background so it's not a focus on marketing tactics and techniques, but we talk a lot about leadership, how to be a better leader and how to handle some of the tough relationship situations we encounter in the business world. In the end, so much of our success depends on our interactions with others, whether it be bosses, colleagues, clients and fans. We also talk about achieving a better work-nonwork balance and why that's important. Every week, I get practice areas, which isn't traditional practice, but more like areas to think about and notice throughout the week. Some of the progress that I've made in the past year has resulted in my boss coming to me for advice on how to handle certain tough business and leadership situations, as well as taking time away from work to go to they gym, eat better, live a healthier lifestyle, which have also positively impacted my job performance.
Many of us are involved in the "right" career practices - on Twitter, have a LinkedIn account, write a blog, read industry magazines and articles, have industry mentors, go to conferences - but if you are looking for other ways to improve and grow, I'd highly suggest looking into getting a coach. It's been one of the best investments I've made.
To inquire further about life coaching or to reach Jared directly, you can email him at email@example.com. Follow him at http://twitter.com/jaredmelzer