I’ve had a few conversations over the last year with some leaders of companies who were thinking they might like to hire an outside advisor like me to help them get unstuck or to get them moving forward again. Fortunately, most of the time these leaders make a good decision and hire me, or someone like me, and their journey forward begins. Sadly, sometimes the excuses and defense mechanisms that make a leader fear getting help will speak louder than the voice of reason and they make the decision to delay or to try to do it themselves. Here are a few key ideas that will help to shake you from your slumber if you’re one of those leaders who thought about hiring someone to help you to accelerate in driving transformative change in your organization, but then reconsidered…
Getting Help Doesn’t Equate to Admitting Defeat: Quite to the contrary, aligning yourself with outstanding people who have fought the dragons and lived to tell the tale of their victory is far from admitting defeat. It’s investing in additional strategic resources and an outside counselor who will put your interests, and only your interests first. Think about how wonderful it would be to have an outside voice that you can talk to about your company who knows your industry and can advise you on your key change initiatives in areas like sales and marketing, product engineering, operations, human resources, management, leadership, and many more. Getting help is the sign that top venture capital and private equity firms look for that says you’re willing to invest in increasing the likelihood of achieving consistent success.
An Outside Voice Can Save You From Groupthink: At many companies, the initial struggle to build a value proposition and craft a message is followed by great fun and success. Once the fun and success lead to complexity and growth pains, the business can start to experience choppy waters and a period of even greater struggle. At a critical juncture like this, you want to avoid a CEO dominated culture and get a voice into the leadership team that isn’t personally bound to agree to everything that comes out of the mouths of the leadership team. Sometimes, having another set of eyes and ears on the problem can help you to reframe your mindset and see the situation from a completely liberating perspective and open up solutions where none appeared visible previously. A talented outside advisor can absolutely demonstrate value quickly by asking the questions that you’re afraid to ask or by helping you to see the entire playing field if your view has become myopic.
Select A Coach The Way You Would a Member Of Your Leadership Team: Though the ROI of an investment in an advisor averages somewhere between seven and may possibly reach as much as 10-20 times your original investment, you want to be careful to select the right advisor. It’s a great best practice to find a coach who can mentor and teach you and your leadership team on best practices in your specific industry. While a great coach will be a good investment even if they DON’T know your industry, think about how much MORE valuable a coach can be when they understand the issues that confront YOUR industry and are familiar with all of the acronyms and jargon that would otherwise be lost on someone without that expertise. Hire a coach who knows your industry and has demonstrated a strong ability to lead successful businesses in your industry.
Make A Bold Move To Make 2018 The Year You Won’t Settle for ‘Stuck’ Any Longer: Too many people are going to head into 2018 with the same reactive disorganized mess on their hands. You know, the same one that they brought into 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017. Break the cycle! Get organized this year and start working on the important priorities that have eluded you in previous years. Implement an organized operational system to help you make time to work on the stuff you need to be working on, and stop worrying about the stuff that you cannot affect. Give yourself a fighting chance this year to make this year one for the ages. Don’t allow yourself to continue to let fear, uncertainty, and doubt rule your reality. Get busy getting better and get busy fixing the problems in your business so that you can get out front and lead positive Transformational Change in your business. Hire an Executive Development Coach to work with your leadership team and sharpen their skills and get them developing your talented people into high performing super stars.
Life is short and struggling in a business that could be accelerating forward and gaining altitude is a crime. Don’t settle for mediocrity any longer. Don’t settle back into your comfort zone again this year. Aren’t you sick and tired of making excuses and feeling like you’re stuck? Push the button. Reach out for a solution, by finding a strong outside advisor who can help you to lead your team to a championship in 2018 and beyond.
Michael is an award-winning Executive Development Coach who focuses on mid-sized companies in the United States and works in the high technology industry, typically cloud companies, data storage companies, cyber security companies, and software companies. If you’d like to make 2018 the year that you and your leadership team embrace an outside advisor who can work side by side with you to implement Transformational Change and Build a Culture that could lead to a dynasty, send Michael an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.