By Jeremy Marchant
For a business to grow, its leaders have to be willing to grow themselves, to change and develop. This is hardly surprising. At the end of the day, businesses are the people in them: it makes sense that the leaders, the more influential people in the business, have a larger than average effect on it. If they change, the business changes.
For most business people the course of action is clear: the prospect of improved performance both for themselves and for their business is worth the investment of time and money in an programme of creating change. That programme could be coaching, training, even e-learning.
But something else is needed. For it to happen, they need to be committed to making that change personally. Again, for many people this isn’t an issue. But some people will begin to experience niggling doubts: I’m too busy right now, I can’t afford it, how do I know it will be any good?, will I learn anything useful?, I don’t understand how me changing will enable the business to change. These are all plausible reasons, but they are all not good enough reasons. It’s like the man who decided he didn’t want to become a client after all because he feared coaching would be disruptive to the business. He was right, it would be. But it would have been a benign, goal-driven disruption aimed at putting the business into better shape.
Then there are the reasons which lurk below the surface, more or less hidden in one’s subconscious: I fear I can’t do it, or it won’t work, or I have to recognise I was wrong about something, or other people won’t buy into it, and so on. These are all fears which the ego sets up to help us stay in our comfort zone. After all, you wouldn’t leave the house if there were a risk of lions roaming the street. But there are relatively few wild lions in Chipping Sodbury (or wherever you hang out).
So, if you have the desire – you want to it to happen – but you think you lack the commitment –being prepared to make it happen – then remember that Indiana Jones film. In Indiana Jones and the last crusade, Jones is standing at the edge of a deep chasm. On the other side is the holy grail, but there appears no way across. Luckily Indiana has a parchment showing an old drawing of a man apparently walking on air. “This must be a leap of faith”, he says. So he steps out into the chasm only to find a bridge under his feet, and soon the holy grail is in reach.