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Are you ready to work with a personal business coach?  Or, another way to say this is, are you going to be receptive to self-improvement business coaching?

Over many years of coaching I have observed that those who do well with my style of personal development business coaching, have a good personal foundation.  They have many things working for them.  They are now at a point where they want to take it to their business and life to the next level.

What is the next level, you ask?  It is a good question.  There are hundreds of paths to self-improvement and they all lead to the same place.  So, it really doesn’t matter which path you take.  What matters is that you take a path and commit to it.  That’s where I come in to support others in going on their chosen pathway.

I am not here to fix anyone.  I am not here to help anyone.  Yet, I am here to give others my unconditional support.  A fix it mentality in coaching or the “I am here to help” offering, for me, is starting from a negative.  The implication is that something is wrong.  The truth is there is something wrong, or that can be improved in all of us.  That includes myself.

To me, the best path for self-improvement business coaching has four key elements.

  1.  Unconditional support
  2.  Accountability for the things the client wants to be held accountable for
  3.  Collaboration:  This is not about me and you.  It is about us.
  4.  Co-creation of pathways to accelerate the process of the client’s successful

performance.

Now that I have listed the components for successful self-improvement business coaching I want to get back to the original question, “What is the next level?”

The next level for virtually everyone is greater peace of mind and happiness.  You may say, and rightly so, this doesn’t make sense.  Don’t most people want more success in their businesses and lives financially?  Yes, in a sense.  No one has ever hired me and said, “I want to earn less money and have a diminished lifestyle?  All of them would like to earn more, sometimes it is very little, sometimes it is a great deal more.  Yet, the one thing they almost always agree on is that they want a better lifestyle.

And a better lifestyle, which comprises your business and personal life comes from understanding who you are and what can bring you greater peace and happiness.  Very often, when we focus on what the ultimate goal is, greater peace and happiness, we end up doing things that improve our lives and lifestyle significantly in other areas.

Ultimately, if you are looking for a better lifestyle and identifying steps to accelerate the process of your successful performance, you are a good candidate for collaborating with a personal business coach.

As a personal business coach, I have observed that your level of self-improvement will not exceed the strength of your personal foundation. What is your personal foundation?

An individual’s personal foundation is his or her structural basis that supports him or her in living an exceptional life. Just as a house must be built on a strong personal foundation to avoid collapsing under stress, so must your life. A house’s foundation is made up of earth, cement, and steel. Your personal foundation is also made up of three major elements. The are the What, the Who and the How.

Let’s look at the “What.” The “What” is self-improvement business coaching is the package that person presents to the world. It is “What” the world sees when it looks at us. This element is also composed of several sub parts as well. We can include such things as behavior, the public self, what we show others. The “What” can be related to the “body” part of the body, mind and spirit.

The ”Who” part of you is easily understood as the real you, the core of who you are in reality, not in presentation of the “What.” As a personal development business coach, I find that discovering the “Who” is the key to unlocking an individual’s self-improvement. The “Who” often drives the “What,” but it is not always consistent with it. The “Who” can also be identified with the “spirit” part of the body, mind and spirit analogy in the previous paragraph.

The “How,” the third component of personal foundation is the set of processes, methods, and values that drive our behavior–“How” we do the things we do, and “How” we are “Who” we are. The fuel for the “How” of us is the “Who,” which essentially yields -the “What.” If you put his into an equation it would look like this: “Who” + “How” = “What.” The “What” equates to the “mind” part of body, mind, and spirit.

The “What,” the “Who,” and the “How” are the components of personal foundation that I start with as a personal development business coach. When looking at your own self-improvement start with these three areas. Know your “What,” “Who,” and “How.” They are the keys to unlocking your future growth and personal development.

Dr. Meredith Belbin defined a team role as “a tendency to behave, contribute an interrelate with others in aparticular way.”

He named nine such team roles that underlie team success. It is important to emphasize that these are not set instone behavioral patterns of individuals, rather these are preferences and attitudes team members will assume in agiven team situation.

Therefore a certain individual might perform a certain role within one team and accomplish a different role within another team. Often however individuals do have a tendency to fill a certain rolewithin all the teams that they are a part of or at least strive to fill this preferred role.

Remember: Belbin asserts that when a team is performing at its best, one finds that each team member has clear responsibilities. Also noticeable is that every Belbin role needed to achieve the team’s goalis being performed fully and well. However it is likely that a team will fall short of its full potential not because skillsare lacking but because the Belbin roles aren’t harmonized across the team.

Balanced Teams

Teams become unbalanced when all team members carry out the same behavioral team role. When team members have similar strengths and weaknesses this can create problems. If the strengths arethe same they may compete instead of collaborate.

With this information in mind, the team leader together with the team can implement the model and investigatethe team members preferred roles as well as explore the roles which are missing.

By understanding your role within a particular team, you can develop your strengths and manage yourweaknesses as a team member, and so improve your contribution to the team.

Belbin’s Team Roles Model

Belbin identified nine team roles and he categorized those roles into three groups:

  • Action Oriented
  • People Oriented
  • Thought Oriented

The nine team roles divided into the three groups are:

Action Oriented Roles:

Shaper (SH)

Shapers are people who challenge the team to improve. The Shaper is the one who shakes thingsup to make sure that all possibilities are considered and that the team does not become complacent.

Implementer (IMP)

Implementers are the people who get things done. They turn the team’s ideas and concepts into practical actions and plans.

Completer-Finisher (CF)

Completer-Finishers are the people who see that projects are completed thoroughly.

People Oriented Roles:

Coordinator (CO)

Coordinators are the ones who take on the traditional team-leader role and have also been referred to asthe delegate.

Team Worker (TW)

Team Workers are the people who provide support and make sure that people within the team are working togethereffectively.

Resource Investigator (RI)

Resource Investigators are innovative and curious. They explore available options; develop contacts, and negotiate for resources on behalf of the team.

Thought Oriented Roles:

Plant (PL)

The Plant is the creative innovator who comes up with new ideas and approaches. They thriveon praise but criticism is especially hard for them to deal with.

Monitor-Evaluator (ME)

Monitor-Evaluators are best at analyzing and evaluating ideas that other people (oftenPlants) come up with. These people are shrewd and objective and they carefully weigh the pros and cons of all theoptions before coming to a decision.

Specialist (SP)

Specialists are people who have specialized knowledge that is needed to get the job done. Theypride themselves on their skills and abilities, and they work to maintain their professional status.
In finding roles for actual or potential team members keep the above in mind. When a person has guidance on what role or roles (you can play more than one at a time) he or she can play for a team they will have clarity. With clarity they can take steps and provide thinking to fulfill their role, thus helping the team. They now have purpose.

And with purpose, it is much easier for a team member to contribute to achieving the team’s goals. Also, I have found this process to be liberating. You have a specific role or roles and you understand, instead of worrying, how you can make a positive contribution to achieving what the team is tasked to accomplish.

To move forward in business, you or your organization must be good at execution. It sounds so simple, yet time and again the execution of a strategy or change fails. How come?

Any time you seek to execute a change in strategy you are asking yourself and other to change your human behavior. It may be the behavior of a few, a team or an entire organization.

The answer to good execution of strategy is to change the behavior of the people, to change the human element. You can have written goals, tactics and deadlines. These are good but they are only “on paper” change.

Without commitment and proven practices to follow to execute the strategy or change “on paper” you will fail to change the one component necessary to success. That element is human behavior.

Behavioral change strategies are very challenging. You can’t just put them down “on paper” and order, let alone expect them to happen. Behavioral change has a better chance of success when the system is changed and people are held accountable for their behavior.

The last part to successfully executing a new strategy is to start with something small. Too often, I see organizations try to fix everything. When they do it is like throwing everything into a blender. The result, very often, is chaos and failure.

I have talked about ways to overcome the challenge of executing a new strategy or incorporating change. It is good to have written goals where everyone can see them. There must be commitment to proven practices. People must be willing to embrace a new system and to be held accountable. Lastly, start with a small strategy or change, experience some success and build on it.

Take all of the above and add a fanatical discipline to make sure these things take place. For without discipline there is very little chance of successfully executing a strategy or change. Success in implementing a strategy or change will come from having the discipline to execute

John Maxwell, in his book, “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership”, talks about the Law of the Lid. In short, the ceiling for your leadership ability will depend on the level of your personal development. All of the 21 Laws are interrelated. So a leadership experience may seem to lean more on one law than another but in truth, there are several laws at work at any one time.

In reflecting of the Law of the Lid and its relevance in my life I found my thoughts going back to when I was in Cub Scouts. I was eight or nine years old at the time. In my small town, we did not have a movie theater. The fund raiser for our Cub Scout pack was to sponsor a movie show in the high school gym. My hometown of Chappaqua, New York, which at the time had about 2,000 residents is quite hilly and the school district encompassed approximately nine square miles.

To sell tickets to the show, you had to go door to door between houses that could be up to a tenth of a mile or more apart from each other. Also, there were some elevation changes of up to 150 feet making the process of going door to door, even for a young boy, a rigorous physical challenge.

My mother and father were very supportive. That was good! I was excited about selling tickets but I had one problem. All my competition had bicycles. That was something that we could not afford. The good news was that if you sold the most tickets you won a brand new Schwinn 3 speed bike which at the time was the bike to have. Also, just for a historical context, this was not an era where parents drove their little Cub Scouts around to homes. As a kid you either walked or rode a bicycle.

Since I did not have a bike, I would have to walk door to door and it would take me much longer to reach people who, hopefully, had not already purchased tickets to the movie show. Also, my motivation to have a bike, and the Schwinn in particular, drove me to walk and walk and walk some more. On the weekends, I would start in the morning with a peanut butter sandwich my mother had packed and set off to see who I could sell tickets to.

This went on for several weekends. I walked as much as I could. I met many very nice people and in the process I got to know my hometown.

Then the big moment arrived. The movie was going to be shown at the high school gym and they would announce the top three finishers in ticket sales. When they called my name as the top ticket seller and the winner of the Schwinn bicycle I was stunned and elated. Also, I had doubled the ticket sales of the second and third place finishers, both of whom had bikes.

If I had put a lid on what I could accomplish because I did not have a bicycle, or thought that it wasn’t worth trying because it wasn’t fair that I had to walk, I never would have won the contest. Fortunately, at nine years old, I did not have the context to see that there could be a very real lid, no bicycle, on what I could accomplish. At nine, I did not understand the Law of the Lid. Yet, as I have gone through business and life, I am reminded that when I raise my lid more opportunity flows into my business and life. For greater success, raise your lid.