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Issue #34: Accountability and Growth: Lessons from Coaching

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I’m writing a book.

There, I said it – no turning back – these words have me accountable to getting a book written.

It is a book for NICE GUYS. Probably not too much surprise there.

My intention and aim is to write THE new bible for Nice Guys wanting to drop that shit for good.

 

To shift from insecure Nice Guy to solid and secure Good Man.

The challenging, uncomfortable, and infinitely rewarding move from constantly being in service of the security inside of you – to being of service to your potential and of service to others.

I am at the earliest of stages. Yet, I am essentially sharing it here today to make me accountable for continually allocating time and putting in effort to move it forward.

I’m equal parts pumped for it and daunted by it.

And really, that is the best kind of position and mixture of feelings for a commitment worth pursuing.

So there you have it.

Beyond that, for over a decade, I have been coaching men in shaking free of their shit and stepping into their shine. Doing such wonderful and meaningful work with those men that it continues to fuel me forward.

I do bring elements of what I see in our sessions and calls to my newsletter and social media content. However, I’ll easily admit, that I have been poor in distilling some of their lessons and our moments of transformation down to bring to you guys, my extended audience.

Over the past month or so we have shifted this in a new format. What I do after a coaching session with a client or group is hit record on my camera and lay out a key lesson from that session, how it played out for the guys involved, and how it can apply to YOUR life.

You’ll have seen me talking about these lately in the ‘Coaching Corner’ videos.

If you haven’t seen any – take a look at the playlist here – and be sure to subscribe to get notified when we drop new ones (we do weekly).

I’ve also decided to, on occasion, bring some of those lessons to you here. A first peak at the freshest lessons coming from my week.

Starting today with two lessons from coaching sessions this week.

 

The voice of your insecurity
 

They are:

1. Slow down to speed up

 

During a call with ‘Steve’ (I always use ‘Steve’ to keep private the identities of my guys) we explored a position he’s in with his company.

He and his business partner are taking a bold step and increasing their staffing resources despite not yet having the work to support that guy and essentially justify the salary expense.

This has a lot of history to it, but I share for the context that Steve may soon find himself with more staffing resources than he needs.

At the same time, he has been overloaded, busy, stretched, and just getting by given his own workload for a while now. That has been reasonably consistent across the team.

 

So, while we’re exploring what this bold step asks of them and the expansion opportunities it can provide, we explored an often present theme for a lot of guys.

That theme is the nature and consistency of going all guns blazing, working their butt off, being flat out, achieving, kicking goals, achieving more – doing doing doing.

All wonderful stuff – achieving results and building meaningful things. If that is the case.

 

But this is often indiscriminate action. Doing for the sake of it – or, more accurately, doing because there is a DEEP sensation and belief that “If I’m not working and achieving I have no value or worth.”

This has been historically true for Steve.

 

So, while he wants spaciousness and ease and thriving in his life – old beliefs have led him to never allow that to happen.

This is the work.

And for Steve in this situation, the added resource gives him the PERFECT opportunity to hand over some of his workload, create space for himself and his business partner, and slow down. Stop, even.

When they are constantly going and taking action IN the business they struggle to see clearly where they are going and work ON the business.

If we don’t work ON the business, we risk a misaligned direction and incorrect implementation.

It seems simple – but so many guys don’t do it.

 

We get so caught up in the doing and the NEED to do, we miss that we haven’t stopped in a while to aim.

Steve is the Director of the company.

One thing that requires of him is to direct where they are going.

To aim.

 

 

All of a sudden this opportunity sits here to create the space for him and his business partner to slow down… to clarify the direction, to set out the requirements for that, and help themselves and the company, as well as all of the team, to aim.

Then execute on the refined aim.

Even if it’s three degrees of realignment – without the adjustment, you end up in the wrong place.

Sometimes you have to slow down to speed up.

Or to quote Abraham Lincoln as I have here before:

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”

Lincoln knew the benefit and need of slowing down so he could go faster; be more efficient and effective.

 

Onwards with the lessons…

 

2. Your word matters (more than you think)

 

Integrity matters. It is everything.

 

Without integrity – without a strong dependable structure – what good are you?

In so much of what I do with men, we return to integrity.

In this week’s session with Steve (another ‘Steve’) – we explored a commitment he had made to himself.

Simple enough – “I’m not drinking anymore”

The thing is, sometime after the original commitment, he chose to go against it.

 

Albeit, made with a clear head, chosen powerfully.

He was going away hunting with a mate and chose to take a few mid-strength beers to enjoy with his mate.

He did. That was it. He was clear that it was a one-off.

 

Didn’t really enjoy it. Felt sluggish after.

 

Realised he doesn’t need it to have an enjoyable time with his mate.

End of.

Not quite.

Drinking itself isn’t the issue. That’s an individual’s choice.

 

It’s not about the content so much as the context.

The issue arose when his wife questioned it. Lovingly.

 

She was curious about his decision to drink, stating “I thought we had made a decision together to not drink – we were in that together.”

It became a bit of a thing.

Now…

 

This shows us again, how assumptions and expectations can fuck any relationship.

We see an assumption and some lack of clarity.

In his mind, no he had never committed to doing sobriety with her. Simply a commitment to himself only.

She had expanded it to being something they were doing together.

So, first, we explored a conversation with her about this part. And about leaving assumptions out and stating all things clearly. For everyone.

However, what came to the surface for us was, despite his wife possibly making an assumption that can be sorted in future – she is still watching how he interacts with his word.

And how he interacts with his word impacts how she takes his word.

FOR YOU: How you interact with your word impacts how others take your word.

He said one thing, then went against it.

 

Sure, he made a clear-headed decision to do so. Once. However, she wasn’t privy to all of that, so just sees him going against his word to himself.

This matters. So freaking much.

People around us, especially loved ones such as partners and kids, are watching us.

 

And a man who goes against his word to himself weakens himself in the eyes of others.

 

And he weakens himself FOR them.

There goes a man chipping away at his dependability. At his integrity.

 

There goes a man I can rely on less.

For Steve here, whether the sobriety thing was a shared commitment or not – honouring his word and communicating clearly around this, has repercussions.

This isn’t an invitation to think “Shit, I better not commit to things that others can see and will hold me accountable to, in case I slip up” – It’s an invitation to you to double down on this.

Make commitments that ask you to step up into action, to confront yourself and your edges, and become the man capable of following through on it.

Watch what happens.

 

This is where all meaningful change begins.