Having a trusted sounding board is valuable for business today. There is a barrage of unrelenting expectations for business owners and CEO’s to have all the answers and in the behemoth of constant moving technology shifts, culture shifts, social media scrutiny, government enquiries and accountabilities on industry bodies. Not to mention global market shake-ups on top of this such as the coronavirus, Brexit and the challenges closer to home with mass bushfires affecting business and infrastructures across Australia.
At Earth2Mars we see these pressures carried on the shoulders of leaders. With our team of coaches seeing an increase in conversations with executive clients about their overwhelming sense of doom and anxiety.
One misstep could lead to a loss of billions or worse, the loss of lives.
A trusted sounding board may come from a myriad of resources, it could be a peer group, an industry body, regular reading (leaders like Bill Gates read up to 50 books a year), a mentor, and of course a coach. Here are some of the key areas where having a trusted sounding board will help you as a leader:
Many leaders know a little about a lot. With tech companies rapidly growing out of start-up often with a technician at the helm, it can be hard to step away from working in the business and switching to working on the business. The performance of tech teams will always improve when the leader looks to grow their EQ (emotional intelligence) and CQ (cultural intelligence) to match their IQ. A coach won’t just direct you to the information but will often resource you with the right people. An increase in emotional intelligence and mastering themselves in high-pressure situations and responding to the emotions of others. Developing emotions of empathy, compassion, kindness and gratitude creates a positive environment not just for the leader themselves but their followers, clients and their business.
It can be lonely at the top. Certainly, with our own business, Earth2Mars going through rapid growth and evolution in a growing industry of Change Management. It wouldn’t have been possible were it not for our own coaches (yes, coaches need coaches also). It’s good to have someone in your corner who hasn’t just been through a few rounds in the fighters ring themselves but know how to be a good cornerman, who not only keeps you in the fight by lifting your spirits but gives you strategic advice to battle your way through each round.
The illusion of success can create a vortex of false bravado for a leader. When things are going well, the natural tendency for some leaders is the ole ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’ mentality. This leads to long term lack of proactive action and missed opportunity for innovation within the business and not anticipating how the industry you are in, will evolve in the current climate. The key job of a coach is to tell you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear. This can be both jarring and confronting however the honest and sometimes blunt communication will help push you past biased views and makes sure the light at the end of the space jump isn’t a meteor.
Space is vast and infinite, and like business will have unseen risks and pitfalls. You could spend your time flying in circles with what you know, but that won’t stop an alien invasion, a meteor crashing to earth or the sun exploding. A ship is only as good as the captain that gives it direction, and a captain is only as good as the people and advisors they surround themselves with.
Much like Olympic athletes, true leaders get to the next level by hard work, determination and many get there faster by having a coach or mentor. Recognising that having a coach will grow your leadership in areas where you’re having challenges with, check your blind spots, set a healthy pace, and review current benchmarks to set a plan in motion to improve on results and ultimately create longevity in your position. Having a trusted sounding board will also get you to your results faster than if you were to aim to do it on your own.
A global increase in force-for-good organisations is shifting many business cultures towards an art of influence and persuasion rather than manipulation and control. We see more leaders looking for fulfilment in building a legacy to serve the greater good and inspire their teams to do the same.
As a leader you expect people to follow but what happens when you’re a leader who is heading into unknown space. To boldly go where no one has gone before is daunting, isolating and downright stressful for a leader at any level, beginner or seasoned. To become a pioneer is to put aside your ego and find fellow pioneers and strategic thinkers who have gone before you and learn from their mistakes, their triumphs and advice.
Mindset coaches and business mentors are the keys to unlock unprecedented growth in your business and help build the road for future leaders to follow you.
Seeking out your own sounding board? Connect with the team at firstname.lastname@example.org