Quick Start
    Reported Benefits
    What We Promise
    Coachability Index
    Coaching FAQ's
    Are You Serious
    Coach's Challenge
    Business Assessment
    Add Business Value
CFS Info
    Vision, Mission ...
    Contact Info
    Coaching Approach
    Client Types
    Services | Products
Team Info
    Our Team
    Speaking Topics
    Favorite Books/Quotes
Coaching Info
    Coaching Articles
    Helpful Books
    Personality Profiling
    Coaching Organizations,
    Associations & Training
    Related Links Page

Part 5 - Committing to the Obvious

So! Where were we? Oh Yeah... Performance Zones...

My company has an interesting statement at the beginning of one of our web pages (http://www.coach.net/expect.htm) regarding what we expect from our clients. It starts out by saying, “First and foremost they must have the zeal for what they want to accomplish equal to that of a man with his hair on fire for a bucket of water.” We figure if a person starts out with that kind of zeal, our task is merely to assist in directing it to assure they don’t have to wait around feeling the heat while getting burned up. With this kind of zeal, people’s commitments are never in question.

There’s an interesting article I read some time back about people making commitments in general. Seems the study came up with some data that when reviewed carefully showed some sobering yet startling correlations to current conditions in business and our society - Correlations that an entrepreneur could capitalize on very shrewdly.

The study showed nothing that was of great revelation to a common sense thinker. Yet to some, the study was nothing more than a revelation. It showed that there was a tendency in people who made commitments on a regular basis to honor them in a specific order of priorities. On the downside, those commitments made toward events, situations and people that had the least amount of authority and impact on the person who made the commitment were least likely to be honored. And as you might have concluded, the upside showed the opposite was also true for those situations, events and people that had the greatest amount of authority and impact on the person making the commitment. Unless there was something on the line that impacted the person making the commitment, it just was not going to be placed in the important category.

The conclusion that the article’s writers came to was “if you wish to assure you honor your commitments and have follow thru, assure that you make it in such a way as to know that if you did not honor it, the ramifications for non follow thru would be absolutely intolerable and unacceptable.” (That old saying comes into mind here about people being motivated most by fear and greed.) And you guessed it right if you know where this is leading. But before we explore what you might have guessed, let me share a few tidbits of my own history on this topic...

I can understand how this works from first hand experience. For years I struggled with a most effective tool used by other professional coaches used to allow for a more effective interaction with their client base. It’s called, “Personality Profiling”and I knew that once I had mastered it, I would be able to use the tool very effectively in my service offerings. The only trouble is I would not make a firm commitment to learn the tool and every time I picked up the training material, I would find another distraction to focus on.

Now I’ve learned a bit as a coach and as a person who is also coached. I know all about making commitments and yet with all this great “know-how” inventory between my ears, I could not for the life of me get that commitment to learn profiling. I was stuck and I couldn’t get any traction on it.

So I put some of that old brain matter to work. I figured the one thing that motivates this old carcass most is “sink or swim” situations. So I came up with something I call the “burnt boat clause.”

I read some place that there was a leader thousands of years ago who used to deliver his army to a shore via boat. Once arriving at the shoreline, he would get up on the nearest hill to let the army know what was expected of them. The speech had all the neat motivational stuff in it to create a foundation of love of God, country and such. The usual great stuff motivators use to incite fervor. The kicker that really got the group moving though was the part about the boats that brought them there being summarily burned and there being no way to retreat. Hence they had a choice to either conquer the land and it’s people or be conquered. Talk about groups getting inspired...

Putting this “clause” into effect for myself required me to take action to put myself in a situation that required an attitude of “failure was not an option.” This required deadlines, outcomes and a commitment outside myself to deliver on something that in part required my knowing this material forward AND backward.

So I did the only sane thing a sane person in my situation would do. I called a local learning institution that I new needed a course on personality profiling and offered to teach a course on it. With my background, they eagerly accepted and I had a mere two months to become an expert. And that is exactly what I did. (For those wanting a definition of an ‘expert’, try this one - “ex” is an unknown, “(s)pert” is a drip under pressure. You put it together...)

Within a very short time frame that “burnt boat clause” I set up worked miracles. I had all the motivation that was needed to get the gears moving. All of a sudden I found nothing could distract me from my intended goal. I had all the key elements required. I had people depending on me for a top notch training. There were the students, the institution, the owner of the school (none of whom I was going to allow to see me in a poor light), material that was required to review and a deadline that was immovable. The stress was GLORIOUS! And in my humble opinion, I shone brilliantly as a result.

Hearing this story at one of my “coach’s workouts” on goal- setting, a person signed up with me on the spot for a solid six month coaching season, paid the fees in advance for the entire season and handed me their signed resignation which they wanted to go to their boss by the third month into our coaching. They said if they did not give this resignation to someone they could trust to deliver it, they might not take action to assure they had another job by then. Talk about a burnt boat clause!

So let’s get into what you might have guessed...

CAPITALIZING ON A THEME: What must you put into place to assure success? What do your “Burnt Boat Clauses” look like? Are they worthy of your effort to put them together? What results do they produce? How many times have you been “conquered” because the motivation to succeed did not out do the obstacles perceived? How many ‘shores’ have you landed on and were able to retreat because you were not committed to succeed there? What system do you have in place to bring about consistent action in the direction of desired results? Who do you commit to OUTSIDE yourself that guarantees you will follow thru? (Don’t just read these questions, respond to them!)

If you’re not one to follow thru on your commitments, particularly when they impact 1) your success time frames; 2) people who depend on you; and most of all 3) you and your business, you have no right to expect success by design... Or to expect the same from others!

So, if you're truly boss, are your systems in place to assure outcomes?

Have a bodacious week!

Coach John S. Nagy is CEO and Lead Business Coach for Coaching for Success. Inc., a Business Coaching Service specifically designed for top level decision makers dedicated to peak performance in all facets of their activities. He’s hired to focus them continuously in activities that bring higher returns on their resource use. His programs are for the seriously committed. This means having his clients work "ON" their businesses, not just "IN" it. He’s a published author and a multi-degree professional with a nationwide client base. Coach Nagy can be reached through his E-mail address at his website at http://www.coach.net and by calling 813-949-0718.
Copyright © 2000 John S. Nagy

Try our "Coaching For Success, Inc." Coach's Challenge!

Email: Coaching For Success, Inc.
Or call: 813-949-0718

Either way... ...ask for a Coach!

Press here to check your Visitor Number!

Webpage, material, layout, and design Copyright © 1996-2004 Coaching for Success, Inc., A Florida Corporation,
All rights reserved unless otherwise specified