Very successful people do this

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While I don’t do any marketing for (and have never focused on) coaching individual CEOs, through word of mouth I’ve ended up with about 10 CEOs who I meet with regularly to discuss life and business with.

Each of these people is a high achiever. In fact every one is more successful than I am. Many by far. So why would they want to meet with me?

I think one reason they do is because leadership is lonely. Everyone else expects something from them; a promotion, a raise, recognition, or something else. An outsider doesn’t have those expectations.

But the bigger reason is that they want to be pushed and challenged to be better. They want someone from the outside to advise, sympathize (sometimes), and challenge them.

There’s a perception that it’s weak people who need coaching. But this isn’t how it works in my practice, or in any high achieving world.

Why do PGA golfers have coaches? They’re better golfers than their coaches. Surely Vijay Singh or Tiger Woods could teach their coaches a thing or two about how to win a tournament. Yet the same is true for boxers, football players or any professional athlete, or in fact nearly any senior-level, high achieving, entrepreneur.

So who challenges you?

Who do you go to for advice, for a sounding board, and for a push to be better and stronger than you are?

You don’t have to pay for this, but you do need someone performing this function for you. Here are some suggestions:

  1. An old tiger: find someone who’s been where you want to go. Often when they get older they feel forgotten and are flattered to be in demand again. When they retire, the phone abruptly stops ringing. They feel they have so much to offer and no one wants to hear about it. That’s an opportunity for you (and for them).
  2. An outside informal peer group: assemble some like-minded business people. Meet for breakfast and go through a book together.
  3. A company study group: find some people in your company who also want to grow and meet during your lunch hour to discuss a course, podcast, or book.
  4. A paid peer group: there are lots of them out there. YPO, TAB, TEC, Mackay forums, and others. Not cheap, but many swear by them.
  5. A paid coach: this is like hiring a personal trainer instead of going to a group class. You are the only focus during your time with them.

The point is that, whatever makes you special has a five-year shelf life. Your amazing new initiatives of five years ago are now table stakes. So you need to up your game just to stay afloat.

Find your people! Stay ahead of the pack!

“Don’t look back; someone might be gaining on you!”

-Satchel Paige

Getting ahead is about getting started.

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Written by Trevor Throness
Trevor is a veteran coach, keynote speaker, and the author of the book “The Power of People Skills” released by Career Press NY in 2017. He’s also written for or been featured in places like Forbes, Inc, The NY Post, The Globe and Mail, Entrepreneur, CEO Magazine, and numerous podcasts and interviews.

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