So, What’s It All About?
What I have always really wanted, at the most earliest age, was simply help people get to where they wanted go. When I am asked by either executives, business leaders or even other coaches, “What is it that drives you?!”, “Guiding someone from A to B”. That’s what drives me; it always has even when we were kids. I was far more interested in facilitating you having a better time playing than I was playing myself. It took a long time to be at peace with that because so many couldn’t relate to that story. These days, I now know that it’s my way of playing and am living the dream because of that realization.
What I doI help guide people and organizations in the process of revealing, innovating and optimizing their strengths to achieve the goal that is important to their success.
In fact, all of my passions (as well as my trade), revolve around three distinct values that fuel my inner fire: helping others through meaningful work while learning. My vocational travels have taken me from broom-pushing and ditch-digging to managing multi-million dollar budgets and leading extraordinarily effective entrepreneurial teams. I’ve seen a lot of stories in my small slice of existence and every year it has reinforced a recurring life theme of belief: I believe in making the most out of the life you are given and I am in love with the experience of serving others.
I’m also in love with the inherent, almost-forced social equilibrium that business can create in the human experience; allowing for so many people to play a part in developing themselves, each other and their community through some model of fair transaction. I am a rational optimist (read: stoic, but more on that some other time) and I also appreciate the notion of everyone having a shot at improving themselves and those around them while accepting that the best and worst happens to us daily – what is important is this present moment that we have now, it’s all we have.
Values and Observations
My three core values that I wrote about earlier have guided me through this incredible life journey even when I didn’t know what they were or how they even related to me. After wandering the marketplace and the world throughout my twenties I was introduced to a man that would over the years become one of the most influential mentors I have ever had. He not only inspired me but challenged me to develop my ability to observe the world through four individual lenses:
- Servant: observe life and business as a servant.
- Economics: observe the social world as an economist sees it.
- Customer/Client: observe the transaction as the customer or client sees it.
- Entrepreneur: observe a problem as an entrepreneur sees it.
What he was getting at was developing a well-rounded perspective of life and with that perspective being wrought from experience, the skills necessary for positively impacting lives and organizations would be multiplied tenfold. I feel I’ll never be able to repay him for the advice and direction because it radically changed my life and how does one monetize that?I don’t think you can but you can continue to share the insights and hope they bring others joy and happiness.
Where I’ve Been and What I’ve Done.
I have spent the last fifteen years on a management odyssey that has blessed me with exposure to some of the most influential and masterful business owners and entrepreneurs my state has ever seen. I began this odyssey that eventually took me through four industries, in the marketing and outreach fields of private education. There I grew a love for design, presentation and how the influence of well-crafted language could offer people a chance to actually enjoy a contractual transaction rather than simply be a number in one; through marketing, business had all of the sudden become a salient fixture of creative thought to me.
Not satisfied with the persuasion of symbol and word, I moved on to sales and had my mettle tested in dealing with quotas and the hard drive of being responsible for whether or not people got paychecks if I didn’t maximize my close rate for the end of the month. My teeth were certainly sharpened in those days and it gave me an insight into the beauty of what top-line growth can be when what you are selling really means something to you. Nothing seems to get in your way if you believe in it.
Marketing and Sales (and yes I think of them in that order) put me, fortunately, in the way of many inspiring entrepreneurs and being under their influence gave rise to a fascination and later deep love for leadership. I then left sales to embark on a journey of being a business leader with a whole lot of help along the way. My focus was businesses that had lost their way but had in their bones fantastic potential to truly inspire and change lives. Almost a decade later I am still attracted to those same types of businesses and ventures that need just a little nudge in order to get them moving in the right direction.
I am a frustrated academic at heart because I didn’t really get the fine-print research bug (Mom didn’t pass that gene down) but I do love learning, writing and teaching in every aspect of life. In my opinion, after the production of food for the body, there could be nothing more valuable than imparting food for the mind. My academic background has been rooted in business management even when attending film school and these days I am wonderfully swept away with organizational learning theory and performance management.
Through it all I have found that building something with promise and value has had a much greater effect on me than a love for simple profit. Profit is a necessity of business and the opportunity to grow and improve a mission with this central power is a fundamental property of a successful enterprise; but what I also found (in life as well as in business) is that you’re dedication to the value that you offer your community (read: client/customer/guest) will be in direct proportion to the potential profits that you will enjoy should you also run your operation with the proper controls for cost and organization. There are few things that impress and gladden me more than when I witness a profitable organization of diverse individuals thriving in doing what they love to the best of their ability, for the good of other people.