I meet many business people who wouldn’t dream of finding a coach or mentor. They seem to think that it would diminish them. I think they’re missing out in a big way.
Tiger Woods is a prodigy, and immensely talented, but would he have got as far as he has without a coach? And now he is such a tremendous golfer, why does he still want to have a coach?
I tried golf – once – but my sport is clay pigeon shooting. I’m not in the same league as Tiger in his sport – not by a long way. I like the sport because it’s so black and white – you either hit the targets or you don’t, there is no in-between.
I took some lessons from a qualified coach, soaked up instructional books and videos, and have slowly improved my game. All my shooting buddies are more experienced than I am, but I’m starting to overtake them. None of them are willing to find a coach; they dismiss the idea as being something that they are beyond needing.
But if it’s good enough for Tiger, it’s good enough for me.
And what’s good for improvement in sport is good for improvement in business. I believe we each need to seek out one or more mentors who can stand outside of our business and look at how we’re doing with us.
By ‘mentor’, I don’t mean ‘someone I know with an opinion’ or ‘someone I can emulate’. I’ve no doubt that Tiger is a better golfer than his coach. I mean someone who can help us to gain insight into our behaviour, skills, weaknesses and strengths. Someone who can ask pertinent questions that allow us to develop our own answers to problems.
I have a shooting coach, and I have more than one business mentor. If it’s good enough for Tiger, it’s good enough for me.
How’s your mentor doing?