Are you winning at home like you’re winning at work?
Have I mentioned lately that I truly enjoy being a “coach”? Oh, like anyone, I have my challenging days as most clients aren’t calling me in when everything is roses. A big part of what I do is conflict resolution which can be challenging; however, it normally ends well. Even in cases where people decide to part ways, people generally feel better about the process when we’re done. From my prospective, it’s rewarding to aid people through this process creating a win-win. Even at that, that’s really not what’s prompted today’s post.
What prompted today’s post and has become one of the most rewarding parts of my job is to sit across the table from successful people in business and asking them about how intentional they are in the other aspects of their life. While this normally is broad in nature and I’m seeking to hear more about their personal and spiritual lives, much of the focus tends to move toward their home life. I find most leaders in business have mission statements, goals, and strategic plans for their businesses; yet, have rarely dreamed of doing the same for their family. Candidly, in all transparency, I use to rarely give thought to this myself.
I never will forget asking this question and beginning to tackle the topic of “family” with a COO of a company who had a teenage daughter getting ready to go off to college in a little over a year. Beyond her going off to college in a year, this also meant his wife and he were about to become empty-nesters. We agreed there wasn’t necessarily anything on fire with the business and over the next 2-3 sessions we spent the majority of the meeting talking about being intentional in his family relationships and developing strategies to build these relationships. Toward the end of likely our third session on the topic, he asked, “Is this typical, is this what we should be talking about?” Now, a good coach would have answered the question with a question, but I’ve never been the best at this. Without hesitate, I smiled at him and said, “absolutely this is typical and what we should be talking about.”
Let’s think about this a bit. We all would likely say if asked the question which has higher value, business or family, that family would win hands down. Yet, we tend to spend all our time and energy focused on the business leaving our leftovers for our families. Now, ponder the question of “if crisis hit in my family what impact would it have on our business?” Seriously, if you wake up one day to find your marriage is crisis or your child greatly endangered, what impact would this have on the business? I don’t have the statistic; however, my experience says that it rarely, if ever, ends well for the business. I’ve seen multiple situation where unhealthy family situations have caused businesses to suffer with many resulting in job lose. So, ask me to be your coach, and we’re going to have this conversation…I promise!
Just this morning, I was talking with a client putting together his 2016 Goals and Strategic plan. Things were going very well for him with the exception that he was a bit stuck with his family goals. As we typically don’t have tangible metrics like revenue, profitability, efficiency, value add, etc. when it comes to our families and relationships, it’s sometimes difficult to visualize a goal. Specific to relationships, I normally point people in the direction of beginning to visualize what it would look like to have an experience of elevating the relationship. While it’s difficult to measure, I think we all can related to whether or not we’re growing in a specific relationship or not.
Once we begin to relate with what that experience would look like, most people want to shift immediately toward “what do I ‘do?'”. Thinks like date nights, doing the dishes, cooking a meal, going to a movie or other entertainment venue, and the list goes on. Rather than people plan out everything, I normally encourage them to be intentional and commit to “being intentional in the relationship”. So, a specific goal might be that “I’m going to have a minimum of one intentional event with my daughter this week.” Then, I encourage people to go to their “daughter” and say something along the lines of, “Hey, I’m wanting us to focus on building our relationship and I’d like to do something special with you this week. What would you like to do?” Develop this habit with your family relationships and see where it leads. Going back to the COO, one of my favorite memories was the experience he and his daughter had together reading all the Harry Potter books. Not an endorsement of Harry Potter; however, clearly an endorsement of this “DAD”!
Recently, Mark Timm, a high school friend of mine, published a book called, Win at Home Like You Win at Work. You can go to his site, MarkTimm.com, and download a free e-book. In it, Mark will challenge you to apply many of the principles you apply leading in business toward your family. If you’ve never considered the concept, Mark’s book may be a bit overwhelming. That being said, you’ve got to start somewhere! If you chose to learn a bit more about Mark and his success as an entrepreneur, you’ll discover that he also had a point in his life that he had to take that first step. Now, he’s aiding people all around the world in refocusing toward “winning at home”.
I truly hope today’s post has inspired you to take the next step. If you’d like some help, as I said, it’s what I love most about my role as a coach!