Friday, June 23rd, 2017

Coaching, Kaizen, and Simply Showing Up

This past weekend, I had the privilege to co-facilitate a podcasting workshop for the Northwest chapter of the National Speakers Association. Our chapter president asked me to be a facilitator because I am one of only a handful of people in the chapter who has a regular podcast. I’ve spent countless hours for over a year working out the kinks of recording and publishing my podcast. So, I hoped I could share some of my hard-earned knowledge with my colleagues, thereby shortening their learning curve and inspiring them to action.

There Is Always a Better Way

There Is Always a Better Way

I also invited a new friend to attend the meeting, because I had learned he also does Internet radio and I knew he would have insights to share. Turns out his podcasting maturity level is far higher than mine and he is operating at a scale one or two orders of magnitude larger. Wow! I learned a number of lessons.

#1 Importance of coaching

Your performance will always be higher if you have a world-class coach than if you try to learn something on your own. I had been working very hard, on my own, to learn how to podcast. But, here was someone who had been working very hard—for a lot longer. I wish I had met him sooner. You can try and try, but you’ll get better faster and you’ll be better in the end, if someone shows you all the tricks and tips.

#2 Kaizen

Things are changing so rapidly that you must always be changing and improving. A couple years ago when I began scouting for web platforms and podcasting solutions, a certain set of capabilities were available on the market. Two years later, all the vendors have added functionality and the assumptions of two years ago are no longer valid. To maximize my efficiency and quality, thereby remaining competitive, I have to update my information—and my tool suite. In other words, I have to by committed to openness and continuous incremental improvement.

#3 Simply Showing Up

A couple of years ago, when we were defining scope at the beginning of a consulting engagement, a client said, “We don’t need to outrun the bear, just our competition.” He was referring to the joke where a bear comes into the camp where two boys have pitched their tent. As one boy starts putting on tennis shoes, the other asks, “Why are you putting on tennis shoes instead of running away from the bear? Aren’t you scared?” The boy responds, “No, I’m not scared. I don’t have to outrun the bear. I only have to outrun you. …Bye!” Outrunning your competition is usually simply a matter of just showing up on the playing field. When it comes to innovation, the competition often doesn’t bother to show up to the game. So, on one hand, I was very humbled at the podcasting workshop by how much there is to know that I don’t know. On the other hand, at least I had showed up—about 53 times. The last time I looked on iTunes I had 53 episodes on my podcast. Even though I have a lot more to learn, at least I am on the field (on the Internet actually) and I am learning.

What opportunities should you be showing up to capture?

What has changed since you originally started—and that you now need to upgrade?

Who can you find who knows 10 times more than you do—and can give you a huge productivity boost?

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