including the lengths of the paragraphs and some of the working ± for each one. I was supposedto risk my reputation and contacts based on this?
The Verbal as Substitute for the Written
: A variation of the above comes when theentrepreneur avoids the production of a business plan and tries to substitute an extended elevator speech. Another µentrepreneur¶ approached me with a request for coaching assistance. He had anµidea¶ but professed not to be a µdetail guy¶. So he wanted my help to build a team that wouldlaunch the company. Our first session did not go well. Sure, the initial elevator speech was polished but, when I asked for more detail he got aggressive then abusive.³How do you expect me to help you if you aren¶t able to clearly describe what you are involvedin?´ The response was roughly ³that¶s your problem, not mine.´ Self-knowledge is theunderpinning of a sophisticated understanding of the world and what is possible within it. Theresponsibility for clarity rests at the feet of the proposer ± not the audience. This basicformulation was beyond this person. A bit of diligence showed me that this was not the firstµcompany¶ that this person had launched. He had founded two that had failed ± both of whichwere backed by angel investors. I ended up talking to three of his prior teammates who alldescribed him as a troubled person.
Wanting is Not the Same as Having
: A third way that this lack of self-knowledge manifestsitself in through people who have a strong want but no patience with having. I know one particular person who is very good at the first phases of a start-up and very destructive thereafter.I call him the µfirst date¶ specialist. Never more at home than when pitching some new idea, hequickly loses interest as soon as the possibilities begin to turn into probabilities. When I confronthim on this behavior, he generally replies ³this is the way I am´. But his statement is purely self- justifying and does not extend to a realization of how others view him because of such behavior.He is a pariah and people avoid him.
: None of these behaviors are unavoidable. None have to be limiting the lifeexperience of these people. There is a way forward and out of the dilemma. Let¶s go back to themirror. A good coach ± one with lots of life experience and who has met and slaughtered suchdaemons ± is precisely that mirror. My most successful coaching engagements have resulted insubstantial personal growth by my clients ± and a deepening self-knowledge. Often we celebratesuch victories and I get great satisfaction from watching a client avoid destructive behavior andfollow their better instincts. It¶s easier than you might think ± start with a good mirror and payclose attention.© Dr. Earl R. Smith II~~~~~~~~~~Related Articles:
Coaching Notes ± Chapter One
overnment Contracting Tips ± Chapter Three