Put me in Coach, I’m ready to play

Coach Bear Bryant

Photo: Paul W. Bryant Museum

For the past several months I focused intently on my performance and productivity in the office. I did this with the help of a business coach.

The process was not unlike working with a trainer at the gym or a running coach. Over the next few weeks, I will share some of what I’ve learned and give some details about how I’ve applied the lessons to my daily life — both personal and professional.

First, let me say something about my business coach, Nancy Dana. I couldn’t have asked for a more supportive or helpful coach. She was always enthusiastic and prepared.

I’m going to share many of the lessons I learned from Nancy but don’t make the mistake of thinking you can get the full benefit without hiring a coach. The biggest benefit that I saw was having someone point out errors and hold me accountable to my own goals and deadlines.

Another big benefit of using a coach is the consistency over an extended period of time. Instead of heading off to a conference for a long weekend, I worked with Nancy during eight one-hour sessions for just over two months. The difference in the two situations is remarkable.

I’ll be perfectly honest. Some of Nancy’s techniques seemed absolutely silly when I first heard them. Some made perfect sense. But I committed to the program and tried everything she suggested. I quickly learned that some of the oddest advice turned out to be the best.

In the next few weeks, I’ll provide details on the lessons that had the most meaning for me. But to get started, here’s the overview of topics:

  1. Identify numbing behaviors
  2. Focus your thoughts on what will be, not what is.
  3. How to filter for focus.
  4. Upside down goggles and creating new habits.
  5. Kai Zen
  6. Feelings first.
  7. Affirmations.
  8. Just start over.
  9. Identify values.
  10. Identify moments of peak performance.
  11. Goals, values or filters?
  12. Layering.
  13. Neuro linguistic programing.

That’s the primary list of lessons. As I’ve said before, the value for each lesson was learning from Nancy how to apply each to my own life.

For now, I’ll leave you with a quote from my all-time favorite coach:

“Never quit. It is the easiest cop-out in the world. Set a goal and don’t quit until you attain it. When you do attain it, set another goal, and don’t quit until you reach it. Never quit.”

— Coach Bear Bryant

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