In my last post I described how I was on my way back to school to become certified as a coach. Not a sports coach, but a transitions and leadership coach. I’ve chosen the Hudson Institute of Coaching in Santa Barbara because of the strong recommendations I received as well as the caliber of people it attracts. I can now add another reason … Santa Barbara is beautiful, and learning in the sunshine under palm trees and redwoods is special.
The initial phase of the curriculum is a program called LifeLaunch. LifeLaunch is a 3 1/2 day program that helps one build a plan for the next segment of one’s life. This isn’t really
about coaching, but I believe it is important for a number of reasons:
- Learn The Models – Hudson Institute has a wealth of intellectual property, and the LifeLaunch models are also highly relevant to their coaching methodology. By living in the models so deeply for this length of time, they become ingrained and we get the opportunity to assess if they resonate with us.
- Meet The People – the faculty are really important. It is really necessary that you believe in their ability to guide you to success. Mission accomplished. What wasn’t apparent at the outset was how important fellow students would be. I think the answer to that is even more important than the instructors, as they are with you even more of the time, supporting, challenging, listening, participating. So the need to be with really high quality people has been validated.
- Self as Coach – if I can’t coach myself, I’m not sure I would advise someone to allow me to coach them. This was a great program to be able to get a firmer grip on the wheel of my own vehicle.
- Confirm The Plan – approximately 80% of the people in LifeLaunch stated at the onset that they wanted to pursue coaching. At the end of the program that number had definitely dropped a bit as others found that there were other passions that were calling them more. For me I found it affirming and am eager to pursue the profession.
The plan, however, revealed a few other things to me. The first is how important it is to have a plan when contemplating a transition of this magnitude. From an executive role to a coaching role. From leading from in front to leading from behind. From owning a business outcome to helping enable others’ outcomes. From energetically employed to entering onto a gradual retirement curve.
I learned that it is important to be intentional in my execution of this plan, and in order for me to do that I need to deal with some junk in the attic.
There are two piles.
First is, being intentional requires that I believe that I will succeed in each step of my plan. Those voices of self-doubt and other negatives we often have in our heads try to convince us otherwise. They need to be removed. They probably deserve being heard once in case they are actually alerting us to a pitfall ahead, but then they need to go. Like bats in a real attic they may come back, but eventually we will find a way to keep them out.
Second is a notion that came to me of “junk time”. Those more trivial activities we can go to when we are worn down or just plain procrastinating. There’s more important things to do with that time, or at least most of it. I constantly say I want more time for my wife Kendra, for family, for friends. I want more time to be artistic. I would like to contribute more in the community. I would like to make sure I get 7 hours of sleep a day.
Here’s the problem.
There isn’t any more time. We only get 24 hours in a day. We should use them intentionally. So I’m going to look at my junk time and see what I can claw back. There has to be leisure time, but that has to be prioritized as well. Instead of doing the crossword puzzle, perhaps a walk with my camera would be more rewarding. Instead of watching sports, watch sports while exercising or cooking or watch with friends and family.
In writing this I started to question this notion. Is watching sports really junk time? When I thought it through I think the answer is that one person’s junk is another person’s treasure. That’s why we have flea markets. And that is why I have stuff in the attic. Because what was once a good use of my time is now filling time that I could use to do what I really want to. It’s about living intentionally. Right now is a time of growth for me. Perhaps later I can treasure these activities again.
I don’t think I’ve fully considered this notion of living intentionally before. I think I have done some of it, but at other times am more in the mode of reading the need of the day and going to it (or allowing it to come to me), so I’d like to apply this at work as well. I’d like to be more diligent about starting my day with a plan and deciding what is truly important. I schedule time on my calendar so the things i really want to do get done, but I would like to be firmer about making sure I use it for its intended purpose.
I also want to be more intentional as a leader. I want to prepare for each meeting with a teammate in advance so we can use our time well and thereby save some time for connecting. I want to intentionally enter each meeting in a coaching frame of mind so that people’s jobs feel more enriched (and I get to practice!). I want to allocate time (lunch anybody?) to check in with teammates and share experiences.
What are your thoughts on these ideas? Is this notion of living intentionally valid? How about the whole idea of junk time? is there something there or is this just another way of trying to be more productive? What might be the downside? Do you have any experience with this concept? Any guidance to give?