Michael Gerber said…

“Work on your business, not in your business

Many of us do work in the business, we are busy being busy and lose sight of the critical things a good leader should be focusing on.

I encounter this regularly in my consulting business where senior executives engage me to help them prepare for an important pitch/presentation coming up shortly.

They explain to me that this event is critical to the success of their organisation or themselves.

Yet, with few exceptions, they continually let other lesser activities get in the way.

Also, the presentations involve considerable expense, i.e., Tender preparation costs, travel, flights, accommodation and conference costs, not to mention my fee. *See examples at the end of the article.

Once my coaching process gets underway, they often reveal that they are not nearly as confident as they would usually be, because of some particular reason.

Here are some of the reasons:

– Some of the people in the audience are more successful than they are!

– They are not sure what they should be asking the audience to do.

– Their previous talk had not gone as well as they had expected.

– They received some constructive criticism that was not encouraging after their last talk.

– They have lost confidence in speaking in public.

– The speaking opportunity has been delegated to them at short notice.

Now let’s get back to the Michael Gerber quote.

“Work on your business, not in your business.”

Usually, I can tell after one or two sessions which of my clients will deliver a successful presentation.

The successful ones are the people who give our sessions priority, as they realise that putting themselves in the ‘shop window’ is stressful but also provides enormous opportunities for advancement.

Here are some of the ways success can be measured:

  • You are recognised within your organisation as someone who can win sales and funding.
  • You are a senior manager who regularly wins support for your initiatives.
  • Your ability to speak with confidence demonstrate that you can be trusted to manage and lead the organisation.

The people who achieve their particular goals are the people who having invested in my time, then work on preparing their talk and make it a priority to ensure our time together has a positive outcome, leading to an engaging and entertaining presentation.

The people with less favorable outcomes are the ones who keep letting other duties get in the way.

They will still be better than if they had not engaged with me, but the outstanding presentations are delivered by the speakers who fully commit to working on the presentation that could change the course of their business or career.

ASK YOURSELF, AND ANSWER HONESTLY …

“ARE YOU WORKING ON YOUR BUSINESS OR ARE YOU WORKING IN YOUR BUSINESS?”


* Here are some typical examples of recent clients:

  • An executive in the Asset Management business, flying to North America to pitch to win a $100 million fund.
  • The CTO of one of Ireland’s most successful software companies who was due to present at a conference in Sydney; the cost of getting him there, I was told, was €23k.
  • The founder of an engineering/software company who was pitching for a million dollar investment at the final of an international Accelerator competition in California.
  • The CEO of the holding company for some 20+ software companies around the world; his presentation was to the CEOs of each of the companies which report to him. I can only imagine the cost incurred in having twenty CEOs traveling to Ireland for a week from all over the world.


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