I feel grateful for coaching because of the powerful insights I’m gifted. I’m going to share something with you now that could be life-changing.
It starts with children.
I believe they’re our biggest opportunity for personal growth—if we embrace the daily lessons they give us and commit to going ‘all in’ with parenting.
I find endless joy in being a role model for my two beautiful sons—and, at times, it’s bloody hard work!
A brilliantly talented man I coach is on the verge of winning his sixth national motorsport title, growing a globally renowned business AND raising two young children.
We were on a call this week and he shared a life-changing insight.
In our call, he explained how he’d had a realisation about parenthood.
Over the weekend he decided to help his children finally learn to ride their bikes.
He went along to his local park where there’s a huge shallow pool that’s emptied for the close season—creating a safe space for them to learn.
Do you remember learning to ride a bike?
I have a memory of it being terrifyingly freeing.
Most kids are scared witless before they can ride and then suddenly, when they nail it, feel free as a bird.
He took his eldest first, with stabilisers on, and it went well. Feeling courageous, he removed the stabilisers and ably assisted her without the extra wheels—gently pushing, supporting and offering words of encouragement.
This was a huge moment because he’d resisted taking the training wheels off for a long, long time because of the recurring narrative in his mind saying things like:
“What if she falls off?”
“She needs to master riding properly first before removing the supports, I’ll do it in a month or two when I feel confident.”
These thoughts created a fearful story in his mind of what might happen—the worst case scenario.
“If I take the stabilisers off, my precious children will hurt themselves.”
I get this. It’s true for me. And, it’s probably true for you too, if you have children.
I have continuous chattering in my mind about how I’m being as Dad—especially as I’m the Father of two sons aiming to be a healthy male role model.
I sometimes wonder if I wrap them up in cotton wool too much? Not exposing them to perceived ‘danger’ for fear of them being hurt physically or emotionally because I’m a sensitive guy at heart. Often, I’m overprotective.
Anyway, back to my client.
Operation remove stabilisers didn’t go well.
Lots of wobbles. She became frustrated. He became frustrated. Failure.
So, he thought it would be a good idea to have a break—turning attention to his son.
Within moments of turning around, his daughter disappeared, along with the bike.
Where was she?
There’s no worse feeling for a parent—the thought that your child has gone missing in public.
After initial nausea he frantically scanned the area, spotting her about 20 meters away … happily riding her bike!
This led to his powerful insight.
His fear had held back his daughter’s growth.
Once she was allowed to work it out for herself she was off and away. From terrifying to freedom.
Now she can ride a whole new world has opened up for her.
This inspired me to ask him a question.
“Where in your business are your fears holding back other people’s growth?”
Silence. You could feel the intensity of the space we shared go up a notch.
I won’t go into details here due to confidentiality—aside from sharing with you that it turned out to be a powerful call that really served him.
And, it was the inspiration for this piece. Which could serve you, too.
I invite you to play with this question.
“Where are my fears holding other people back from growth?”
If you took a pen and paper and wrote a stream of consciousness journal entry for 15-30 mins answering this question you may discover life-changing insights.
Maybe, with the people you manage, you’re fearful of delegation because:
“they won’t be able to do it the way I want them to.”
“it’ll be quicker and better if I just do it myself.”
“I’m crap at delegation, I’ve tried it in the past and it doesn’t work. Staff are difficult.”
Sound familiar? It’s really common with entrepreneurs who have grown their own business.
If this is true for you, what if you did the opposite and actually delegated something to one of your direct reports and allowed them to grow? And, focused on supporting them and being an incredible manager—creating a space for them to work out how to ride their bike.
What would the upside be for you?
Could it create more time and headspace for you to craft an inspiring vision and strategy for your business?
Maybe you’d have time to look at your customer experience and see what it needs to make it truly world class …
Or, what if it allowed you to leave the office 30 mins earlier so you could go and take your kids to the park and play? They won’t always want you around to help them ride their bike—so make the most of it while it lasts. It won’t be long before they’re grunting at you from under their bed covers—blaming you for everything in life that isn’t going their way.
I know delegation can be hard and that’s okay. We all have skills we need to work on to take ourselves to the next level. I’m constantly searching for my own blind spots and working on them to improve. Not always comfortable, but it has huge returns.
It’s actually your responsibility as a leader—in business and parenting—to grow other leaders. If you commit to this 100%, everyone wins. And, our world needs this now more than ever.
I invite you to take the stabilisers off … you could be amazed at the results.
With love. David.