by William Buist | Oct 12, 2022 | Business, Business Mastery
I’m just back from a four-day Global Speakers Summit (GSS), which took place in Dublin, Ireland. I’m on the Professional Speaking Association (PSA) board, the U.K.’s membership body for speakers. So it was the PSA’s turn to host the GSS, and it was a success.
Of course, there were fantastic talks. Talks that challenged us in so many ways. There were also workshops that made people think hard about their business, and breakout sessions. Socially, there was networking, lunches, a gala dinner, a comedy night and other fringe events.
Most of all, though, we were back together. Seeing each other in three dimensions for the first time in a long time and seeing people and connecting and laughing. It felt like it had been too long, mainly, I suspect, because it had been. I met many impressive people whom I know will continue to impress. Some already masters of their art: Tim Gard and his humour; David Avrin and his thoughts on running a professional speaking business; Steve Bustin and his mastery at compèring tough crowds; Hillary Briggs, the winner of the emerging speaker competition ‘Speaker Factor’; and many others.
There is something quite special about such gatherings. Not least because there are moments when a few are taken entirely by surprise. The PSA awards the PSAE (The Professional Speaking Award of Excellence) to someone who demonstrates mastery of their profession and contribution to the industry and the association. This year the recipient was my good friend and mastermind buddy, Lee Warren. The image above shows how surprised he was, and how delighted those who know him were.
As an aside, you may think there can’t be many gay, left-handed magicians and entertainers called Lee. Yet there is a small community of such people. There are not, however, any other left-handed magicians called Lee that can command a stage so professionally. Lee Warren can consistently inform, educate, entertain, and support business people. He’s a down-to-earth, intelligent and well-read man who leaves one feeling energised and joyful after every encounter. An exemplar of Mastery.
In section three of my book Intentional Mastery, I explore the importance of Mastering Joy. I often saw joy on the faces of the delegates at this conference. Yet at the dinner on that day, at the moment, you can see it at its best, captured in the image. For me, that was a joy too!
by William Buist | Oct 14, 2019 | Business
Mentoring involves sharing knowledge. Transferring skills and going on experience to bring success to business to better, faster, decisions. It’s a relationship that exists in the business context as a personal development relationship. One in which a person with knowledge, skills and experience helps to guide another using that knowledge that skills, or that experience.
Mentoring is about an ongoing relationship of learning of challenge in, and challenging, conversations. It is a shared experience. Many small businesses cannot operate successfully without access to knowledge, skills and experience that the business doesn’t currently have, but needs to access quickly.
One way to achieve that, often the best way, is through a personal relationship based business coach or mentor.
How to choose the right mentor for your business?
Mentoring is a strategic choice taken by a business owner, manager or director when they recognise the need for support .
The first important point in relation to selecting a mentor is that the relationship is a two-way relationship. Just as it is important to find a great mentor it’s equally important to be a good protégé. To do that, it’s important to identify the key areas where you recognise your need for mentoring. This could be an area of the business where your knowledge is lacking. Whilst you will be strong at delivering your product and service, you may, for example, be weak at marketing. Therefore you might seek mentorship in developing a strong marketing strategy.
Whilst a mentor can provide additional skills to the business, they are not an employee. They should not be directed to perform work within the business (unless that makes sense within the mentoring relationship). Mentoring is a way of accessing experience and knowledge about what needs to be done and ensuring that the work is planned effectively and efficiently.
You may also seek a mentor who has specific experience related to a project, target market, or operational issue that is challenging to your business. Challenging in the positive sense, of course, of ensuring that the decisions taken are robust, resilient and reliable.
What should you ask a prospective mentor?
In our opinion there are four key questions to ask a prospective mentor and those are:
- In what ways will the mentor challenge the thinking of the business owner?
- How will the mentor leave their protégé feeling after each mentoring session?
- What specific knowledge, skills and experience do they bring, and why do you need that?
- Will they hold the protégé accountable and feeling motivated to perform more effectively as a result of the engagement?
If you would like to know more about working with a mentor let’s have a conversation – Click here to book a call.
Blog: 461 Words – Read time: 2min 27s – [Photo by Vladislav Babienko on Unsplash ]
by William Buist | Sep 10, 2019 | Business, Risk Management
In the House of Commons, on the day he announced his retirement, the Speaker, John Bercow, commented on the difference between being proud of what has been achieved and satisfied. “Being satisfied” he said “is the fastest route to complacency”
He is right.
In most things, but particularly our work, we should be proud of what we do, but we should not settle for it. We should not be satisfied but hungry to extend success, to increase knowledge, hone skills, and deepen the experience. In short, always to develop further.
The 1% goal.
When we continue to develop ourselves in business we will also continue to deliver better products and services. That way we create a better business. These changes are evolutionary, not revolutionary. They are small increments that aggregate over time.
Of course, sometimes change has to be big, at least when viewed from the point of view of the recipient. Usually, however, the drivers for almost all change are light, and often only self-generated. So it is to ourselves as business leaders we should look. The danger is to be satisfied, as John Bercow alluded to, to think “that’s’ good enough” instead of setting a goal to make it a little better, even just 1% better, each time it is done.
How do we do that? Reflecting on each aspect of our business and our performance in it regularly gives us the opportunity to identify improvements. Implement them to measure them and evaluate them, and make the good ones consistent. That’s the process I call “The 1% goal”:
The value of consistency over intensity.
When we put all our effort into making a change, a big change, quickly we work with intensity and we can achieve great things. There are times when intensity is the right approach. I can only imagine the intensity of effort that the teams at NASA put in to help get the stricken Apollo 13 spacecraft back to earth. Some tasks genuinely are Herculean.
Yet most of our work is not herculean in nature, it is what we do, it draws on our knowledge and experience and uses our skills. Much of it can be done habitually, and I would argue that to improve we need to embed those improvements as habits so that we do them consistently.
We all value consistency because it creates trustability, reliability, and solidity. So being more consistent is guaranteed to unlock sustainable reliable profits, and that comes from having more embedded habits.
To be consistent we need to ensure that we do the right things in the right order and we make that habitual by doing them regularly and with precision. How can that be done? I’m a big fan of checklists, not because I don’t trust my skill or my memory, but because I respect the value of true consistency.
Please don’t be satisfied, be proud of all you have done, and still be hungry for more, seek out the 1% Goal and deliver it consistently.