As a proud self-implementor, we have been trying to take our commitment to become a Great Game™ practitioner seriously for the last couple of years. We’ve been to the workshops, (Get in the Game™, MiniGames™, High-Involvement Planning™) and getting a lot out of each one we've attended.
We’ve been training our staff in the business of business, instructing them on how to read financial statements, and have opened our books. We’ve done a few Mini-Games and are even reading the new books (which are extremely helpful for giving us insights and motivations into how to better implement The Game.)
Last fall, we went to The Annual Gathering of Games in Dallas. It was extremely motivating and rewarding. We heard from business leaders, both as keynote speakers and session presenters, who have been through much of what we have experienced in trying to run a successful business for the long haul. There was a time when we, as a team, exchanged knowing glances in the midst of one of these stories, because we completely saw ourselves in an emotional tale of a struggling business whose owners were exhausted trying to carry “the weight of the world” on their shoulders…and not doing it very well.
But something very unexpected happened while we were there. Repeatedly throughout the event, we heard stories from successful practitioners, about how, despite progress they were making, they had continued to struggle until they decided to hire a business coach.
This was not something we wanted to hear. And honestly, each time we heard it, it was clearly not something that had been scripted or mentioned as part of a “sales pitch”. Rather, it was always in the context of a candid statement about how these speakers’ world had changed, sometimes even giving credit for their success to their coach—by name—while still on center stage. And, frankly, that just amplified our frustration because we were committed to trying to make it work as self-implementers, in no small measure due to the fact that we are a small business with limited funds.
Our CFO/HR Director has proven through the years to be the most frugal, cost-conscious person you could ever imagine, i.e. she’s as tight as they come. I, on the other hand, am always looking for new ways to reinvest our profits, i.e. I’m the “spender” of the organization. Well imagine my surprise when she turned to me at the conference and said, “If we’re going to get serious about this, we’ve just GOT to get a coach!” My jaw dropped! Then I began to slowly and carefully (i.e. in shock) nod my head in agreement.
I’m not sure we’d have gotten to this place without having gone to The Gathering, but since we got back, our conviction that we need a coach has not diminished. We’ve begun the planning process to set aside the funds needed to take the next step, and I’ll report back once we have achieve that goal.
We believe that The Great Game of Business® is right for our organization, so it’s time that we put our money where our mouth is. The question, at least for us—“to be, or not to be” coached—has now been answered, and we’re excited to see where that will lead us.
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