A few months ago I went for a hike with a friend. We were in Las Vegas, NV for the Gazelles Growth Summit. We decided to go to Red Rock, a hiking location that neither one of us had been to before, An amazing place with a huge expanse of nature.
Since we both like to push our physical capabilities, we decided to take a path that was a little challenging. We got to a point where we couldn’t continue; there was a huge rock on the path. My friend decided to try to climb the giant rock. I didn’t understand why, that was the end of the road. As he continued to attempt to climb the giant rock, he got stuck. He couldn’t come down nor continue climbing. We didn’t have rock-climbing equipment. His immediate reaction was to push himself to keep climbing and he did it successfully. Yet there was now a new problem that stood in our way. Behind the rock was no road and now my friend was faced with a risky situation. Eventually he accepted that he was stuck.
In the heat of the moment he became angry with himself. He was not able to think clearly enough to find a solution. He was in a panic and could only think about how his decision and determination to climb the giant rock could affect him and how his family would suffer the consequences if something happened to him.
Many business owners experience this same fear or panic, especially companies who are scaling up and growing in an exponential way. Owners/CEOs have a tendency to push the envelop while scaling the company. This is when they realize they have risked everything and recognize the consequences which could also affect his/her family.
Back to my friend on top of the giant rock. In the moment the only thing I could think to do to help him was coach him. Since I was not on top of the rock in the risky situation, I was able to see all the options or possible solutions. In other words listened to him, then I encouraged him and ultimately calmed him down. I was able to offer him a different perspective to his situation, which allowed him to make the best decision and climb down safely. I couldn’t climb down for him, but I was there to guide him.
Sometimes your own ambition to keep going puts you in a difficult situation where you are not able to see all of the options to make the wisest decision. Fortunately for those who have a coach, they are able to get feedback or external help. This is why I enjoy being a coach. It provides me with opportunities like this one to provide a different perspective. Everyone needs a coach.
It’s important to have trustworthy people around you to help you on your way up and when you need to climb down (coaches, mentors, strategic advisors).
PS: To conclude about the story of my friend, after an hour of multiple efforts he was able to climb down safely with my guidance. Nevertheless he learned a valuable lesson: Better to stop before it’s too late!
Scaling up Companies