Conferences have their place. Sometimes we just need that inspirational shot in the arm that inspires us to stay the course. However, conferences are effective but limited in their life change potential. They can even be dangerous! Conferences can inform and inspire indeed, but when we get new information, the trick is acting on it, isn’t it? Even when we know what to do, we often don’t yet know how to do it. In fact, at this point, we often become paralyzed because we don’t know how to go about doing what needs to be done. If we do the right thing the wrong way, we still blow up everything and everyone. We need not only know the right thing to do, but the right way to do it. Conferences often lack that ability. This is why conferences can also dangerous!
Conferences can also be discouraging. We meet all of the other “successful” people there. We hear their stories from the stage. We can even become inspired in the short run as we dream about attaining what they have attained. However, if we get inspired at this year’s conference (just like we did at last year’s conference), and do not act on that inspiration, over time we begin to think: “What is the use of being inspired year after year if nothing really changes?” This is simply proof that:
Information and Inspiration without transformation leads to disillusionment.
This is why conferences can be dangerous! This is also why I believe so much in coaching. We often don’t need more information or inspiration. We need transformation. We don’t need to know what to do. We need to know how to do it and be held accountable for it. That’s when we will change.
Content delivery is not coaching. Content consumption is not coaching. Consulting is not coaching. Coaching requires a relationship.
A coach has a relationship with his payers. A coach observes while the players practice and offers real-time, immediate feedback. A coach is also responsible for pushing a player past his/her accustomed capacity levels. A coach holds the players accountable for doing the details right.
A great coach helps players focus on the process not the scoreboard.
Here’s the coolest part: as we experience transformation through coaching and accountability, it begins to INSPIRE us to believe that anything is possible!
I’m not knocking conferences. They have their place. But at the the end of the day, I still believe every leader needs a coach to experience long term transformation. If you are reading this, know this: You probably don’t need new information or inspiration. In fact, information and inspiration without transformation leads to disillusionment! Instead, act on what you have already heard and learned. Start taking the smallest action. Get a coach. Get accountable. Traction will equal satisfaction...and ultimately success.