"What can we accomplish together?"
One of the best things about not being a full-time coach is that I get to choose who I bring as a client. I get to work with only a handful of people that 1) I really like, and 2) I believe I can really help accomplish their goals. That criteria is not just pickiness; both requirements are essential for a successful coaching relationship.
On one hand, I LOVE working with busy people; busy people work harder, have a better sense of how long real growth takes, use their time and mine wisely, think carefully before making a new commitment, have a history of acting and following through on advice, and know the importance of investing time and resources in themselves.
I like people that care about mastery; they understand that they can't see everything that's happening in the world, appreciate the effort required to acquire expertise in any field, and look for others to give them unique perspectives.
However, I don't work with people that tend to complain or blame, have a history of thinking too much and acting too little, and don't write things down (few things shout "I don't think I need help" like not writing down good advice, good ideas, or things one may forget otherwise). Also, I don't work with assholes; I look for people with a track record of being liked and respected.
Having said that, these are some of the areas we can take to the next level in your business and life:
BUSINESS STRATEGY DIAGNOSIS
As Jack Welch says, business isn't rocket science. It's one of simplest things in the world... but that doesn't make it easy. I believe that anyone can excel in the art of business, as long as they approach it with humility, dedication to reality, and discipline to test and improve every day. I diagnose business ideas and strategies by:
Analyzing the foundations of the business to check if the fundamentals are in place (this is where most people fail).
Asking the right questions to see the market scenario and challenges objectively.
Detecting the business model's assumptions, finding gaps with the market reality, and updating the model.
Identifying the business' systems, suggesting improvement iterations, and installing a "permanent beta" system thinking mindset.
HUMAN RESOURCES TRENDS & OPPORTUNITIES
In the networked age, most companies have difficulty 1) detecting challenges and opportunities in their business or industry, 2) communicating them quickly and effectively to the world, 3) identifying and recruiting the most suitable talent, and 4) developing said talent to maximize the ROI of the partnership. As Reid Hoffman says, a business that can't develop loyal, long-term relationships with great people is unable to invest in the future, which means it's already in the process of dying. Starting from how people behave, I help companies:
EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION & NETWORKING
The things we want in life are found in other people: jobs, customers, partners, friendships, and more. Knowing where and how to find the right people, and how to effectively communicate how we can improve their lives, is one of the most important skills in a globalized and immediate world. For most people, sadly, it's also one of the least developed. I help people make their message successful by:
SELF-UNDERSTANDING & GOAL-SETTING
Follow your passion. Listen to your calling. Do what makes you happy. These messages have become quite popular, thanks to the combination of the Internet and the profitable romanticism in traditional media. The idea that there is a force that, if we are brave enough to submit to, will pull/push us towards a future where our work pains will disappear, is very tempting. This trend is a symptom of a modern struggle we all face repeatedly: feeling something in our lives is "wrong", but not knowing how or where to start to change it. I've talked to hundreds of people in this situation, and I help them decipher their impulses and anxieties by:
PRODUCTIVITY & DISCIPLINE ENFORCEMENT
Procrastination is at an all-time high. It's hard to read all the information that comes our way, and harder to distinguish the value from the noise. People start new healthy or productive habits every day, only to abandon them a month later. They announce what they want to accomplish in their lives, but time goes by and they never see those goals come to fruition. I help people develop their discipline, clarity and productivity by:
"Carlos combines a strategic and visionary mindset with excellent execution and orchestration skills, making powerful things happen. I greatly respect and admire his passion for coaching and helping others."
- Matías Rivera, CEO de Fanatiz
"Why do I need this?"
Understanding what we want to do, why we want to do it, and what tools we have to get there is a lifelong exercise. Most people avoid it. More importantly, it's difficult to do without help. We fail to see our weak spots because we have blind spots and biases. Without an external perspective whose single goal is to make YOU better, you will keep tripping with the same rocks.
Lack of Discipline & Focus
Cal Newport says that "focus is the new I.Q." The ability to concentrate and work on demanding tasks without getting distracted has become a rare, and therefore, valuable skill. With the rise of communication technologies, we have stimuli coming at us every day. Careers stagnate or grow too slow because days are ruled by distractions, multitasking, and procrastination. People have forgotten the art of discipline. Without it, it's impossible to execute a plan successfully.
Lack of Strategy
“How does this end?” This is the question that separates tactics from strategy, says James Fallows. There are plenty of tips and tricks on countless books, blogs and conferences that we can start applying today. However, they tend to generate little sustainable change for those trying to implement them in their own lives and work. Why? Because they lack context: a personalized strategy that makes everything click. A career without strategy is a career full of exhausting experimentation that fails to deliver what we want.
Outdated Paradigms & Mindset
"Working on the right thing is more important than working hard," said Caterina Fake, co-founder of Flickr. What holds back most people is not lack of effort, but rather effort put in the wrong things. They show up and exceed at everything their loved ones, their institutions and the media told them would bring the rewards they want, but haven’t realized they are working hard at the wrong things. The results? Discouragement. Frustration. Bewilderment. These are the actions and reactions of those that haven't realized the game has changed, and that others are beating them to the prizes.
Step 1: Analyze & Crystalize
The first stage of coaching is assessing your situation, and crystallizing what you want for your life and work. This is arguably the hardest stage, and most people never leave it (or even start it). If you want to know your options, you must understand and be able to communicate your values, skills, and goals, but also your assets, career environment, relationships, and more.
We start by having conversations and exercises to help you see what internal and external obstacles and gaps you are facing, and communicate effectively to yourself and others how you will break through.
Step 2: Strategy & Exercises
What holds most people back from acting is not lack of aspirations, but lack of clarity and predictability of the process. When the specifics of what we should do are blurry, we procrastinate. Breaking down a goal into its optimal strategy, exercises, and systems that keep us going is the essence of coaching in action.
Through frameworks and prompts, we craft a strategy grounded in an honest self-assessment—leveraging every asset and strength at your disposal—and find new ways to accomplish your goal.
Step 3: Measure & Iterate
The key attitude for any 21st century professional is adaptation. Leveraging the unpredictability and randomness of the world we live in is a prerequisite to swim with the current of opportunities, not against. We must consistently test, learn, and improve. Like Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha say, we must abandon "Ready, Aim, Fire" for "Aim, Fire, Aim, Fire, Aim, Fire."
Yet very few do, because they lack the support systems to externalize their experiences, track their results, and improve on their actions. I hand-hold you throughout your exercises, talking frequently, expecting your reports and providing the perspectives and feedback to help you improve your results.
Step 4: Review, Reap & Reinvest
Anyone can score a couple of wins on luck or hustle alone. Yet there is a reason many people that had great prospects in their 20s and 30s hit an unexpected plateau or drop in their 40s or older. As Marshall Goldsmith said: what got us here won't get us there. What separates the sustainable performers from the temporary ones is poor understanding of the reasons behind their achievements, failure to consolidate their wins, and not reinvesting their rewards strategically.
I help people close every growth cycle with activities that ensure reaping all the rewards, digesting the lessons of the cycle, and updating their future plans after accomplishing their goals.