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Figuring Out Ideas Straight From A Business Coach

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Week after week at xMonks Drive Podcast, we thrive to bring the best names with the most zealous driving stories. This week we have Mr. Spence.

John Spence, who is widely recognized as one of the top business and leadership development experts in the world, spoke with Gaurav. The podcast is what every business owner should have with his morning tea. It is a power-packed episode to learn about value sets as a leader, developing an effective coaching strategy and business growth patterns.

Here is an edited transcript of the conversation for you.

Keep Your Value Set Tight

A leader is always questioned about their own value system. When asked the value he personally believes, Kevin’s answer was honesty.

“My highest value, personally, is honesty.”

Emphasizing the need of holding a strong value set, he mentioned an incident from his life-

“One time, a gentleman had been chasing me to become the CEO of his business. It was a global sales strategy and strategic planning firm. I went there at about 34 years old, and worked there for a couple of years. Again, I had a value mismatch with the owner of that company, and I left to go out on my own.”

Another value he specifically believes in is not to try to fix people. Of course he had a backstory to share.

“So I became a coach literally, because my clients, my training clients, the people I was doing strategy for started to request, could you come and help me with these other things, or could you get me up to speed on this topic?

So I just sort of fell into it. And the interesting thing is, when I started coaching, mostly companies would hire me to try to fix their broken employees. When someone was struggling or about to get fired or had a problem, they’d say, “John, will you coach him and try to get them back on track?”

“I learned early in my coaching career that you can’t fix other people, if they don’t want to be fixed.”

So when a problem can not be fixed, what should a leader do next? Coach Spence tells to develop an effective leadership strategy.

Developing An Effective Leadership Strategy

As everything in James’ life comes from experience, the lesson to develop a strategy is based on one such incident.

“I’m mainly what I call a business acumen coach. 85% of my work is helping someone get better at a specific topic. Usually the first engagement when people bring me in is either leadership or strategy. They want to develop a more effective leadership strategy.

“The methodology I use is basically like a professor. I give them homework, I have articles for them to read. I do case studies, all of that. Let’s just say we pick a topic, strategic thinking. We will spend six months assigning work, discussing it, pushing each other and then I will give them a final assignment to teach strategic thinking to me.”

“From their philosophy, everything, they’ve learned everything. I’ve taught them everything we discussed. I do not tell them what strategic thinking is. I give them a lot of background. A lot of advice or experience. But they create their own view. So they own it.”

Greatest Strength as A Business Coach: Identifying The Pattern

For more than three decades, John Spence has travelled the world assisting individuals and businesses in becoming more successful. Over the years, Spence was able to identify a pattern. That he claims is his greatest strength as a business coach.

“As a coach and a business person I’ve developed it to sort of be what people know me for, which is taking complex things and making them simple. And I do that through pattern recognition.

I read about 100 to 120 business books a year, and I have every year since 1989. That’s the best part. If I can read 100 books on a topic, and all of the authors say basically the same five or six things, then I feel at least I’ve got the thread that runs through that theme, that business. Then I take that and create frameworks and ideas around it. So I’m constantly trying and this is what I do for people. I help people I coach. I connect the dots.

For me the question is what’s the pattern? What are the things that can keep coming up over and over and over again, if we can identify the pattern we can deal with it better.”

“If you can identify the pattern, you can deal with that better. I work with executives in organizations, there are certain behavior patterns that feet tend to be observed for some time, and then we recognize that and then I bring it to the table.”

About the Speaker: John Spence

“John Spence is widely recognized as one of the top business and leadership development experts in the world.

The American Management Association named him one of America’s Top 50 Leaders to Watch along with Sergey Brin and Larry Page of Google as well as Jeff Bezos of Amazon. He is also recognized by the highly prestigious Thinkers50 as one of the top eight in the world for their Distinguished Achievement Award.

At 26 years old, John was appointed as CEO of an international Rockefeller foundation, overseeing projects across 20 countries. Just two years later, Inc. Magazine named him one of America’s Up and Coming Young Business Leaders. John is also recognized as one of the Top 100 Business Thought Leaders in America, one of the Top 100 Small Business Influencers in America, one of the Top 50 Small Business Experts in America and one of the top 500 Leadership Development Experts in the World.

For more than three decades, John Spence has travelled the world assisting individuals and businesses in becoming more successful. John is the author of five books and a co-author of several others. He is also a business consultant, workshop facilitator, keynote speaker, and executive coach, with clients ranging from numerous Fortune 500 companies to small businesses, professional associations, and other organisations.

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