Taking too long? Close loading screen.
Connect with us

Business

Forget Warren Buffett and Bill Gates — Your Dream Business Mentor Is Already on Your Speed Dial.

Published

on

October 13, 2020 7 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

If you’re like me, in my search to find the right coach, I dream about enlisting someone at the top of their field – the Stedman Graham or Steve Jobs of our profession. suggests that if you want to get good at something, you need to learn from the best. But does this always hold true?

This week I visited with management expert Roger Connors, perhaps most known as the best-selling co-author of The Oz Principle and several other workplace accountability books. Most recently he’s heading up a new organization called Zero to Ten and his newest book, Get a Coach | Be a Coach, will be available soon.

We talked about the unexplored magic in mentoring – or being mentored – with individuals just one or two levels above or below us in a particular realm. It may be an area that doesn’t require the industry’s greatest sports or executive coach, but someone who can help you to get from a “4” to an “8,” perhaps or to successfully pass a certification exam. 

For example, Roger said, “Consider the task of to code. As you scan online forums and take various courses, you realize it would be helpful to have a coach. One connection you see is a seasoned veteran with over 20 years of experience coding. Another has two years’ experience. Who are you going to choose?”

He notes that If you’re like most of the people he’s spoken with, you’ll choose the person who’s been in the field 20 years. 

But your instinctive bias toward extensive experience may not be the best choice, Roger says. “In our at Zero to Ten, we’ve found that recency often trumps mastery,” he noted. “People who’ve recently trodden your same path can relate in ways a 20-year expert potentially can’t. They remember the nuances of learning something for the first time and how to explain things that used to be difficult.” 

Conversely, he notes that someone with much more experience doesn’t always remember what it was like to be a beginner. Likewise, the skills they developed two or more decades ago may not align well with the dynamic you’re facing today. 

Furthermore, the most advanced experts are typically scheduled weeks or months in advance and may be less accessible to someone distantly removed from their locale or their immediate skillset. This does not in any way devalue the highest levels of expertise; but the principle teaches us, as learners, to value “recency” in looking for effective coaches. 

A better alternative: Look one level up

So here’s a novel idea that Roger espouses: When seeking out a coach, find someone who is just one level up from your current capability. This is where you will find great value.

For example, consider , the COO of Facebook. In her book, Lean In, she describes the powerful effect of reaching out to peers that are just a level up in expertise. In her book, she says, “Friends at the same stage of their careers may actually provide more current and useful counsel.” 

“Several of my older mentors advised me against taking a job at Google in 2001,” Sheryl continues. “Yet almost all my peers understood the potential of Silicon Valley. Peers are also in the trenches and may understand problems that superiors do not, especially when those problems are generated by superiors in the first place.”

Or, suggests Roger, consider Drew Houston, Co-Founder of Dropbox, who advised listeners on a Masters of Scale podcast by Reid Hoffman: “Look for people who are one year, two years, five years ahead of you. You [will] learn very different and important things.”

Research on the subject supports this opinion as well, Roger says. Dr. Richard K. Ladyshewsky of the Curtin Graduate School of Business in Perth, Australia, said in the International Journal of Evidence Based Coaching and Mentoring, “there are benefits to working with a peer coach at a similar level to oneself because of the way in which problems are analyzed and resolved. Experts use a forward reasoning process because they have worked on the problem many times before, whereas those with less experience use a background reasoning process because they have limited experience with the problem.” 

Related: The Best Business Book Ever Written, According To Bill Gates And Warren Buffett

In his article, Ladyshewsky concludes: “Because experts see problems in different ways from novices, they may not necessarily be the best coaches.”

“This is a principle often overlooked by professionals, but it resonates with most coaching recipients on a personal level,” Roger says. “We want the ability to relate with the person we’re talking to. And no one is more relatable than the person who’s recently gone through our struggle as well.”

So as you seek out a “level up” coach, according to Roger, consider these recommendations:

1. Ask the people you already work with

Many of us shy away from sharing our talents openly and we certainly don’t offer them if we’re not an expert. But using the principle of “leveling up” greatly expands the notion of what a person can coach on. Unbeknownst to us, we likely work with the very people who could coach us best. We just need to ask.

2. Understand their level of expertise 

It’s helpful to ask a potential level up coach when they last completed a project like yours. There is no fixed rule, but generally, you want someone who is not far removed from a beginner’s mindset. 

3. Clarify your level of expertise

Equally important is the need to share your own level of expertise. Tell the prospective coach what you’ve done so far and what hasn’t worked to give them a better sense of your current state. Remember, your level of expertise will change as you improve, so it’s imperative to review this point each time you meet with a coach. 

4. Don’t use more time than needed

Coaching doesn’t have to be a long or drawn-out process. You can gain just as much value, if not more, from a focused 15-minute “pick your brain” conversation than hours of storytelling or back and forth. The heart of level up coaching is skill-specific and performance-based teaching, rather than an indefinite accountability partnership.

5. Get more than one coach

It’s wise to get multiple perspectives on a topic. The very nature of getting someone one level up will necessitate that you move to another coach once you reach the next level. You should continually be on the lookout for the next coaching fit.

In conclusion, says Roger, “By thinking, ‘Who do I know that is one level up?’ and following this pattern until an objective is achieved, we open the possibilities of coaching far beyond what is commonly perceived, even by your own organization or by the coaching industry’s traditional experts.”

Related: According to His Tweets, Bill Gates Is Way More Stressed Out Than Elon Musk (Infographic)

“In an industry where a development coach can cost as much as $3,500 an hour and experts rule the terrain, the concept of finding a level up coach can expand or even disrupt the traditional model in a way that saves money while making coaching accessible to all.”

I have more than 20 + year’s experience in the coaching and training industry and really love Roger Connor’s 5 points. I hope that this article has been beneficial for you in either helping you grow your coaching or consulting services or helping you find the right coach or advisor for your personal and professional growth. 

loading…

Source

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Business

The Trump campaign celebrated a growth record that Democrats downplayed.

Published

on

The White House celebrated economic growth numbers for the third quarter released on Thursday, even as Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s presidential campaign sought to throw cold water on the report — the last major data release leading up to the Nov. 3 election — and warned that the economic recovery was losing steam.

The economy grew at a record pace last quarter, but the upswing was a partial bounce-back after an enormous decline and left the economy smaller than it was before the pandemic. The White House took no notice of those glum caveats.

“This record economic growth is absolute validation of President Trump’s policies, which create jobs and opportunities for Americans in every corner of the country,” Mr. Trump’s re-election campaign said in a statement, highlighting a rebound of 33.1 percent at an annualized rate. Mr. Trump heralded the data on Twitter, posting that he was “so glad” that the number had come out before Election Day.

The annualized rate that the White House emphasized extrapolates growth numbers as if the current pace held up for a year, and risks overstating big swings. Because the economy’s growth has been so volatile amid the pandemic, economists have urged focusing on quarterly numbers.

Those showed a 7.4 percent gain in the third quarter. That rebound, by far the biggest since reliable statistics began after World War II, still leaves the economy short of its pre-pandemic levels. The pace of recovery has also slowed, and now coronavirus cases are rising again across much of the United States, raising the prospect of further pullback.

“The recovery is stalling out, thanks to Trump’s refusal to have a serious plan to deal with Covid or to pass a new economic relief plan for workers, small businesses and communities,” Mr. Biden’s campaign said in a release ahead of Thursday’s report. The rebound was widely expected, and the campaign characterized it as “a partial return from a catastrophic hit.”

Economists have warned that the recovery could face serious roadblocks ahead. Temporary measures meant to shore up households and businesses — including unemployment insurance supplements and forgivable loans — have run dry. Swaths of the service sector remain shut down as the virus continues to spread, and job losses that were temporary are increasingly turning permanent.

“With coronavirus infections hitting a record high in recent days and any additional fiscal stimulus unlikely to arrive until, at the earliest, the start of next year, further progress will be much slower,” Paul Ashworth, chief United States economist at Capital Economics, wrote in a note following the report.

Source

Continue Reading

Business

Black and Hispanic workers, especially women, lag in the U.S. economic recovery.

Published

on

The surge in economic output in the third quarter set a record, but the recovery isn’t reaching everyone.

Economists have long warned that aggregate statistics like gross domestic product can obscure important differences beneath the surface. In the aftermath of the last recession, for example, G.D.P. returned to its previous level in early 2011, even as poverty rates remained high and the unemployment rate for Black Americans was above 15 percent.

Aggregate statistics could be even more misleading during the current crisis. The job losses in the initial months of the pandemic disproportionately struck low-wage service workers, many of them Black and Hispanic women. Service-sector jobs have been slow to return, while school closings are keeping many parents, especially mothers, from returning to work. Nearly half a million Hispanic women have left the labor force over the last three months.

“If we’re thinking that the economy is recovering completely and uniformly, that is simply not the case,” said Michelle Holder, an economist at John Jay College in New York. “This rebound is unevenly distributed along racial and gender lines.”

The G.D.P. report released Thursday doesn’t break down the data by race, sex or income. But other sources make the disparities clear. A pair of studies by researchers at the Urban Institute released this week found that Black and Hispanic adults were more likely to have lost jobs or income since March, and were twice as likely as white adults to experience food insecurity in September.

The financial impact of the pandemic hit many of the families that were least able to afford it, even as white-collar workers were largely spared, said Michael Karpman, an Urban Institute researcher and one of the studies’ authors.

“A lot of people who were already in a precarious position before the pandemic are now in worse shape, whereas people who were better off have generally been faring better financially,” he said.

Federal relief programs, such as expanded unemployment benefits, helped offset the damage for many families in the first months of the pandemic. But those programs have mostly ended, and talks to revive them have stalled in Washington. With virus cases surging in much of the country, Mr. Karpman warned, the economic toll could increase.

“There could be a lot more hardship coming up this winter if there’s not more relief from Congress, with the impact falling disproportionately on Black and Hispanic workers and their families,” he said.

Source

Continue Reading

Business

Ant Challenged Beijing and Prospered. Now It Toes the Line.

Published

on

As Jack Ma of Alibaba helped turn China into the world’s biggest e-commerce market over the past two decades, he was also vowing to pull off a more audacious transformation.

“If the banks don’t change, we’ll change the banks,” he said in 2008, decrying how hard it was for small businesses in China to borrow from government-run lenders.

“The financial industry needs disrupters,” he told People’s Daily, the official Communist Party newspaper, a few years later. His goal, he said, was to make banks and other state-owned enterprises “feel unwell.”

The scope of Mr. Ma’s success is becoming clearer. The vehicle for his financial-technology ambitions, an Alibaba spinoff called Ant Group, is preparing for the largest initial public offering on record. Ant is set to raise $34 billion by selling its shares to the public in Hong Kong and Shanghai, according to stock exchange documents released on Monday. After the listing, Ant would be worth around $310 billion, much more than many global banks.

The company is going public not as a scrappy upstart, but as a leviathan deeply dependent on the good will of the government Mr. Ma once relished prodding.

More than 730 million people use Ant’s Alipay app every month to pay for lunch, invest their savings and shop on credit. Yet Alipay’s size and importance have made it an inevitable target for China’s regulators, which have already brought its business to heel in certain areas.

These days, Ant talks mostly about creating partnerships with big banks, not disrupting or supplanting them. Several government-owned funds and institutions are Ant shareholders and stand to profit handsomely from the public offering.

The question now is how much higher Ant can fly without provoking the Chinese authorities into clipping its wings further.

Excitable investors see Ant as a buzzy internet innovator. The risk is that it becomes more like a heavily regulated “financial digital utility,” said Fraser Howie, the co-author of “Red Capitalism: The Fragile Financial Foundation of China’s Extraordinary Rise.”

“Utility stocks, as far as I remember, were not the ones to be seen as the most exciting,” Mr. Howie said.

Ant declined to comment, citing the quiet period demanded by regulators before its share sale.

The company has played give-and-take with Beijing for years. As smartphone payments became ubiquitous in China, Ant found itself managing huge piles of money in Alipay users’ virtual wallets. The central bank made it park those funds in special accounts where they would earn minimal interest.

After people piled into an easy-to-use investment fund inside Alipay, the government forced the fund to shed risk and lower returns. Regulators curbed a plan to use Alipay data as the basis for a credit-scoring system akin to Americans’ FICO scores.

China’s Supreme Court this summer capped interest rates for consumer loans, though it was unclear how the ceiling would apply to Ant. The central bank is preparing a new virtual currency that could compete against Alipay and another digital wallet, the messaging app WeChat, as an everyday payment tool.

Ant has learned ways of keeping the authorities on its side. Mr. Ma once boasted at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, about never taking money from the Chinese government. Today, funds associated with China’s social security system, its sovereign wealth fund, a state-owned life insurance company and the national postal carrier hold stakes in Ant. The I.P.O. is likely to increase the value of their holdings considerably.

“That’s how the state gets its payoff,” Mr. Howie said. With Ant, he said, “the line between state-owned enterprise and private enterprise is highly, highly blurred.”

China, in less than two generations, went from having a state-planned financial system to being at the global vanguard of internet finance, with trillions of dollars in transactions being made on mobile devices each year. Alipay had a lot to do with it.

Alibaba created the service in the early 2000s to hold payments for online purchases in escrow. Its broader usefulness quickly became clear in a country that mostly missed out on the credit card era. Features were added and users piled in. It became impossible for regulators and banks not to see the app as a threat.

ImageAnt Group’s headquarters in Hangzhou, China.
Credit…Alex Plavevski/EPA, via Shutterstock

A big test came when Ant began making an offer to Alipay users: Park your money in a section of the app called Yu’ebao, which means “leftover treasure,” and we will pay you more than the low rates fixed by the government at banks.

People could invest as much or as little as they wanted, making them feel like they were putting their pocket change to use. Yu’ebao was a hit, becoming one of the world’s largest money market funds.

The banks were terrified. One commentator for a state broadcaster called the fund a “vampire” and a “parasite.”

Still, “all the main regulators remained unanimous in saying that this was a positive thing for the Chinese financial system,” said Martin Chorzempa, a research fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington.

“If you can’t actually reform the banks,” Mr. Chorzempa said, “you can inject more competition.”

But then came worries about shadowy, unregulated corners of finance and the dangers they posed to the wider economy. Today, Chinese regulators are tightening supervision of financial holding companies, Ant included. Beijing has kept close watch on the financial instruments that small lenders create out of their consumer loans and sell to investors. Such securities help Ant fund some of its lending. But they also amplify the blowup if too many of those loans aren’t repaid.

“Those kinds of derivative products are something the government is really concerned about,” said Tian X. Hou, founder of the research firm TH Data Capital. Given Ant’s size, she said, “the government should be concerned.”

The broader worry for China is about growing levels of household debt. Beijing wants to cultivate a consumer economy, but excessive borrowing could eventually weigh on people’s spending power. The names of two of Alipay’s popular credit functions, Huabei and Jiebei, are jaunty invitations to spend and borrow.

Huang Ling, 22, started using Huabei when she was in high school. At the time, she didn’t qualify for a credit card. With Huabei’s help, she bought a drone, a scooter, a laptop and more.

The credit line made her feel rich. It also made her realize that if she actually wanted to be rich, she had to get busy.

“Living beyond my means forced me to work harder,” Ms. Huang said.

First, she opened a clothing shop in her hometown, Nanchang, in southeastern China. Then she started an advertising company in the inland metropolis of Chongqing. When the business needed cash, she borrowed from Jiebei.

Online shopping became a way to soothe daily anxieties, and Ms. Huang sometimes racked up thousands of dollars in Huabei bills, which only made her even more anxious. When the pandemic slammed her business, she started falling behind on her payments. That cast her into a deep depression.

Finally, early this month, with her parents’ help, she paid off her debts and closed her Huabei and Jiebei accounts. She felt “elated,” she said.

China’s recent troubles with freewheeling online loan platforms have put the government under pressure to protect ordinary borrowers.

Ant is helped by the fact that its business lines up with many of the Chinese leadership’s priorities: encouraging entrepreneurship and financial inclusion, and expanding the middle class. This year, the company helped the eastern city of Hangzhou, where it is based, set up an early version of the government’s app-based system for dictating coronavirus quarantines.

Such coziness is bound to raise hackles overseas. In Washington, Chinese tech companies that are seen as close to the government are radioactive.

In January 2017, Eric Jing, then Ant’s chief executive, said the company aimed to be serving two billion users worldwide within a decade. Shortly after, Ant announced that it was acquiring the money transfer company MoneyGram to increase its U.S. footprint. By the following January, the deal was dead, thwarted by data security concerns.

More recently, top officials in the Trump administration have discussed whether to place Ant Group on the so-called entity list, which prohibits foreign companies from purchasing American products. Officials from the State Department have suggested that an interagency committee, which also includes officials from the departments of defense, commerce and energy, review Ant for the potential entity listing, according to three people familiar with the matter.

Ant does not talk much anymore about expanding in the United States.

Ana Swanson contributed reporting.

Source

Continue Reading

Trending