I am so excited right now. Next week I’m doing the Company Directors Course with the AICD. This week-long course is something I’ve known for many years that I was going to do; I’ve been looking forward to it for a long time and the timing is right to do it now. Don’t get me wrong – it’s not easy to find the time to step away from a life that’s already full to spend an entire week in immersion training, nor is it ‘easy’ to find the 40 – 60 hours for the pre-work… and yet when the time is right, you make it happen.

I’ve been really enjoying the pre-work, and it strikes me just how relevant much of it is for any business owner, and adviser for that matter; regardless of whether they’re a Director from a technical viewpoint. There are so many correlations I’m drawing from what we do every day at Elixir,  to the concepts shared in the course. The one that inspired me to write this post, is the importance of separating the day-to-day running of the business and spending the time to think and plan strategically for the business.

There’s a component within the pre-work pack on Director Mindset where we hear about the challenges for leaders moving from the Management role to a Director’s role. How the mindset needs to shift from the daily hands-on ‘stuff’ that needs to be done, to adopt more of a helicopter view of the business.  How important it is to devote the time and enhance your ability to make decisions based on all factors of the business as it is today, and strategically planning for how it is to be in the future. Taking into account things you may not yet know about, things that may be bigger than what’s on your weekly task list. The leverage, and power that comes from combining your intimate knowledge of the day-to-day running of your business with the experience and input from others who have the benefit of not being as close to the ground as you are.

Whilst our coaching services are not the same as having an independent Board of Directors, we see the results of this mindset shift and external accountability every day. The advisers we work with love the success they obtain from forcibly removing themselves from the business to enjoy Strategy Days with our coaches, to take a step up into that helicopter and view the business through fresh eyes, to recalibrate their view on where they want to take it, and how they can improve things that are challenging when they’re on the ground. They enjoy the input, ideas and connections they get from us, not only in their strategy days but also in their ongoing meetings as we troubleshoot the implementation of their grand plans and regularly check in on their financials and their progress towards their goals. Having our independent perspective is a powerful tool for them, as is the opportunity to be challenged by someone who has a great depth of experience across their profession, and has their best interests at heart.

You don’t need to be a listed company or a charity to reap the benefits that can be gained from having someone independent to confer with. When was the last time you really stepped up and away from your business, to get a handle on what you’ve achieved to date and to plan ahead for what your future brings? As advisers you do this for your clients’ personal lives, who are you trusting to help you do it for yourself?

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