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The Keys to Transformation

Over the years, I've coached and/or mentored a lot of different people from many and various backgrounds and with widely diverse personal and professional experiences. Their reasons for seeking me out were as diverse as they themselves were.

Some of them came to me because they were stuck in an unsatisfactory situation in their life and they didn't know how to get out of it.

Some of them came because I offered them feedback after I interviewed them for a job. They wanted to understand why they'd missed out and how they could be sure to get hired next time.

Some of them sought feedback after they got the job and then wanted to understand why I had chosen to appoint them, so that they could perform at their very best in their new role.

All of them had one thing in common.

Without exception, they all had a strong desire to change: to learn, to develop themselves personally and/or professionally, and to strive to become the best possible version of themselves.

That attitude is the key to both personal and professional development. If you don't desire change then the chances are you will stay exactly as you are, regardless of how much time and money you spend on getting coached or mentored.

That is why the first thing I do when someone asks me to be their coach or their mentor is to confirm their desire and willingness to change. If it's not there, I won't waste their time or mine.

Change is scary. It means taking a risk and stepping out into the unknown. It means making a leap of faith in yourself, stretching the boundaries of your comfort zone or even breaking them altogether. It takes courage to do that.

But consider the alternative: staying exactly as you are, constrained by the boundaries of your comfort zone, doing what you're doing now for the rest of your life. If you like that thought, read no further! I have nothing for you.

If you're considering your situation and you're thinking, well, this is OK but I know I could do better, then ask yourself this: how much better would you like your life to be? How badly do you want to change your situation? Are you prepared to take a risk?

Do you know how many people I've worked with who dared to take a risk but then failed to make any worthwhile change in their life or in their professional situation?

None. At. All.

Every single one of them, once they'd gathered their courage, made a decision to change, and then started down the track of making that change happen - every single one of them achieved outcomes that improved their life and/or their professional situation in some way. Not all of them transformed their lives or careers. Most achieved modest gains in the short term but the small course-correction they made while working with me set them on a different trajectory that over the long term brought them much greater success than they had initially hoped for.

One or two did turn their lives around and have subsequently achieved superstar status in their personal or professional lives.

Perhaps this sounds like me blowing my own trumpet! Well, who else is going to blow it, if not me? Although actually I am not claiming the credit for any of the successes my former Clients have achieved. The point I want to emphasise here is that anyone's journey of personal and professional development is theirs alone. As a coach and mentor it's not my role to hold your hand and steer you through every step of your life. My role is to help you to figure out where you want to go and how you want to get there, and to help you find the tools you need along the way. I'll help you to draw your map and plot your route. After that, it's up to you.


If you are feeling stuck, dissatisfied, and thinking that there must be more to life than this, you're right.

If you're feeling that your career has stalled and you can't see the way forward, don't despair.

If you've got a group of people waiting expectantly for you to lead them but you haven't a clue about how to do it, don't panic.

Listen to me: you can do this. But only if you want it badly enough. It's up to you. It's your own courage and determination to succeed that will carry you through.

I'm not here to do that for you. I'm here to show you how to do it for yourself.

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2 comentários

27 de jul. de 2022

Great article, Bernard! Actually, we cannot *not* change - it is just a question of who is driving that "changing" part 😉 ... As we all know, our world is constantly changing and we have to adapt, whether we want to or not. So either we are actively participating in that change, or it is happening to us. As you put it, once you've gathered the courage to drive change, improvements happen!

Bernard Kates
Bernard Kates
28 de jul. de 2022
Respondendo a

Indeed, Debby. The question is, do you want change on your own terms, with you in the driving seat of that change, or do you want change to be something that's done to you? If you simply sit back and let it happen, what are the chances that the outcome will be good for you? Not that great, I suspect.

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