Half-time of 2020. What now?

So you started this year with a set of clear goals, checkpoints, KPIs and all that. Then COVID-19 happened. Now what?

Did you really prepare for the worst and hoped for the best? I think in normal circumstances, not many people really do that. We might say we do it, but how can we actually imagine what ‘the worst’ looks like? It’s just not practical.

So instead maybe you left room for lower expectations and you moved on. We’re now at half-time in the most challenging year in probably a century. Aside from a minority of people from the silent generation (less than 10% of the world’s population as of now) that went through World War 2, the massive majority of the current global population has never experienced the brutal social, economical and emotional effects such as of this pandemic.

I think practically nobody has taken into account a global pandemic when they planned out 2020. Yet, here we are, still in the middle of it, no antidote yet, with just a small number of countries that succeded in flattening the curve – but it’s not over yet.

When you first think of this, you could say that hey, I’m at half-time so I should be half-way into my plan. I’m guessing you’re probably not, you and I both. That being said, I’m having the best (half)year in more than a decade. How’s that possible? Well, the short answer and one of the apparent causes is that for the first time in many years, I DIDN’T HAVE A CLEAR PLAN – at least traditionally speaking. Whaaaat? But you’re a coach, Gabe, how can you not have a plan?

My bad…Or not? What I actually did instead, slightly before the actual start of this year is to clearly decide this: In 2020, I will ONLY focus on learning and growing into a much better coach. Every. Single. Day. This doesn’t qualify as a decent actionable plan, as most people would expect.

So this is what I did: I read new books on coaching, studied new coaching frameworks, attended many coaching webinars, experimented with new approaches, selected a wider variety of clients, updated coaching agreement and tried additional structures, delivered more pro-bono coaching, started peer coaching again for the first time since I first trained as a coach – 8 years ago, connected with many more coaches, wrote more articles, created and shared more content on social media, worked to make my website faster, richer in content, easier to browse. Every. Single. Day. 7 days a week.

(This might sound like a shameless self-promotion article – I promise you, it’s not)

According to my clients who have also worked with me last year, there’s a significant improvement in the results they achieved these first 6 months. So I must have done something right. I can actually feel my coaching is better.

But what’s even more surprising, a lot more things and results happened, without having any conscious intention in that regard and apparently without being able to pinpoint a clear cause-effect for them:

  1. I attracted/connected with amazing people who are also awesome coaches and we’re now a team of 5 in just over 2 months (I can feel now that this is just a warm-up for the next decade) IMPORTANT – I only met in person with ONE of them, so far.
  2. I decided to start the application for PCC credential with ICF
  3. I found a wonderful Mentor Coach – Kelly (she also has helped me A LOT to improve my coaching, not only the ICF Core Competencies)
  4. I took a trip to Europe that lasted 3 days – 4 flights to see part of my family. During this trip, I had plenty of time to reflect and boom! 3 new ideas emerged:
  5. I developed a new awesome tool for team self-assessment – Team Coherence Index (especially on a 28 hours layover in Lisbon airport)
  6. I thought about The 2020 Global Study on What Makes a Great Team, Great which was live one week afterwards
  7. I thought about a new system to deliver high-quality, professional coaching to a global market segment of 1 billion (with a b) people who can’t afford to pay what all coaches dream about – $200+ per hour. This is work in progress and it will take a while; when it’ll be ready, it’s gonna rock the coaching world from the foundation up – in a good way.
  8. We started having team meetings on a collective 3 timezones/19 hours timespan

I didn’t have the slightest idea about any of this, as 2020 was preparing to offer us the ugly pandemic.

Of course, I’m biased (duh) – I think I did pretty good, all things considered. And it’s just half-time! What’s my point of bragging about all this? I want to suggest to you – dear reader that you can accomplish great things even when you don’t have a crystal-clear plan and all that. What you need to do is to engage with EXTREME focus and determination towards improving ONE thing – specifically, the one thing that would make for you the greatest difference in securing progress. Make it your only goal to have improvement.

When you do that, some magical stuff will start happening – it’s actually not real magic, but this is how us, humans are calling it when we can’t see a direct cause-effect situation. What actually might be is a systemic dimension – what you’re working on is starting to produce positive effects in all the systems that you are linked-into and in return, those systems are giving back results greater than you thought of or ever expected. But more about the systemic dimension in another article.

By the way, meet our awesome English/French/Chinese/Russian/Romanian speaking team members here. They know how to work with you so that you improve your focus and stay on track for achieving the results you want.

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