The Coach's Corner

Archive for April, 2018

New Scientific Discoveries About Talent

April 23rd, 2018 // Tom Doescher //
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Tom Doescher - Doescher Advisors

I have commented on the importance of “deliberate practice” in other posts, including on July 21, 2014. Many of us want to say, “Well, I could never do that because I’m not as talented as he or she is.” According to a number of authors and studies, however, that’s just not true. The fact is that with a reasonable amount of talent, you can become outstanding — but understand that it will take a lot of hard work and practice (unfortunately, there’s no supplement you can take).

On the front cover of The Talent Code, by Daniel Coyle, there’s a quote from In Search of Excellence author Tom Peters: “I am willing to guarantee that you will not read a more important and useful book in this or any other year.” Wow, what an endorsement!

In his book, Coyle focuses on what are termed “talent hotbeds.” Talent hotbeds are tiny places that produce disproportionate, “Everest-size amounts” of talent — examples include Brazilian footballers or Korean women golfers — and the book provides a wide variety of impressive examples. The key theme of the book is these talent hotbeds aren’t random occurrences, but are places that share the same skill acquisition and success. Each hotbed has certain characteristics and patterns of targeted, deep practice that builds skill, and the result is accelerated learning.

What was fascinating to me were recent studies of the brain that support the premise that practice — as Coyle calls it, “deep practice”— makes Tom a better (insert whatever you want to be better at). Coyle uses a lot of medical terms, including “myelin,” to make his case, and his conclusions are supported by the work of other scientists.

I believe the most important takeaway is this: If you want to get better at something, find others who are perceived as the best, learn from them, and then practice, practice, practice.

Are Your Clients/Customers Raving Fans?

April 9th, 2018 // Tom Doescher //
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Tom Doescher - Doescher Advisors

I am a fanatic about client/customer service, and I’ve written on the subject many times. Ken Blanchard and Sheldon Bowles, in their book Raving Fans! A Revolutionary Approach to Customer Service, have provided a new label that I love: RAVING FANS. Like a few other business authors, they’ve styled the book as a novel, in order to make their point.

Blanchard — well known for his book, The One Minute Manager — and his co-author suggest defining what Raving Fans means to your business by determining your response to two statements. These declarations are simple but profound.

Declaration #1:  Decide What You Want

This may sound trite, but business owners often struggle in trying to describe what they want in a few simple words. The authors provide some practical stories which will help you craft your company’s declaration.

(Note: This is the do-not-say-you-can-do-everything-for-everyone concept.)

Declaration #2: Discover What the Client/Customer Wants

Again, the authors offer some excellent examples to help you complete your declaration.

As I was reading Raving Fans, I thought of a famous 1993 article written by Harvard professor David Maister: Quality Work Doesn’t Mean Quality Service. In my experience, this is a very common problem. I would summarize it by saying, “Don’t assume you know what your client/customer wants.” Here’s a great story to make the point:

One of my clients went on a sales call with a new business development associate. They met with the business owner, who described what he was looking for and provided his budget. The associate developed a solution for the client that was within the budget he had been provided. When the associate met with his boss (my client) to share his proposal, the boss said, “That’s not what the client wants,” and he proceeded to describe what he believed the client really wanted. The associate replied, “That’s double the budget!” My client suggested to the associate that he present both solutions to the prospective client — and, you guessed it, the business owner selected the higher-priced solution. My client, who’s been in business for more than 30 years, really listens to his clients.

Do you know what you want and what your client/customer wants?

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Tom DoescherYou’ll find stories from the trenches, business lessons, and pertinent questions to help you find inspiration, professional growth, and leadership savvy.

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