2018: The Year of Beginnings
The last year has been quite a journey at MSB Towers. We’ve transitioned from nearly full-time interim leadership in a UK school to running on our own two (four) feet, finding new work, growing our client base and refining what we do and how we do it in the world.
So now is a good time to take stock of what has been, as well as start to think of what is to come.
What did we do well in 2018?
We moved out of school and into the wide world: September marked the first time that neither Gill or I have worked for a majority of the time in a school. It was a month in which we really tested our commitment and ideas for the business and, thankfully, MSB has paid us back for having faith in taking this step.
We found our reason for being on the planet: We both thought we could coach before, but in having spent a year learning, refining and most importantly practising the craft of coaching have we come to realise that this is something we are gifted at and is something we will never fail to keep working at and playing with. In doing this, we have also discovered (and continue to discover) just how powerful a process it is and feel called to spread our impact as far as possible.
Got clear about what we do and how we do it: We have spent the time we wanted on our group coaching programmes, our 1:1 coaching and our coach training. We’ve got better at it and are now much clearer to the world about what we do, how we do it and the impact it has.
Spent time with people that matter: Stepping out of school has enabled us to rekindle old partnerships, networks and get back in touch with people that matter. We have spent far more time with friends and family and have experienced joy at the fact that these relationships have brought us work that we didn’t expect, opportunities to connect with others and new connections to grow the business. For this we are enormously grateful.
What didn’t go so well (and what did we learn)?
Focusing on outcomes ties you up: We have had periods in the business where we get obsessed about the bottom line. We go into what we call ‘chase-mode’. Questions like ‘will they sign up? When will we hear back from them? Do you think we’ll get them as a client?’ We’ve realised that when we get into that space we are in scarcity mindset and it doesn’t serve us. It locks us down and freezes us up. We have learnt to just focus on doing the work well when this happens.
Don’t think linearly: too often we have thought of our business as a rigid straight line. Again, every time we do this we seem to freeze. It’s like it restricts us to just one path. What this year has taught is is that it is the series of organic events, interactions, ideas and most importantly relationships that is driving MSB forwards. Not a rigid plan on a piece of A4.
We haven’t always communicated what we do well: at times we have been too vague and too fluffy. This has led to missed opportunities to put ourselves forward and take ownership of what we do and how we do it. 2019 will redress this.
Sometimes we play too small: Sometimes we think too small about what we can achieve and how we will achieve it. A great friend and colleague recently told us to think about our impact, then double it, then double it again, then triple it. We want to move away from ‘hand-to-mouth’ mindset and start thinking about how our programmes can impact huge numbers of people.
What are we working towards and how will we make it happen?
Our mission for 2019 is simple. To increase our scale, impact and revenue. We will do this by:
Grow what we have: Complete our existing leadership programmes (both virtual and face to face) and expand their reach to new clients.
Refine our own model: We will take our coaching model and work with a range of coaching professionals to refine it into the most powerful version it can be. We will then train more and more coaches in this model, with the support of our associates.
Build our tribe: 2019 will see us employing coaches on an associate basis to help grow our business and spread our impact
Get online: We will move at least one of our introductory courses online so that more people who are curious about coaching or just starting can access the support they need.
What is our commitment to each other for 2019?
We call this our Full Value Contract. It is to:
Always be bold in everything we do
Let go of the lens of the past
Be completely attentive to the Now
Agree to tell each other what we need
Carry on dancing with what we are doing, never taking it too seriously, never settling for average
What are the themes for 2019?
We’ve captured these in 3 simple words: