You Already Know How to Be Great: A Simple Way to Remove Interference and Unlock Your Greatest Potential (Your Coach Iin a Box)

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9781596595309: You Already Know How to Be Great: A Simple Way to Remove Interference and Unlock Your Greatest Potential (Your Coach Iin a Box)
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If knowledge were all it took, we'd all be incredible managers, teachers, parents, and performers. But obviously we're not. The biggest obstacle in performance isn't not knowing what to do; it's not doing what we know.

Most people who want to get better-at hitting golf shots, negotiating with clients, delivering presentations, or any other field of endeavor-seek out new information. They read a book, take a class, hire an expert tutor. But as Alan Fine has learned from many years of coaching athletes and businesspeople, this outside-in approach often doesn't produce the results people want. More information becomes a distraction rather than a solution, and high performance remains elusive.

Fortunately, there's a better way. Fine has developed and honed a unique inside-out approach to performance improvement. In this audio book he explains how to remove the obstacles that get in the way of applying the skills and knowledge we already have. The key is unlocking what he calls Faith, Fire, and Focus; confidence in our ability, high-energy and passion, and focused attention on the things that really matter.

This ideal state can be summoned quickly through a simple four-step process, which Fine has taught to top CEOs and front-line employees, world-class pro athletes and struggling weekend golfers, to musicians, teachers, and people in fields he knew nothing about. No matter who you are or what you do, this audio book will help you get better.

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About the Author:

Alan Fine is a renowned performance expert, trainer, and speaker. For 30 years, he has served as a performance coach to a diverse array of clients, including corporate executives, top athletes, and musicians. He is also president of InsideOut Development LLC, which offers training programs, executive coaching, and organizational consulting. His powerful approach to performance improvement has been adopted by some of the world's most respected organizations in an array of industries-including IBM, NASA, Cadbury Schweppes, Procter & Gamble, BP, and the U.S. Navy. Alan's work has been featured in CLO Magazine and on the television program "Business Matters." He is also a contributor to the Drucker Foundation Book, Coaching for Leadership.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

You Already Know How to Be Great

You Already Know How to Be Great

To all those amazing people who make it safe for others to explore their own experience—especially those who did and still do it for me

FOREWORD

by Stephen R. Covey

Over the years, one of the most important ideas I’ve learned about and taught is the power of a “paradigm shift”—of seeing something in a new and different way that creates a huge change in thinking and behavior.

In You Already Know How to Be Great, Alan Fine creates a paradigm shift of major proportion. Most often, he says, dramatic performance improvement does not come from gaining new knowledge; it comes from getting rid of the “interference” that gets in the way of using the knowledge and capacity we already have. That one idea has phenomenal implications and applications. It literally transforms the way we approach improving our own performance and also the way we approach helping others improve theirs.

Five Reasons Why I Like This Book

There are a number of reasons why Alan’s approach resonates with my passion for effectiveness in leadership and in life.

TO BEGIN WITH, it taps into two fundamental human desires that are deep within each of us—the desire to be and do our best and the desire to be significant to others, to make a difference. These desires created a catalyst for my own work on The 8th Habit—“Find Your Voice and Inspire Others to Find Theirs.” In You Already Know, Alan shares a paradigm and a process to help readers fulfill these basic desires by improving their own performance in any area of life and also helping others to improve theirs.

SECOND, it’s not some fad or “flavor of the month.” It’s based on sound, universal principles. For example, Alan’s approach recognizes top performance only comes when the performer, not the coach (or leader or manager or teacher or parent), proactively accepts responsibility for results. This frees individuals to release their talent and creativity and increase their performance capacity.

THIRD, this approach is highly pragmatic. It not only acknowledges the principles of breakthrough performance; it provides both the performer and the “coach” a simple but robust way to implement them through Alan’s GROW process.

FOURTH, it stands solidly apart from approaches that while they enable people to perform in the moment create a dependency on the advice and direction of others. Truly great leaders, great managers, great coaches, and great parents help others strengthen their core capacity, thus empowering them to be effective not only in the moment but also in multiple applications over time.

FIFTH, this approach is universally applicable. It provides a template that can help any individual improve performance in any area of life. It can help any group or team resolve any issue and improve performance in any organization. One of the important implications is that this truly is an approach for a global world.

I’m excited by the insight this book provides into the nature of human performance and how to influence it in self and in others. I’m even more excited by the language Alan has developed to help people understand and talk about performance issues and by the simple, highly pragmatic tools he has created to address them. But most of all, I’m excited by the results. There are a lot of people with a lot of good ideas for making the world better. But Alan is one who’s been able to translate ideas into simple doable actions that truly create breakthrough outcomes.

To me, this book is really a book about leadership—both personal and public. It gives readers the vision and the tools to exercise personal leadership by improving their own performance and public leadership by helping others improve theirs. In doing so, it helps readers walk an enriching path of fulfillment and contribution. It is a truly landmark book on helping yourself and others journey to greatness.

UP FRONT

If we did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.

THOMAS A. EDISON,
American inventor and businessman

Do any of these scenarios sound familiar?

· You know that if you had a regular exercise program you’d have more energy and feel better. You’ve bought a variety of exercise equipment. You’ve tried a lot of different types of programs. Each time, you’ve lasted about three weeks. You ask yourself: “What’s the matter with me? Do I just not have the character to do this—or was I somewhere else when the exercise genes got passed out?”

· You’ve been told that your job as a manager includes coaching the people in your division, so you’ve been meeting with them regularly, giving them good instruction and trying to help them improve. But much of the time, your help doesn’t seem to matter, and sometimes it’s even rejected. One person you need to talk with about an accountability issue refuses to even meet with you. You think: “How can I coach these people, and how can I do it in a way that will truly make a difference?”

· You’re trying to help your daughter grow up to be a responsible adult, but you can’t even get her to clean her room. You’ve tried everything—incentives, encouragement, punishment, withdrawal of privileges, even yelling—but nothing seems to work. You wonder: “What’s it going to take to make her want to keep her room clean?”

· You’re standing on the golf course at the first tee. You’re playing with some clients, and you’d really like to make a good impression. You know what it’s like to hit a really nice drive, but you can’t do it consistently. So you worry: “What if I hit the ball into the trees or ‘whiff’ it? What are these people going to think?”

· Your organization is not performing as well as you’d like. You’ve tried a variety of approaches and had some success, but the goals you set at the top never really make it down the line and your employees are not fully engaged. You spend most of your days dealing with internal problems instead of external opportunities. You keep asking yourself: “How can I raise performance throughout the organization? What can I do to get everyone fully engaged and on the same page?”

These scenarios represent a wide range of common experience, but they have one important element in common: they all deal with issues of performance—either in self or in others. Most of us want the results of top performance. We want the enthused organization, the engaged work team, the exceeded sales quotas, the responsible child, the low handicap on the golf course, the increased energy and the washboard abs. But even when we know what it takes, we don’t always have the tools that make those kinds of results possible.

This book is about those tools. It’s about a paradigm, a principle, and a process that can lead to breakthrough performance in the workplace, on the golf course, in the boardroom, in the family room, or anyplace where higher performance makes a difference. It’s about how to improve performance in your own life and also in the lives of those you are trying to help. It’s based on the premise that

EVERYONE has the potential to perform better;

potential is blocked by interference;

interference can be reduced by focused attention; and

focused attention can be simply and systematically increased.

Let Me Introduce Myself

My name is Alan Fine. I began my career teaching tennis in Wales. In my search to be a better coach, I stumbled onto a paradigm of human performance and a simple process to improve it that have led me to successfully coach CEOs, managers, and leaders in organizations worldwide, as well as world-class golfers such as David Feherty, Colin Montgomerie, Phil Price, and Stephen Ames.

The primary focus of my company—InsideOut Development—is working with business leaders and managers, and that’s what I’ve spent most of the past twenty-five years doing. But I’ve also been thrilled to see how people immediately apply these principles in other areas, including parenting, sports, hobbies, and the performing arts. As many have observed, this “whole life” approach consistently reinforces the paradigm and process, making it significantly easier to improve performance both on and off the job.

As I’ve worked with these ideas over the years, two things have become clear to me:

1. When we don’t understand the nature of human performance, we tend to diagnose performance problems and come up with solutions from a perspective that represents only a fraction of what it takes to be a top performer; and the solutions we come up with typically do not sustain long-term performance improvement.

2. If we don’t have a way to consistently make quick, accurate decisions and execute them well in today’s fast-paced global economy, we’re going to be left in the dust.

This book can help you both understand human performance and make quick, accurate decisions in moving ahead. It will give you a simple, effective paradigm and a scalable, replicable process that will enable you to consistently improve performance in any area of life.

My Invitation to You

You Already Know How to Be Great has been written in response to the many requests I have received over the years to put the inside-out performance principles into writing. It reflects my ongoing quest to make these principles highly practical and simple to apply in everyday life.

My invitation to you is to simply play with the ideas in these pages and use what’s helpful to you. As you will discover, this book is less about gaining new knowledge and more about getting rid of what’s keeping you from using the knowledge you already have. It’s less about doing new things and more about understanding and giving language and order to some of the great things you already do, so that you can do those things more consistently and with better results.

I encourage you to approach this book in whatever way you feel will work best for you. If you like supportive research and quotes, check out the call-out boxes. If you want to give the content deeper personal thought, go through the Reflective Questions at the end of each chapter. If you prefer to skip the research and questions, just read the text. I do recommend that you pay particular attention to each of the stories. They represent the “live” research for this book. They come from people who have had experience with this material not only in their organizations but also in their personal lives. Because the fundamental ideas are based on principles, even if you don’t happen to be a manager or a leader or a teacher or a parent now, you’ll find the insights shared by these individuals can be applied in almost any situation. Besides, you never know when you might end up in one of these roles.

I also invite you to check out the You Already Know How to Be Great online community at www.alan-fine.com, where you can find additional examples, exercises, and tools to help you apply the principles in each chapter of this book. Within the community, you’ll also be able to learn from the experiences of others and share your own experiences so that others can learn from you. I’ve placed a link at the end of each chapter as a reminder of this additional resource.

I’m excited to share these principles and tools with you. I certainly don’t have all the answers. And I’m not suggesting that what’s in this book is a panacea for every performance issue. But in years of coaching, I’ve become convinced that understanding some essential elements of human performance and having a simple process to influence those elements can help you achieve your greatness in any arena. My guess is that deep inside, you—and the people you’re trying to help—have nurtured some dreams of what’s possible in life, but that “stuff” has gotten in the way of realizing those dreams. It’s my hope that this book will help you get rid of the “stuff” and free you—and those you help—to make those dreams come true.

ALAN FINE

Part 1

PARADIGM and PRINCIPLE

CHAPTER ONE

A Blinding Glimpse of the OBVIOUS

As I look back, it seems that everything was gray—the sky, the pavement, the walls surrounding the pavement, the castlelike building with its turret-topped roof, even the endless terraced rows of tiny, two-up, two-down houses outside the walls. From a distance, there was no indication that this very gray place—the Mackintosh Tennis Club—was the home of some of the best tennis players in Wales. There was also no indication that this place would become the scene of one of the greatest epiphanies of my life or that it would open the door for me to help managers, leaders, salespeople, athletes, teachers, musicians, parents, and others around the world achieve breakthrough performance.

The journey that led me to this place on that eventful morning was something of a fluke. It had begun years before when I was eleven and my brother entered me as a contestant in our school tennis tournament. I was a severely asthmatic, skinny, and painfully shy kid, and up to that point, I’d only been on a tennis court three times in my life. Somehow I found myself in the finals and discovered I was up against a thirteen-year-old who was six feet tall and captain of the rugby team—the school “jock.” To this day, I can remember exactly where I was standing on the court when I suddenly realized that I was ahead, 6–4, 4–0. I remember a voice in my head saying, “Okay, you’ve won ten games. You only have to win two more, and you’ll be the school champion! How hard can that be?” Suddenly I froze. I didn’t win another game. The jock beat me 6–0 in the final set. I could feel the disappointment of my PE instructor all the way from across the court and up on the second tier of the playground. I could sense the kids who had been watching whispering, “Wow! What happened to him?” All I could think in that moment was, “Please, please don’t let me cry!”

Though I was mortified by the defeat, from that day I decided to take up tennis with a vengeance. For the first time in my life, I’d found something that both my peers and the adults in my life recognized me for.

During the next few years, one of the local sports administrators took me under his wing. He took me to training programs for tennis coaches where I got to be the guinea pig for the trainee coaches. It was there that I learned a lot about what did and didn’t work in coaching. After graduation from high school, I went on to college and studied optometry for two years. At the same time, I began using what I’d learned from the trainees to teach tennis on the side. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately), I was thrown out of college for spending too much time teaching tennis. So I decided to do the training necessary to qualify as a Registered Professional Coach, which was the highest tennis-teaching certification a person could get in the UK at the time.

It was as a certified coach eight years later that I stood on the court on that gray day that totally changed my life. I had been working with one of my students—a shy little nine-year-old girl. Her mother and I both agreed that she was a bit uncoordinate...

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9781591843559: You Already Know How to Be Great: A Simple Way to Remove Interference and Unlock Your Greatest Potential

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