Tuesday, October 03, 2006

What's Holding You Back?

What's holding you back from achieving your goals?

What is stopping you making the most of the networking opportunities that come your way?

Is it possible that the answer might be you?

A couple of weeks ago, I spoke at The Executive Club in London. The Executive Club is a network and a resource for non-exec and company directors who are looking for career development and new business opportunities. Speaking alongside Chris Mason of Connaught Executive, we focused on how networking can play a key role in moving your career forward.

In his talk, Chris asked who had come to look for a new opportunity. Some three-quarters of the audience put their hands up. Chris then asked who would like to tell everyone else present what they were looking for.

Not one person put themselves forward.

Not one, single, solitary person took the opportunity extended by Chris to tell a room of over sixty well-connected businessmen and women how they could help them? What could possibly explain this?

I addressed this question during my talk. I suggested that two factors were prevalent in holding people back from volunteering. One was, quite simply, fear. We have an inherent fear of speaking in public, and that fear strikes people irrespective of their experience and success in business. If we are going to grab opportunities as they come along, we have to learn to overcome this fear first of all.

The second factor is a lack of focus. People had come to the event with a general idea of what they wanted to achieve but no firm picture of the introductions they wanted, the information they were seeking, their dream position. As a result, when offered the opportunity, they were not in a position to grasp it.

At this stage of my talk, Mike Duval, one of the attendees, put his hand up. He had not been in the room when Chris spoke, he said, and could he take his opportunity now? Mike explained that he was looking for a career change, wasn't quite sure where he wanted to move and was thinking of setting up his own business. After asking Mike a few more questions, I asked the audience who felt that they may be in a position to help him. Five people put their hands up.

I had an email from Mike this week telling me how a number of doors have opened as a result of the conversations he had after the seminar and how he is now seriously considering embarking on a top-level post graduate qualification offered by the National Coaching Register (a sub-set of "The CEO's Office" on the web) which should enable him to get into the business coaching at the MD/CEO level.

Are you holding yourself back from achieving your goals? Is fear stopping you from taking a step in the right direction? Do you lack direction and a clear vision? And if so, what are you going to do about it?

And if you are prepared to do the right things to help yourself, what can you achieve?

1 comment:

  1. Lots of good ideas in your blog.

    Check for unique, colorful blog, different from anything you’ve seen with great advice for eliminating fear and becoming a better speaker.


    thnks dave