Where is your Compassion and Understanding?

My job as a coach is to make bets on people - whether or not I think they can run their race and achieve their goals. That determines if I'm going to put my time and resources into working with them.

Creating success is not all about steady progress, neat rising graphs and tidy, predictable emotional states. I question coaches who call themselves "Success" coaches - as if all they ever do is deal with successful people and just stand around with stopwatches, never getting their hands dirty!

Oftentimes success looks like a lot of failure, with a stubborn and seemingly irrational dedication to making something happen.

And people are not perfect - sometimes we fall from grace from Lady Luck, our ability to achieve our KPI's, in our organisations, our families and our friends.

Sometimes success really does look like a fall from grace, when indeed it is simply a massive correction - a gift from God or the Universe!

I am thankful for the gift of compassion and understanding of the people who have gone on journeys through what I call "The Dark Forest" - where all seems lost, where your resources have been exhausted and the people around you lose faith in you and start believing cheap rumors about you.

Without that compassion and understanding, I would not have made the bet on the amazing people I have the privilege to coach. Without the compassion and understanding, my work would be mundane rather than the extraordinary, surprising and wild adventure that is - every day in every way.

I read Jon McDonald, the CEO of Trademe's answer to the question: "What is the best advice you have been given?" His father always told him - "Life is not fair Son - remember that!"

My brother Wes, gave me this poem during a time of life passage for me.

Hope it means as much for you as it has always meant to me!


If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on";

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run -
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man my son!

Rudyard Kipling

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