The first book that I recommend will get you to think outside of the box. The second book provides some great tips on how to become a better coach. By applying the lessons taught in these two books, you will be able to break down the imaginary walls that some of us erect, which will help you to better guide, support and mentor others.
In the first book, I Moved Your Cheese, author Deepak Malhotra tells how three mice discover that, instead of just accepting things as they appear to be, they have the ability to escape the maze in which they are confined and configure their environments to their own liking. Sometimes we feel as if we are being confined by our jobs or are somehow stuck in a maze with no exit. Is the challenge to get out of that maze, or to reinvent the world around us?
As the author notes, sometimes the burning question is not if the mouse is in the maze, but if the maze is within the mouse.
I Moved Your Cheese picks up where the popular motivational book, Who Moved My Cheese?, by Dr. Spencer Johnson, left off, and challenges the reader to take things to greater heights. In Who Moved My Cheese?, Johnson points out that change is inevitable and that we must accept this and find ways to embrace change. In I Moved Your Cheese, the reader is challenged to think beyond the belief that change is inevitable, and that we, therefore, need to accept change and move on. Malhotra’s book discusses how to become more resourceful by creating your own environment.
For example, I Moved Your Cheese says that if someone asks, who moved the cheese, leaders should explain that it doesn’t matter who moved it; it matters only that the cheese is gone.
Those of you who have read Who Moved My Cheese? may find this theory to be a somewhat challenging concept, but it is one that should be embraced if you want to move toward resolving the issues that are troubling you. There is one simple equation presented in Malhotra’s book: You want the cheese – but the cheese is no longer there; so, your only option is to go elsewhere to find the cheese. Learn how to break down those walls and embrace the concept of change, and you can create your own environment.
In the second book, Igniting the Third Factor, the author, Dr. Peter Jensen, encapsulates his life’s work into five core practices that leaders can use to ignite what he calls the third factor in themselves and in others. Jensen has participated in six Olympic Games, helping athletes and their coaches win Olympic medals. He has taken these teachings and coaching concepts to the business world and broken them down into five basic characteristics. I’m sure you will find Jensen’s theories of value as you pursue your goal of becoming a better coach and also helping your organization develop a true succession planning program.
The third factor that Jenson writes about is choice. This factor explains that the individual is allowed the opportunity to make a conscious choice to change and become a higher-level person.
The five characteristics that are discussed in great detail in the book are:
- Self awareness;
- The ability to build trust;
- The ability to use imagery;
- The ability to identify blocks when they occur; and
- Recognizing the importance of adversity.
The author also suggests four good questions to help you get started: the first two questions focus on “I,” while the second two focus on “we.”
- What do you need more of?
- What do you need less of?
- What are we doing well?
- What needs work?
Although these books were written by different authors at different times, they complement each other by breaking down biases that we have and helping to ignite the abilities within ourselves.