What’s At Stake? Your Business, Brand, Reputation Or You?

What’s at stake – really – with the work you do? When did you last ask yourself or your employees this question? If you know, how often do you declare it?

I’m not talking about Mission Statements or goals; but the head-spinning stuff that stirs up the grit! The irritating inner questions that you have to stop and take time for – like stopping to remove a stone from your shoe when hiking, that clarify the stand you have decided to take. Questions that stir answers clear enough to force you to drive a stake into the ground; one you will defend because it defines you and why you pursue what you do. When did you last do this?

Welcome to the synopsis of yet another stirring Cross Coaching™ event! This is super-advanced “networking” for those who dare to seek a connection – not merely to ‘network’, but to build bonds and business. At Cross Coaching™ we boldly reveal and declare our authenticity to accelerate the connection with our self and members present; to develop our business by developing others. To teach what we know and learn what we don’t.

In response to my ‘What’s at stake?’ topic, Chance took a chance by stepping up first. He felt an obligation to the giant sales team he has built and to act on that obligation by training them to achieve what he has achieved, so they can build their own teams. Until they get as clear and committed as Chance did when he began, I know they won’t. I speak from experience. My wife and I reached the top level of leadership in the same industry as Chance.

Mike chipped in. He is in the same industry too and thought that “obligation” wasn’t a deep enough stake to drive into the ground. He said you need total commitment to feed the stand you take and inspire others to stand beside the stake you have firmly driven into the ground and intend to defend.

Interesting to hear the different interpretations; I would suggest that everyone mentally add pink surveyor’s ribbon to that stake; as a visual reminder of the commitment they have made!

Guy agreed that commitment is critical; yet admits his is still not clear enough to discipline him to remain true to the marketing message he was ‘coached’ to apply, in order to clarify the brand that’s at stake and accelerate his business.

Greg, once again, dared to clearly state what’s really at stake with the topic today. You are!

Greg reminded members that it’s about applying two of Peter’s Cross Coaching™ ‘rules’ #1 Define yourself accurately; so you can declare yourself confidently. #2 Don’t compare yourself to others; declare yourself to others.

You can only practice the second rule if you master the first one!

Greg shared that his self-image is at stake. In the past he’s been clear about it because he worked in the military and in corporate where system and structure allowed him to progress and profit. Now he works for himself and has to redefine that image because it impacts what he, his business and his bank account will look like in the future!

Robert had a clear image of what was at stake. The stake he once drove into the hard, frozen, ground clarified what he stood for and the image of what his business success would look like. He reached the top of his industry, then overnight dared to respond to that nagging ‘something’s missing here’ pull in his gut that told him his heart was no longer in it. He quit! Robert discovered that what was at stake in his heart was his new stand. He’s crystal clear again about how what he does now serves others he can guide to success.

What was at stake in the past, hopefully, won’t keep pace with the personal growth you experience. As you conquer the ground you stood on declaring what was at stake and mastered how it served you, your business and the community in that territory; you were forced to move on and explore other territory to satisfy that natural inner craving for growth all humans face and should honor!

Cross Coaching™ members who courageously voiced what was at stake for them today should have bolder claims to stake in the future! Robert’s tale is one example of that.

Frank got to the point quickly. What’s at stake for him and likely many others is survival; paying for his kids’ college tuition, for example.

Valid point, but how much of the relationship with our self, our spouse, or the very kids we are working to get through college do we lose in order to gain the finances that gets us out of surviving into thriving? And by the time we reach thriving stage, the identity we once had is no longer relevant to the one we have now formed – so who are we really in relationship with then? Which identity? Ah, we humans are a complex lot!

What’s at stake for Larry? Customers of course! He and his business partner made a decision 20 years ago, when they began, to focus on customer – not vendor – loyalty. This is the synopsis; just know that by driving this stake in the ground and defending the banner they flew from it, has paid huge dividends.

Katherine was very clear about what she was unclear about and needed coaching through. Her identify was at stake! This awareness stems from having stakes driven in several states and the attraction to writing and publishing books – related to her industry – but unrelated to managing the daily demands of the business she’s in. Should she let go of the operations she has in other states and focus on the Atlanta division? After gathering facts, Cross Coaching members gave her a resounding YES! (You really have to be at Cross Coaching™ to totally benefit from what we are doing here).

Customers sense that Katherine’s energy is in different places and don’t know why they are not ready to do business with her – but know they aren’t!

If you have ever wondered why business is off target – did you ever think to look at where you were off target? We all ‘sense’ things about people – but don’t have enough sense to heed those senses! Katherine will attract more business when she decides which state she wants to be in – literally and figuratively!

Ana Maria – one of our founding Members – knows that her passion is at stake. The love she has for teaching and learning and seeing others get to the “aha” moment that she guided them toward. She prodded members to be selfishly tied to the stake they drove into the ground as a reminder of what’s at stake for them. (The pink surveyors tape again!)

Peg said that what’s at stake for her is the health and longevity of humanity. Now that’s a very bold declaration! One made about a pole – not a stake – driven by a pile driver into the soil; as tough to remove as King Arthur’s sword Excalibur! Peg’s many years practicing healthy habits and now coaching others to pursue them give her the strength to hold such a powerful position; one that attracts others to seek her wisdom, knowledge and services so that they too can live healthier, longer lives.

Lastly, Branden shared that his reputation was at stake. Unfortunately, he spent too much time on auto-pilot outlining his business sales script and inadvertently stating that how his clients perceive him is important. I stress to members how critical it is to listen to what others say without realizing they said it. These ‘slips’ reveal a lot.

Branden is driven by client expectation. Seasoned sales professionals let clients know what to expect. I asked him: what really is at stake here? What truly drives your declared “passion for the financial services” that you shared with us? He  told us the story about how his parent’s dedication to budgeting put him on a path to becoming a financial planner that could positively impact how others managed their money.

Wow! Suddenly someone who totally missed connecting with his audience with his initial ‘presentation’ had us at “Hello”.

Branden had been hiding behind a huge imaginary stake – with his company script as the shield, when instead he needed to step in front of that stake. By putting his own stake down, he could reveal his authentic self to attract clients with true stories they can relate to that prove his passion for his business. Then he’s ready to turn up the volume with real stories not scripts and use his authentic voice!

So, what’s at stake for you; your business, brand, reputation, identity, customers, or something that, like grit, irritates the inner you enough to want to address it?

When will you take time to determine what you stand for and which ground you will drive a stake in?

Life is short. You can’t delay this; I have in the past and realize that as much as I have accomplished, I could have accomplished more.

What’s really at stake is your relationship with you! Firmly tether you to you; with that inner compass and from that stand you can boldly venture toward any new identity, brand, commitment, business obligation or passion you desire.

Set stakes, take a stand; by doing so you’ll know when to quickly pull those stakes up  – or set them deeper.

Peter Gibson, Creator of Cross Coaching™ & Harry Norman Realtor

www.mycrosscoaching.com     www.peter.gibson.harrynorman.com

Testimonials from this Cross Coaching™ event:

I believe this group is unique in its character because of the group’s founder; Peter Gibson. He leads this Meet Up group with purpose and vision. His purpose is to help others succeed with a clear vision of knowing that often the small percentage of difference between success and failure can be bridged with simple honest communication and feedback from others who are willing to actively listen. If you want a networking group that can contribute to your success I would encourage you to attend. I know I will go back and look forward to meeting you. Robert Ford

What a refreshing change from the “elevator pitch” networking meetings! I appreciated everyone’s willingness to listen to me (and the other members) and coach us, but also the members’ courage to express their vulnerability in front of other business people. I have never experienced that before in a networking meeting. The format gives us a real opportunity to get to know, like, and trust one another. Thank you for the warm welcome. I look forward to continuing to participate in the Cross Coaching group. Katherine Trezise 















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