In our society (more than that, in almost all of civilization, back to the Greeks and their Olympics) we admire great athletes and great artists and entertainers. We spend billions on sports and entertainment. Athletes, artists and entertainers inspire us and make us cheer and shout and cry.
What do these people, these wonderful, highly-skilled, magical people have in common? Gifts? Innate talents? Genetic advantages?
They have coaches.
They do not go it alone. They do not allow their efforts and achievements to be formed in isolation. They (constantly) ask for help. They are open to being coached.
A number of people have recently been circulating a wonderful YouTube video about the life coach Tom Brady had in college.
What? Tom Brady needed a life coach?
Wasn't he the super-talented University of Michigan quarterback whose character and drive and talent would always be enough?
And exactly what is a life coach anyway?
I won't do definitions, I'll just point to somebody . . .my own life coach, Steve Hardison. He's been coaching me for twenty years now, and he coached me last week for two amazing hours. Those two hours have subtly and profoundly altered the course of my life.
Wouldn't he run out of things to fix in me?
Hardison is known in coaching circles, and business circles, and personal growth circles and any circle you can think of as "The ultimate coach." When he spoke to a seminar I was putting on with Rich Litvin in London, I introduced him as someone who coaches way beyond the normal concept of coaching. I said, with all my heart, that to call him a mere life coach is like calling The Beatles a garage band.
In that audience in London was Michael Serwa, a formidable, highly successful coach, author and TV show host. Serwa saw something in Hardison he had never seen before. He was so drawn to Steve's presence that he recently paid $5,000 to come to spend two hours with him at Steve's home office in Mesa, Arizona.
Why would anyone spend $5,000 to talk to someone for two hours?
"It was worth a lot more than that," said Serwa. "It wasn't just what I learned, which was a lot, but being in his presence, observing his love of self, love of life and love of his work was as experience that will stay with me for a lifetime."
Hardison used to see people left and right and not charge them anything. He still does tremendous amounts of under-the-radar pro bono work for all kinds of people.
But when a professional person has an interest in finding out what it's like to be with Steve, he wants them to have skin in the game. It's not for the money. It's for the commitment of the person. And it also helps manage the veritable flood of requests he gets to meet with him.
I haven't helped much (to stop the flood). Most of my books talk about Hardison and the impact he's had on my life, my career, my marriage (and I'm just getting started). People read those books and read about my coach. They want to meet him.
One thing I have observed about excellent coaches is that they love being coached. They have learning mindsets instead of fixed mindsets, and they are always looking to be coached to higher ground. They know coaching works miracles.
Just last week my good friend and excellent coach Gary Mahler sent his own $5,000 check down to Hardison for a two hour visit.
"It was the best five grand I have ever spent," said Gary. "I experienced a fundamental shift in me after that visit. When I flew home and walked in the door my wife knew and saw right away that something was different. The old Gary died. Right in that room with Hardison. The scarcity mindset is gone. I am creating and reinventing things that were previously not possible."
Well, wow. But what does he do, exactly, when you are with him?
"He sees through the stories I tell myself," said Gary Mahler.
Mahler and Serwa (and I, me, myself, too, I also experience this) now have a new place to come from. And it's not a feel-good elevation of mood that wears off. It's a clearing that's now and forevermore clear for takeoff.
Why did these already-successful people need a life coach? They didn't. Nobody needs someone like Hardison.
It's a want.
And it has to be a big, big want for it to be what it truly can be. That's why he's called "the ultimate." And why he was the role model for that hot new phrase, "crazy good."