“There was a ghost inside”, she said as casually as someone might comment about the weather. “A ghost…”, I enquired somewhat startled, “inside what?”. “In the wardrobe* of course!”
“I knew that there was a ghost in the wardrobe because when I opened the door it came out and sat on the bed.”
She saw my completely confused expression and sought to explain. “The ghost was invisible but I could see the impression of its bottom on the bed”.
Although this conversation took place over 30 years ago, I can still remember it vividly today. At the time I was a student journalist investigating reports of poltergeist activity for the evening news.
Of course these days I am far more sophisticated. I am a Senior Management Consultant. I help really highly paid people in really large companies solve really big problems.
I travel the globe. I have lots of letters after my name. If your digital ROI needs a paradigm shift and you want to pivot your SEO with some low hanging fruit hacking then ya di ya di ya di ya di ya. Powerpoint bullet traffic funnel click bait.
Yawn, yawn. Bullshit buzzword. Body language mirror, connect on LinkedIn, tailored shirt but ditch the tie.
Busy, busy. Oh so busy.
Rinse and repeat.
and so the years go past and, if I’m really honest… [yes I’m being dead serious now]… I start to become complacent. Clients are still happy. Very happy in many cases. But I have fallen asleep at the wheel.
It’s not that my standards have slipped. At least I hope not. It’s that they have failed to keep up with my potential.
Life hurtles on.
Busy, busy. Oh so busy.
Until one day I stumble across Daryl Conner and his underwhelmingly named Raising Your Game workshop.
We’re not talking raising like a flag up a flag pole. We’re talking raising like we’re launching it in a rocket and planting it on the Moon.
But that’s Daryl for you. A warm, humble, understated and affable gentleman who casually sprays value bombs every time he opens his mouth.
He would be highly embarrassed to be praised. In fact it would be seen as evidence that his clients have become too dependent on him.
Daryl would say that he does not teach anything. He creates the environment for participants to learn for themselves. His thesis has been developed over 40 years of professional practice. It states that the most impactful practitioners achieve results by deploying their full inner character via their external presence with clients.
Some people try to make change comfortable. But the pathway to deep commitment is through deep doubt.
The workshop is structured to enable participants to look deep inside themselves in order to move forward professionally. Much of the work is conducted in pairs, with ample time for debriefs and conclusions. To ensure highest quality there is a hand picked cohort group of participants augmented with alumni from previous events.
This is undoubtedly the best professional development that I have taken in the past decade. I left with buckets of value, and will share here one particularly powerful insight.
I found no skeletons in my cupboard, but there is a ghost in my briefcase. For over 30 years it has been completely invisible to me but has sat across all my work and left an impression. I probably can’t remove it, but with my new found awareness I can accelerate past it and make it irrelevant.
What unseen forces are holding you back?
*for our American readers please note that wardrobe is the quaint English expression for closet.