Sometimes, working with a client, you're given a tremendous gift. My first two calls this morning were with clients that, inadvertently, provided me with the same gift.
Both clients showed up not being accountable for what they had promised to take on the week before, and both of them without providing me a check-in form before our call.
As I sat, checking my e-mail, I watched my fears coming up.
"You're going to have to be the heavy, Adam"
"You're going to piss them off. They might even fire you!"
"They're not going to be getting value because of the time you're making them waste"
And on and on.
But as I sat there, a powerful thought dawned on me:
THIS ISN'T ABOUT ME.
Hold on, let me try and make that more poignant.
THIS ISN'T ABOUT ME!
My clients don't care what I think (or at least they shouldn't). When I'm working with my coach, I don't care what she thinks. I care about my own process. I'm not trying to be their friend. It's not my job.
My job is to hold them accountable for their actions, and to actually be a demand for what they've said they want out of their lives.
I asked my one client "If one of your largest clients asked you for something on Wednesday, would you hand it in on Thursday?"
"No!" she said.
"What about if you asked one of your staff for something and they handed it in a day late — would that be okay?"
"No!" she said again.
"Then what has you playing a different set of rules with yourself? I don't care — it doesn't bother me. But I'm not willing to stand for you to continue to sabotage your investment in yourself."
To quote Rich Litvin, "I care so much, I don't care".
[Tweet "I care so much, I don't care"]
I don't care what they think about me. I still have the fears, but I'm unwilling to let them stop me. Because this isn't about me. It's about something greater than me.
That's the gift that I bring to my clients, every call.
The gift my clients brought to me today was reminding me how important it is that remain that stand.