Afternoon Tea in Jerusalem Blog

In addition to my work as a business coach, one of my interests is blogging about life in Israel. This is a country full of contrasts – over eight million citizens living in an area the size of Wales. You can see snow and the lowest place on the globe in the same day. Although surrounded by geopolitical extremes, Israel has achieved a decade of high economic growth. My work brings me in contact with an array of new companies, exciting technologies and dynamic characters. Sitting back with a relaxing cup of strong tea (with milk), you realise just how much there is to appreciate in the Holyland. Large or small operations, private sector or non profit, my clients provide experiences from which others can learn and benefit.

It is such a simple question. It can be shrunk down to four words. And most of the people who walk through the door of my office fail to even rank a 6 out of 10.


Take this very typical case study. I was just starting out on my career as business coach and mentor, initially focusing on the Jerusalem region. I had gone out to visit a new set up, established by a couple of very capable and widely read people. They knew everything about their industry. Google had been ransacked and they had spoken to a range of experts.

So, having spent a good few minutes mapping out the background and having received very detailed responses, I gently lobbed out a question: What do you need to get started?

Those seven words clearly stumped them. The answer was….silence. The good news is that we did progress and they started to sell. However, the point is why were they lacking an answer. What was missing?

How many business owners do you know, who try to exude confidence. but it is often fake? Some tell-tale signs include not smiling due to continuous stress, trying to do everything themselves, and prioritising those issues that do not increase revenues.

These are the people who spend so much time trying to be perfect that they end up worrying more about what they should be doing rather than creating a solid strategy.
They become an expert in everything, except what is important.

Why? Because they have failed to answer that one core and basic question.

What do I do?

4 words, 4 syllables 9 letters – not too complex. And yet when I ask CEOs this question, I frequently receive back a flurry of inconsequential clichés, sometimes with great fluency, but which invariably add up to something of very little meaning.

And the worst is that once they have finished talking, they look sheepish. They realise that they have been caught out. And it hurts. It is OUCH time, far more painful than the anxiety described above. Most simply do not know.

Think! If bosses really know what they are selling, and why people want this service or product, then most of the reasons to fake self-confidence will evaporate.

The problem is that they / we all get caught up with the rut of immediacy – yet another email, another post that takes too long to compose, those WhatsApp groups that you did not mute – and all of this before we have dealt with the ‘trivial’ matters like clients.

Is it your turn to face that question most corporate leaders and managers hate to consider? The answer does not have to be detailed, but it should make sense and can be validated.


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