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.

Here’s a scenario that most of us can relate to – either from our own experiences or with our kids.

The child is revising for a crucial exam. Thy do not have the patience for another 30 minutes and just walk off (run away?) from the job. You are furious. Worse is that you cannot find the words to encourage them back.

Belatedly, I found a trick that appealed to children, reaching out to them through their sporting heroes. No matter how brilliant the player, these stars have coaches, who keep them training several days a week. They go over the same materials, despite the intrinsic skill and knowledge of the athlete.

If that is what the hero must do, the hero would expect no less from the kid. But now dear reader, swop the word athlete for business owner.

How many times have I come across a struggling CEO, who refuses to believe that I, a qualified business coach and mentor, can make that difference? After all, they are the ones that know. They are experienced. And I do not know their company’s history.

David Cluttterbuck, author of the classic “Everyone needs a mentor” has a beautiful story. One day, the golf trainers did not turn up to teach their students. Hasty replacements were found in some tennis pros. The trainers returned the following day and discovered to their bemusement that the swing of their clients had improved beyond recognition!

I was reminded of that when last week, I was honoured to receive a long letter of praise from a Jerusalem-based client. My wife suggested that I share the following excerpt:

My business was in a terrible state after the first lockdown, in fact it wasn’t really working even before the corona crisis started. I had tried on my own, unsuccessfully. Michael taught me business basics, how to …. and out of the box thinking for future growth. The last point is especially important in this challenging times. I look now much more confident into the future. I have a clearer vision of where I want to be and a path to get there.

You may be looking to generate new sales or tighten financial controls or develop strategy or more – but no law told you that you have to struggle on your own. That is rarely clever nor usually cost effective.

The very fact that you may even be considering a business coach and mentor is very often an indication that you could use one, starting right now. Help yourself out and stop trying to deny it!

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CEO of digital media company
CEO of clean energy start up
Art Studio owner