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Coach’s Diary: The Inner Guru


Taking “advice” from his business heroes helps Olivia Spehanino's client focus on his goals.

Running his own small engineering business had already brought David a small measure of success. And he was determined that he would improve his company’s profitability by 20%.

However, David was also aware that he spent too much of his time working in his business rather than on his business. He knew that if his company were to grow significantly, he needed impartial advice – and yet he didn’t feel that he had the time or the spare cash to hire management consultants.

I asked David which business guru he most admired – and his response was swift and accompanied by a smile. He said that he valued Sir John Harvey Jones for his common sense wisdom together with Sir Richard Branson, whose courage and PR skills were – he felt – second to none.

David and I spent several minutes discussing the business approaches of both men – together with their commercial successes.

An open-minded individual, David readily agreed to a visualisation exercise in which he would receive the business wisdom of the two men he so admired. I explained that the sub-conscious mind has the ability to be extremely creative – and if suitably guided could even tap into the “collective unconscious”, an altered state first documented by psychologist Carl Jung.

After quickly and easily reaching a relaxed state, I then guided David into an imaginary board room, where “waiting” for him were his two chosen business gurus.

For the next twenty minutes, David conducted a “conversation” with the two men – asking their advice and suggestions for improving his business.

As soon as David had completed his “meeting”, I brought him back out of his relaxed state – and asked him to write down what he had learned from the experience. For ten minutes, David wrote furiously – once or twice pausing to look up and smile as he remembered the advice he had been given.

Half an hour later and armed with a cup of coffee, David went through his notes again – and began formulating a plan of action that encompassed the golden nuggets of wisdom he had received in his visualisation.

David now knew that he needed to find a niche in the engineering industry in which his company could excel – and that he needed to create brand awareness which would enable him and his business to be recognised as a world leader.

Having formulated a loose strategy for the year ahead, David decided that he would undertake the visualisation process with his business gurus on a monthly basis to keep himself and his business on target. And finally, he promised a celebratory lunch for both me and his staff when the company hit 20% increased profitability.

* Olivia Stefanino is a leadership development consultant and executive coach, who works with blue chip organisations, SMEs and individuals. Download your free e-booklet “128 ways to harness your personal power” at


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