I was thinking recently about something I learned from Thomas Leonard (founder of the coaching industry) at a coaching conference in 2002.
We do our best work when we are 3 steps ahead of those we are meant to serve.
If we are 10 steps ahead of someone then we may not be able to connect as deeply with who they are and what they need (and I dare say we may no longer desire to support them in the way they need – I know boredom kicks in for me here.)
If we are only 1 step ahead we may not yet have integrated our learning enough to be able to provide a deeper level of support. (Folks who learn something and teach it before they’ve actually lived it fall into this category – and we all know how annoying that is!)
3 steps ahead is the sweet spot – not too close, not too far.
If we embrace this concept then the truth is – we aren’t necessarily meant to do the same thing forever. If you are working to grow and evolve yourself this means you will be called to grow and evolve your business at some point as well (different clients, different offerings, etc)
It also means that we have to be willing to let go of the things that we have outgrown – the spaces where we are more than 3 steps ahead. I find something especially beautiful here – every time I am willing to let go it frees up space for someone else to step in to the place they are meant to serve.
For me this happens about every 3 years – I find myself in an up leveling cycle that requires me to make some changes. Sometimes the changes are big – sometimes they are subtle, but they always lead me to a greater expression of what I am meant to do.
I’m just coming out of my most recent up-leveling cycle and although it’s been tough – I am blessed to be on the other side and embracing my next 3 steps ahead mission. I know some of you are traveling this path right now – I am sending love and courage your way!