With coaching, business consultant’s attitude shifts from “take no prisoners” to “no more ego – no more battles”
Imagine walking into a boardroom full of accomplished leaders. Yet one person dominates. He puts forth the “best” ideas. He asserts the “right” strategic direction. He insists that every move is “his way or the highway.”
This was Owen, 12 years ago.
“My ego took up all the space in the room,” Owen recalls. “My attitude was, ‘Take charge. Leave no prisoners.’ I created much success but I created a negative, combative environment.”
Owen explains that, as an investor and partial owner in various companies, the leadership had to listen to him. “My perspective was: ‘You have to do it MY way.’ It was an ego-driven perspective. I wasn’t there to help everyone figure out the RIGHT way.”
He adds, “I thought I knew everything. I had achieved a lot of financial and professional success, and I showed off. I didn’t give space to other people to bring their own wisdom. In the process, I didn’t make any friends – or gain the right kind of respect.”
Naturally, this approach got mixed results. He began to recognize something wasn’t right.
Twelve years ago, Owen noticed that a particularly successful colleague was experiencing a difficult period. When the colleague came back from a retreat called Mountain Experience, he seemed to be more at ease and better able to take his difficulties in stride.
“He was a changed man,” Owen remembers. Jokingly Owen quipped, “I want what you have.” The colleague handed him Kyle Mercer’s phone number.
“I discovered that anger occupied a lot of space in my life.”
Owen signed up for Mountain Experience. (“It was daunting.”) He attended the weekend retreat, despite his fears and reservations. (“Do I really want to do this?”)
Turns out, Owen enjoyed Mountain Experience. “Kyle provided a safe environment to discuss issues. I realized there was a lot of anger in my life – simmering anger that never got addressed,” he says. “Kyle was outstanding! He was able to extract the issues. Then he could go layer by layer, to the origin of each issue so I could see it and resolve it.”
Resolving anger makes room for other, positive emotions.
Owen followed his Mountain Experience with one-on-one coaching with Kyle Mercer. “Over the weeks and months, I became a lighter individual,” he says. “As I shed the anger, I started to get a sense of what life could be, and I gained more energy. Eventually, anger didn’t occupy as much space in my life. This gave me the opportunity to replace it with love and enjoyment. That was the start of my transformation.”
In addition, Owen readily admits that his ego had gotten out of control. “It was ruining my life and relationships. Inquiry Method helped me see that – and helped me move ego to the side. It was like magic for me. Inquiry Method is a natural fit, because I’m curious. This approach to life allows me to get my ego out of the way. And ego had hindered my growth for too many years!”
Owen has coached with Kyle Mercer intermittently for 12 years. “Kyle is a great coach, mentor, and teacher – and his coaching ability continues to evolve and deepen. Using Inquiry Method, he’s always able to share some insight or knowledge with me. But Kyle doesn’t tell – he asks. Then I’m able to see the issue and act on it.”
It’s important to note, Owen explains, that Kyle never takes you further than you’re willing to go. “One of the key coaching aspects with Kyle is that it’s safe. Kyle will never take you anywhere you don’t want to go. It’s a deep and trusting relationship.”
Owen has integrated Inquiry Method into his consulting business, with much success.
A few years ago, Owen decided to transition from being a consultant and investor to solely offering consulting services, where he mentors company CEOs. “This was a major step for me, and I struggled with this decision for over a year. Finally, with coaching, I realized the investment side of my business was all about my ego, and it was difficult to walk away from it. When I did walk away, I had immediate, enormous success with my clients!”
Why such success? “I have embraced Inquiry Method and use it my consulting process,” he says. “With my business knowledge, I can ask direct questions, help CEOs lay out the ultimate plan, and guide them to make the right decision – the decision that’s right for them. Now, my attitude is: What do you need, and how can I support you?”
No more battles: “I no longer see myself like King Arthur – more like Merlin.”
“My clients tell me they have enormous respect for how I support them,” he tells. “In the past, business discussions always felt like a battle of energy. Today, I support my clients’ growth through Inquiry, and there are no battles. My clients are more successful – and I enjoy making them more successful.”
Owen explains, “I keep my ego out of the process. I focus on my clients’ needs, and I support their path to growth. I’m no longer emotionally invested in the process. Every single time it’s been a positive relationship with outstanding results.” As an example, Owen guided a business owner through the process of selling his company, and it sold for far more than the owner ever imagined!
In his family relationships, Owen feels “lighter.”
Today, Owen says, he’s less authoritative and more open with family members. “Unfortunately you don’t get a do-over with your family. My kids are adults now, and they have their own lives. Yet, they know I support them completely. Our relationship is 180 degrees different.”
How has Inquiry Method changed Owen’s relationship with his wife? “I’m married to a family therapist, and she’s been using her own form of Inquiry naturally for our entire 35-year marriage! She has attended Mountain Experience and fully supports me as I continue to evolve.”
Owen often says that, thanks to coaching with Kyle Mercer, he feels lighter. What does this mean?
“We all have issues, and the baggage we carry is heavy. When you’re dealing with a lot of issues, there’s not much room for love and joy. As I get rid of my issues – explode them out! – there’s more space to occupy with positive feelings like love and joy. It just feels lighter. I’ve always considered myself to be a positive person, but I used to complain, and be angry. I now hold things in a lighter point of view – I’m less serious. That’s the difference for me. Every single time I speak with Kyle, once I hang up our Skype call, I feel lighter.”
“A remarkable change.”
Owen adds that his weekly 30-minute calls with Kyle are like hitting the RESET button. “I tend to want to solve other people’s problems and get my ego involved. My goal is to continue moving away from being authoritative – and move toward wisdom and fulfillment. I keep coaching with Kyle, because I want to continue to evolve and learn.”
Owen adds this final thought: “Today, I’m a different person. People notice – they tell me I’ve changed. I’m lighter every day, and it’s thanks to Kyle.”