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Going for the WOW!

What a concept! WOW = Way Out Wish.

(c) 1998 By Sherry Lowry, Professional Mentor/International Business Coach
and co-author of Discovering Your Best Self: Through The Art of Coaching

My philosophical underpinning as a professional development and business coach includes a commitment to align and partner with clients to identify, enhance, deepen and expand their acknowledgment and use of their gifts and talents.

Actually, I've never known a client to need stronger weaknesses. People are surprised to hear this, but I never ask clients to "get better" at something they do poorly. I far prefer they become great at something they are already reasonable good at -- and that’s what we leverage: their strengths. What happens fairly quickly is they learn to delegate all their weaknesses either to allies or to paid staff. OR -- sometimes they just hang their ineptness on a hook until someone brilliant in that comes along and relieves them of it.

Truth be told -- there is also little or no magic in small plans. Plus -- they usually take almost as much time, resource, and energy to design and execute as grand plans. In short, being average rarely has much appeal. Far more intriguing and inviting is a journey of lifelong learning and constant surprise.

A recent pleasurable adventure into this was my own re-reading of Tom Peter's book, "The Pursuit of Wow!" (1994.) While Tom doesn't actually define his own Wow, he does quote a number of people on the topic of Wow stuff, including Thomas Watson, founder of IBM: "If you want to achieve excellence, you can get there today. As of this second, quit doing less-than-excellent work."

>The idea is profound. How do we start? At first -- sure, maybe we'll be a bit clumsy and inept. It's a lofty goal. But we'll improve, we'll learn, and if it's our true intention, we will persevere and achieve our brand of excellence. Then we'll come up against the REAL rub -- doing the things necessary to maintain our new edge, fine-tuning for the longer haul.

Why? Why would we want to make this effort? How about simply for the great feeling of playing life full-out in this area? The first 99.9% of getting from here to there is the determination and decision to do it. Then it's all about not compromising, no matter what the roadblocks, including those inadvertently or consciously erected for us by family, peers, and others who aren't so crazy about change or risk.

The other 99.9% is: (yes, this is not typical math -- but we’re living at nearly 200% when we are living full out, right?)

  1. keeping spirits up through the inevitable rough spots (especially of self-doubt)
  2. learning something new everyday
  3. practice, practice, practice until it becomes part of our basic nature to excel at this

>This formula works for the best of waiters, world class mountain climbers, to CEO's, to SuperMom's, to the "A"aspiring student in History 101. We may attain the commitment to our WOW! in a nanosecond -- as long as it takes to make our decision -- then a lifetime (a semester, a project-life, our new book/article) or such to maintain the decision. Once ignited, assume arrival. Never look back. Do nothing, no matter how trivial, to get off-track. Do nothing inconsistent with this newfound, high quality persona -- our intentionally to be the best at what you have chosen.

>Life happens; mundane stuff gets in the way; things come up. If we treat them with the utmost respect, realizing they are part of the process for us -- we 'get' that the newest thing to learn has now presented. If they are in our direct path to breakthrough, let's handle them at the top of our form even while we may think they do not deserve our quality time or attention. If they are not, let's see what we can do to delegate them or handle them most expediently, and get back to the high road.

>The reality is -- we will change instantly or never.

>This timeline for mindshift is an 'all or nothing' deal. We can have change now, today -- IF we are willing to make the exchange and do what it takes to maintain it. No problem if we are not. But if we want to go for the WOW (Way Out Wish) -- are we willing to pay the price? Assume if there is a truly burning desire, we probably have the talent. The Universe is usually not a cruel tease. "Am I willing?" That's the real question more so than: "Can I?"

>Kevin Kelly says evolution is systematic error management in "Out of Control: The Rise of Neo-Biological Civilization." To advance recognize a new game, honor errors. They point the way to our next steps up and out in the process of the quest of WOW(!). Huge goofs precede giant leaps forward. Publicly support failure (ours and that of others.) It's there courage grows.

>Here’s an idea on where to practice this if you are in a client or customer supported business. Did you know 70% of customers and clients are apparently lost -- not because of price or quality of product or actual service -- but because they do not like the human side of doing business with the company they abandon? However, almost always they report they felt abandoned or neglected first. Attentiveness. The ultimate in service is to provide attentiveness. This means to be present to people -- not too busy for them. Not too uninformed about their needs and interests. To care about the details.

>How do we know we are in the presence of the gift of human attention? Possibilities include:

That's all related to attentiveness -- the key to quality service and the returning customer/client.

Consider it -- paying full and complete attention to people.

Going For The WOW! What a concept. Request more WOW ideas through The Lowry Notes via WWW:

(c) 1998, Sherry Lowry, The Lowry Group

Sherry Lowry (
Master Certified Coach (MCC)
Professional Mentor/International Business Coach
Co-Author of Article series: Abroad The Sideroad - a site for professional writers -- The SeamLess Life™
Co-Author: Discovering Your Best Self
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