Our popular “Ask the Expert” interview series connects you with dynamic thought leaders. This year we’ve spoken with Dr. Thomas Armstrong about motivation, Harold Taylor about time management, Erin Rooney Doland about clutter, Francine Jay about letting go, Todd Henry about next steps, Dr. Debbie Grove about change, and Joshua Becker about fresh starts. For August, I’m thrilled to have with us coach and trainer, Cameron Gott to share his insights about enlisting help.
My wonderful friend and mentor, Denslow Brown introduced me to Cam many years ago. Since then, I’ve had the pleasure of not only hearing Cam speak about coaching and ADHD, but also trained with him directly through Coach Approach for Organizers. I love our conversations whether they are in person, over the phone, or through our social media channels. He’s insightful, interesting, and always offers a unique perspective. Before we begin the interview, here’s more about him.
Cameron Gott is a champion of Global Creatives who helps smart people with ADHD get the stuff done that really matters. He also trains and mentors coaches, and blogs about thriving as a Global Creative. With Denslow Brown and Andrea Sharb, Cam develops and delivers high quality coach training and certification uniquely tailored for professional organizers through Coach Approach for Organizers. You can connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, blog or website.
Linda Samuels: Your life’s work is about coaching others to take action on what really matters. What prompts your clients to reach out for help?
Cameron Gott: Clients seek coaching support when they see a real need for change - That what was working no longer works. For my clients it is a desire to have a different daily work experience than just addressing the most urgent matters on their lists.
Linda: What are some of the challenges we might encounter when we enlist help?
Cam: Ourselves, namely a fixed mindset powered by dusty old beliefs that no longer serve us like, “To be successful I have to do this by myself!” or “I’m too messed up to be helped!” or “I shouldn’t need help!” These old, fixed beliefs can convince us that enlisting help equals giving up, which in turn equals failure. We don’t want to be perceived as weak so we don’t ask for help. It’s a vicious cycle. False beliefs about ‘going it alone’ can become even more amplified when we think about our biggest dreams.
Linda: What is the “Lone Ranger” approach and how does it sabotage success?
Cam: Americans can have a romantic idea about how success looks. It’s based on the image of the lone cowboy, independent and self reliant who rides in to save the day. Success stories in business magnify this storyline of grit, determination and self-reliance. These are not bad qualities but don’t be fooled. In this day and age of connectivity and specialty, success comes through these qualities but also collaboration, communication, strategic support and what Stephen Covey refers to as valueing differences. When we embrace the ‘go it alone/Lone Ranger’ mindset and focus only on the our pre-conceived notion of success, we shut ourselves off from incredible resources and offers of help along the journey.
Linda: What has been your biggest personal enlisting help challenge?
Cam: Learning about and living with my own unique brain wiring. Diagnosed with ADD at age 28, I had to overcome a lot of shame to reach out for help. I also had to get clear on what I actually needed help with! I am still learning at age 49 about my strengths, sensitivities and challenges. What’s shifted is how I view enlisting help. Before I viewed it from a ‘helpless’ perspective. Now I view enlisting help from a curious/learning perspective, which is very different, very empowering. This approach to enlisting help is a central theme when working with my ADHD clients.
Linda: What is your most surprising discovery about enlisting help?
Cam: When we open ourselves to help amazing people come forward and amazing things happen. Some of my richest connections first started out as a request for help.
Linda: Is there anything you’d like to add about enlisting help?
Cam: Enlisting help is good boundaries practice and management. Be aware, stay engaged and pay attention to your limits. Be open and vulnerable but also be specific with ‘the ask.’ Don’t hand it off completely. Stay informed and stay present. Research your help needs before you ask for help. Help doesn’t mean giving up responsibility or ultimate control. Create mutual agreements with help partners defining roles and expectations with clear end points. When it comes to enlisting coaching help interview more than one coach and be curious about whose agenda they will champion, theirs or yours.
Thank you, Cam for being here with us. Where to begin? There are so many gems that resonate with me like “dusty old beliefs that no longer serve us.” How often do we get in our own way by holding on to ideas that aren’t productive? Guilty as charged! Your “Lone Ranger” idea also strikes a chord with me. How often do we shut ourselves off from potential resources and help because we think we have to do it all alone? Did you write that for me? I’ve learned over time how to reach out for help, collaborate, and let go of the “going it alone” idea. Then there’s your idea about getting clear with what help you really need and the growth and learning that follows. While I could go on and on, I’ll stop here because I’d love to hear from others.
Join Cam and me as we continue the conversation. What are some enlisting help challenges or successes have you experienced? What are your thoughts?