…”Good Enough” Seldom Is…

This is a provocative strapline. An aspirational line. Often an annoying strapline. I know it annoys me. And it annoys some of my clients. It niggles. It urges you on. To be better. To perform better. To be more professional. More effective. To get a better result. Even a slightly better result. To be a little bit better. To squeeze a little more out.

Many clients have told me after they have broken through a hurdle how “that damn strapline of yours kept me going…”.

I used to be a tennis coach. Now I am a presentation coach or a pitch coach. I am a coach.

Being a coach means bringing technical expertise to help you be better. But it is also my job as a coach to push and demand and exhort and cajole and help and sometimes – dare I say it – to bully. To say – one more time. Let’s do it better. Let’s do it again. And again. And again. And again. Until its right. Why? Because good enough really seldom is good enough. And coming second sucks.

But it is also an annoying, hard to satisfy, standard that I set myself.

And I am the first to say I fail. And often. Oh how very, very often. But I keep trying. I look at what others are doing and I remember what pleases or displeases me when I buy a service or a product. And every day I read what other speech writers and coaches are saying, suggesting and writing. And it moulds my view and pushes me. Both in terms of content and techniques and the service that I offer. Very annoying.

But on the other hand, I do get a huge rush when a client succeeds.

I can’t promise a magic bullet to help your efforts to improve how you are perceived. There is no such thing. But I can promise you I will bust a gut trying.

Seth Godin has a great piece on this theme called “What’s expected vs. what’s amazing.” Don’t read it if you or your organisation enjoy feeling smug. It’ll shatter that feeling quickly.

I have known Peter since before he was invited to start the Getting Selected courses for Conservative Candidates in 2003. From my time working in the Conservative Party I still enjoy wide access to politicians and candidates and many have used Peter’s skills in presentation training and speech-writing. Many politicians are understandably modest – while in office – about acknowledging external assistance received. However, I know many politicians who value his discretion, robust and honest advice and obvious expertise. Discretion, trust and brutal honesty are essential, yet VERY rare, characteristics in politics. Plus, he is good!

Laura Clark, formerly Business Relations ManagerThe Conservative Party.

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