When I was a kid, one of the few times my dad and I would actually sit together and watch TV was on Mondays during the American Football season. Neither of us were what I’d call even avid fans, but do I remember that the NFL season and harvest season in IL were more-or-less aligned, and after either picking corn until the stalks got too damp to go through the machinery very well, repairing said machinery or just keeping the cows fed, the Monday post-dinner ritual often included that week’s Monday Night Football.
Of course, I had a team. As a kid, it was the Dallas Cowboys, because I had an uncle there, and Roger Staubach was pretty damn cool.
But, as I got older, I only dipped in and out—unlike a lot of my friends, and much later, my co-workers. Every week, you’d hear them go on and on about the previous day’s game.
And, because they were in the class of avid – dare I say “rabid” – fans, they were “experts” in the game. So, you could be sure that there was all kinds of post-game analysis brought to the canteen – or the cubicle wall – happily explaining what the team should’ve done that would’ve resulted in a different outcome.
They’re the ultimate “armchair quarterback” who retroactively calls the plays they think would’ve won the game.
We get this from our colleagues, peers and customers in security too. Everyone’s always got an opinion, and generally they pontificate from a place of omnipotence about what would’ve been the right decision to make that, naturally, would’ve made things come out in their favor.
The problem is…it wasn’t their decision to make.
And it wasn’t their decision to make because they weren’t there.
They weren’t the ones privy to the exact information you might’ve had at the time…
…and they certainly weren’t the ones with the responsibility – at that moment – for choosing one of potentially dozens of alternatives that, on the surface, might’ve seemed equally promising.
They only chose to weigh in after the fact—when they have full knowledge of the situation from multiple perspectives and the outcomes of the decisions that were already made.
And, let’s face it…it’s not only incredibly annoying—it’s super feckin’ easy.
There’s no pressure.
You have all the time in the world to analyze the outcome and trace things back to the information and the actions that were taken.
And the right answer is just right there—almost as if you were fishing in the toilet.
The thing is that I doubt anyone is going to second-guess decisions you make – especially if they don’t turn out as planned – as much as you will yourself. At least, I know this is true for me.
I don’t need someone coming in, guns blazing after the fact, throwing around all their experience and opinions as a so-called “expert” telling me what I should’ve done—especially the way that information is normally delivered…
…completely cloaked in smugness, arrogance…
…and smacking of “I told you so!”—even if those aren’t the words that were used.
Does it help?
I know it doesn’t help me.
What does help me, however, is being able to take into confidence someone whose experience and talents I respect. Where I can outline the way that I see the state of the world, worts and all—even if it’s to only hear myself thinking out loud.
Where I don’t feel constrained about what I can or can’t say.
Where there’s no judgement.
Where I know that I’m going to get the perspective of someone who genuinely wants me to succeed.
Now…that’s useful. And it can help you think through a decision…it can help you see options you might’ve overlooked…
…and it can shine the light on areas where you might not really want to go or think about—but which are the elephants in the room that need to be acknowledged…
…or the issues you’re unconsciously trying to avoid.
That’s the kind of thing a really good coach can do. And if they do have the experience they claim, they’re also able to help you hone the skills you haven’t quite mastered yet…
…or help you get started learning the ones you need, but you never really realized.
I’m not saying that I can be this for you. In many cases, I don’t even know you, and we’ve never met either in person or virtually. In other cases, I’ve known you for years, we’ve shared more than a few pints, and we might even be friends.
That still doesn’t mean that I’m the right person to give you real guidance and advice without being the armchair security quarterback you probably already have coming out of the woodwork. However, it is the kind of thing that the Effective Security Leadership coaching and mentoring program was created to provide.
So if you’re looking for an alternative to so-called “experts” shouting at you, tone-deaf and without understanding the nature of the decisions you really need to make to keep the organization safe and doing what it’s doing, then maybe it might be a good fit.
However, the only way we’ll find out for sure is if we have a brief chat about where you are, what you’re trying to accomplish and what you see as standing in your way. Maybe there’s nothing I can do to help you from where you are right now other than say, “Wow. That’s tough. I don’t see how I can help you. Good luck with it.”
Or maybe you’re facing a very similar situation to many other people I’ve helped over the years increase their skills, put theory into practice and enhance the effectiveness of their security program overall.
What I can say is that I’ve “been there” and collected a lotta t-shirts, so I’ve probably seen something similar to your situation before. So, if I can’t help you, it’s probably not because I don’t know how. More likely, its that either you – or your organization – just isn’t ready for the kind of help I really provide.
Because I help you be more successful. I don’t do your work for you. That’s not my gig. There are literally armies of “consultants” out there for that.
You need to be ready, and you need to be open to seeing things differently. If you are, then maybe you should set up a call to talk about it using this link:
Now more than ever, a friendly, focused and vetted ear can go a long way to help you navigate the challenges you’re facing right now. If I can help you, then I certainly will do everything I can to do so. If I can’t, we’re gonna know pretty quickly.
What would you like to do?
Andrew S. Townley
Archistry Chief Executive