Written by Nick Roud, Leadership Educator & Career Coach. 4th November (Saturday) 2023
Enough Of Scaling.
When a close friend reached out to me recently to see how I was the conversation turned away from family, home, health to work.
Nick are you growing she asked?
Well yes, my waist band has certainly grown, and I feel absolutely great. I shared how a brief encounter with a guru along with some thought provoking words got me really really thinking about food and movement, he spoke to me about family history, family heritage not the latest fad food, so called diet, 7 things to eat now to lose 400kg etc but got me really considering my food roots.
On my mothers side were beautiful Hungarians, on my fathers side French, the name Roud goes all the way back to French woodcutters. Whilst both my parents were born and raised in the United Kingdom I wanted to really learn about my heritage, who went before me and where do I come from. Maybe its because I am only a couple of years away from 50 but the curiosity has really got me thinking and couple that with the guru my attention has been well and truly spiked. The outcome has allowed me a sense of enough, a sense of pure happiness. Seeking to understand what my ancestors would have eaten, the way they cooked, the types of food continues to challenge my thinking. Growth is good if we focus our attention in the right direction!
Those ancestors, people I will never meet again in this life time, grandparents (picture about is me mum’s mum and dad, and on the right my dads mum) who I miss so much and who I would have just loved to introduce them to our two kids, Louie (named after his great grandad) and Willow have ultimately shaped me into the person I am that writes this blog today.
European food is so colourful, so fresh, so light, so comforting, so stodgy, so rich so naughty how balanced it is. I remember growing up and seeing the veggie garden that grandad Luis had, his chickens running around the fresh meats hanging curing in his back room, eating long salami and just hoovering up the flavours.
It is quite possibly why Nic and I have a veggie garden at home in Auckland, New Zealand and why one day when our border collie dog Jaya leaves us we will also have chicken! The veggie garden is coming into its own. We have finally got asparagus, 4 years of patience and hope has finally allowed us every day to collect and pick crisp, ripe and nutritious vegetables (a message to all leaders out their, good things do actually take time). I just can’t wait for the plums and peaches to hit the trees and I might say I am in heaven.
What my friend was talking about away from my waistband was business, are you growing Nick, getting more followers, more clients, more revenue, more more more more more bloody more?
Well no I am not I replied and the look of horror fell over her face.
Why not Nick you are doing such great work! Look at all those client messages, the people you are coaching, the organisations they are leader. It is really impressive.
She knows me well that it’s never about the money, the size, the numbers, I have never and will never be interested in those measures. Sure we have a finance system in place which tells Nicola and myself how much GST we need to pay, how much Tax to pay etc and I am sure you could press some buttons and really dig into the metrics but that’s not my purpose nor is it why I run my business Nick Roud Coaching. It’s never about that. It is wholeheartedly laser focused on those individual CEOs, executives and emerging leaders who choose to engage with me. That is the only metric I follow – their success!
I am fed up to the back teeth when people say you are established now, your time is here, you should scale, that my business needs to scale for it to be………be what I say have a billion dollars in the bank, to have a billion followers, to have to have to have.
Enough is enough and I have come to the realisation a few years back that part of growth is knowing when enough is actually enough…….its not about me it’s ALL about you, that is the only place my energy goes into.
Leadership is knowing when enough is enough. Look at all the tools at our disposal, data for Africa. Ultimately you need to take action and make a decision. The job of a leader is to make decisions.
Well is your revenue up Nick? Are you selling more services, have you sold out of your,,,,,,,have you increased your fellowship (what ever that means), again my quick response was No! Well you must be going backwards and unhappy with that Nick she said, again No I am far from unhappy, sad or what other word you wish to wrap around it, I am extremely proud of where I am right here right now!
Then I went onto share with her something that for many could have seemed as a total failure a real cock up……but on reflection was possibly the most impactful time I have had in a wee while.
I recently ran an on line program with the focus being on ‘How To Change Your Job’…its basically 10x1hr 1:1 coaching sessions with me in confidence to help you find your next job!
You’ll get hundreds of people show up for that Nick, you will get people from all round the world wanting to be part of it etc,
Yeh, I thought, even if only one person shows up that to me would be a massive success. And sure as eggs are eggs how many professionals from around the world showed up…….drum roll…….lights camera action………..one person!
And you know what it was the most impactful, happy, passionate experience I have had in a long time. Here we were 7pm on a cold Tuesday evening in Auckland with one other person on this call………a guy in France, 8am his time, coffee in hand and ready to go to work. BINGO…. Success…..
I had a plan, a structure etc all in place – did we use it, hell no we went to work, him and me. It was truly amazing. We went deep we built trust, we spoke a laungage not often found, one of real dedication to seeking clarity. He was so deeply grateful from our time together. And that is the magic potion I wanted, my client happy!
Should the call have had 10,000, 1,000, 100, 10 no that wasn’t purpose nor my intent it was to help a fellow human as he/she navigated something that I can help with. That interaction will stay with me for life.
What it made me appreciate even more than a billion followers, a billon dollars of revenue etc, was scale isn’t and wont be the focus for me, never has been, never is and never will be. As I carry on my plan to the ripe old age of 75 I can’t wait to look back and appreciate just how much my time working with another human has made to them. Not how many people I have working for me, how many offices around the world I have *there is only one office and its the 20 ft shipping container aka our Global Head Quarters it will not be about how many $$ are in the bank, nor the number of subscribers to our leadership & career coaching blog. None of that. Scale can be smaller!
It is at its purest, two humans coming together at a moment in time, you and me sitting together in a safe place and having a bloody good, meaningful conversation, a relationship that has nothing to do with scale. I know others who I am close to are really doubling down on scale and global scale and they like me are very passionate towards there vision, but that is there vision, their baby, their dream not mine, I will always be alongside them cheering them forwards, helping where ever I can help and celebrating with them on there success.
The word scale reminds me of having to hit a certain number that you must reach to be considered for a playing shirt, it reminds me of making a beautiful pizza base with the kids when the famous chef says chuck in 1 and a half cups of flour, nah lets just get our hands dirty, chuck in the flour and see what comes out the other side.
Scale to me is all about turning the everyday need to have more to actually have a lot less, a better less, a more intermit less, a less which may means that I am not chasing the dragon……it just isn’t filling me up. It’s not serving my purpose, I don’t have investors, I am not a CEO of a listed business where the only number the investor really want to talk about is another + number for the year, more $, more market share, more more more. That’s just not for me.
When I am with my clients we talk in confidence about many things, and I am so blessed and privileged to be in-trusted by fellow humans who are looking to push the needle, the ones who don’t want to settle, they have that inner drive that is hard to contain/bottle.
As I wrap up todays blog I’d love to leave you with a question.
Is Scale Enabling You?
If you would like to spend time with me, work on your leadership/career then I’d welcome it. Reach out and lets see where it takes us.
Nick Roud is a multi-award winning leadership coach,
nickroud.com | global award winning leadership coach | +6421375630