Connecting the dots…

In a famous speech at Stanford University, on June 12th,  2005, Steve Jobs said: “Today I want to tell you three stories from my life. That’s it, no big deal, just three stories. The first story is about connecting the dots”.

At the time Steve Jobs was approaching his fifties, and in that speech he was looking back to his life from the viewpoint of a successful entrepreneur, also gone through many setbacks, including a though start as an adopted child and serious health issues.

What he does in front of the Stanford’s graduates is looking back and making sense of his story, connecting the dots of his life. Of course he does it a posteriori, looking at the causes from an effect (who and where he is in 2005) viewpoint. And, second, he tells a story, which, as we know, it’s always a partial view of the facts (or of reality, if you prefer).

A few weeks ago, while I was preparing a speech about my job as a life & executive coach, I was struggling with finding a short definition able to capture the essence of coaching (I mean, not just an advertising sentence, the “essence” ), and it occurred to me that what a coach helps a client with is to connect her/his life/career dots before her/his achievements. So, to me, a coach helps a client to connect the dots looking forward, instead of backward.

If you look back at your dots and connect them, what do you see?

Now, look, listen, feel ahead your doubts, question marks, uncertainties.

List them.

Look at them together.

Connect them.

What do you see?

Coaching is about this: helping you to create and or change that picture of you in the future. Dots are what you feel, think, experience now.

alzaia [al-zà-ia]

This mode of transport was common where sailing was impractical due to rapid current, tunnels and bridges, or unfavourable winds.