Seems like I am at the point in my career where I am working with many seasoned professionals. These people have had a lot of success in their careers and several of them are taking off in second or even third careers.

It’s really interesting to coach and consult for some of these people. They have been the bosses in many jobs prior to the current job. They know what they’re doing. They can actually do some of these jobs with their eyes closed but they’re coming to me because they want to get ahead quicker and don’t have a mentor as they may have had earlier in their career and they know the value of working with a coach.

In several of these cases, I’m consulting, which means that I have to share with the client what to do. Coaching is helping them discover it on their own. But in my case, I have a lot of expertise that they need so I’m there to tell them what is going to work and what isn’t going to work.

And in a few of these cases recently, I’ve had to use the analogy of Iron Sharpens Iron!!! And it’s true! These people are challenging me over and over and because I know what I’m talking about, I’ve had to tell them to trust me, and to understand that I’m on their team and that I want them to succeed. But, I’ve told them, that if they keep doing what they’ve always done, they’ll get the results they’ve always gotten!!!

One of my friends, Carlos, told a story that captured what is happening in my business right now. He told me that he used to be a white water rafting guide and part owner of the company and recently he went to Colorado to visit and went rafting. He automatically started barking out orders and immediately, the guide whose boat it was, yelled at him to stop yelling orders. He said, “this is my boat, and we’ll do it my way!” If the passengers listen to you and not me, we could have an accident!!

My friend was a bit shell shocked.. mostly at his own reaction of taking over the helm of someone else’s boat. It was natural for him to do, but the second he was commanded to stop, he did.

Those of us with strong personalities and who have had success sometimes have to regress a bit when venturing into something new. We have to put away the need to always be right, and the need to have everything go our own way. Sometimes, when moving in a new direction, there are others who can guide us, and because we do have strong personalities and great experience, we might occasionally bump heads.

I’ve learned along the way, that bumping heads is normal, natural and not something to avoid. It’s going to happen, and when it does, it can make both professionals better, because the one who is leading, has to explain in a way that another leader can understand and agree to and follow.

Iron sharpening iron is keeping me focused on understanding that my clients are knowledgeable and successful, but coming to me to get the best of the best. I’m helping them write speeches, present themselves better professionally, as speakers, in the media or on video, and to their companies leading meetings. They’re learning to motivate their staffs, coach their teams and to lead more effectively.

Iron sharpens Iron. And I am determined to keep myself and my clients sharp!