So, How Many Hats Do You Wear?

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Pensacola, Florida, United States
Husband. *Dog Dad.* Instructional Systems Specialist. Runner. (Swim-challenged) Triathlete (on hiatus). USATF LDR Surveyor. USAT (Elite Rules) CRO/2, NTO/1. RRCA Rep., FL (North). Observer Of The Human Condition.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Hanging On Coattails, Standing On Shoulders

As part of my wife's present employment, she has the opportunity to meet & collaborate with several of the smartest people who work in the telecommunications industry, both here & abroad. Sometimes it means a great deal of travel for far away locations. After last year, where she spent 25 weeks somewhere else other than in close proximity to her adopted greyhound, she decided to be more selective as to the places she would travel for business.

Face it, in the 21st century, we have the technology to take care of most business functions virtually, with varied degrees of face-to-face interaction. We can conference call, have web-meetings, share document storage spaces, & so on. However, just like virtual coaching requires an agreed sharing of communication, and individual responsibility, but can be a pale substitute for in your face coaching, virtual business operations sometimes are not as good as that face time, too.
So, it wasn't too much of a surprise when the organizers of a womens' business seminar in Malaysia learned my wife was going to be relatively close by (Singapore) when their seminar is convening. They graciously offered to fly the missus over for the day so she could make a presentation, then fly her back. A mind-blower for Suzanne, because more often than not, she's offering to go places (on her company's dime) to talk about her role in the industry, how she's managed to learn so much tech stuff (as a non-techie), & so on.

Her business partner said, in so many words: 'cool. How about you take my wife over with you, so she can talk about her point of view?' When I heard this, I was appalled at the chutzpah of my wife's business partner. In my mind, my wife has not busted her @$$ for the past ten years developing a reputation in the telecom industry & made all these her business partner can justify sending wife-number-two on a junket by hanging on the coattails of my wife's hard-earned reputation. How dare he?
Sometimes a coach (or athlete) has to let their reputation stand on its own & not hang on that of a better-known partner. After a couple of (coaching) generations it's almost silly to attach a program or an individual coach's reputation (directly) to that of the forebears; Lydiard, Cerruty, Igloi, Daniels, Henderson, Higdon, Pfitzinger, McMillan, Galloway...

Once you move out a couple of "coaching generations"; say, your coach's coach is even two generations out from the theorists, you (or I, as a coach) have to be smart enough to say 'here are my influences' for a number of reasons: First, the layman may or may not have the first clue of the "genealogy", & probably doesn't care that your coach's coach's coach trained world record holders, world champions, Olympic medalists & Olympians. Second, almost every coach collaborates or rips off from more than one coach throughout their career. Third, the individual coach's success may...or may not...have to do with other factors which could (or could not) have been under their control; individual athletes, facilities, technologies, just to name a few.
As Karl Marx was reputed to have said near his death, 'I am not a Marxist.' Lots of people claim paternity, but how many of the fathers are willing to claim the progeny in return?

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