The Sad Truth about the Illustrious Uncoachable Duckweed

After 20 years in the business development arena, it’s fair to say that 98 percent of the men and women I coach are learners and a joy to deal with. They make my job easy. But there is one personality type that makes me sweat, one that I know causes stress to other professionals as well. The type I refer to possesses a few annoying traits; he usually has an inflated ego, is completely self-centered and aggressive, and spends far more time talking than listening. For this article let’s roll these traits into one character called the Uncoachable Duckweed (Spellchecker preferred this over my first choice).

Duckweed usually wants to get into business because he apparently “doesn’t want to work for anyone else.” There are several great reasons why anyone might prefer not to be employed by others: financial independence, lifestyle, or simply to have the freedom to design one’s own job. But anyone too ornery to work for others will be in for a harsh awakening as a business owner.

Once in business, Duckweed will soon find that the normally helpful folks are going to be invisible when it comes to getting help along the business development path. But there’s another part of the picture that really negates the uncoachable’s chances of success, and it’s this—nobody is obliged to tell him about his shortcomings. Instead of saying why they don’t want to deal with him, they just quietly deal somewhere else. There’s no benefit for anyone to tell Duckweed that he has the personality of a mutant gnat. Nobody likes confrontation.

So, the sad truth is that you might be a raving Duckweed and not even know it. If you think you might fit the profile, here are a few things to watch for.

1. If you’re continually spouting off about how smart you are compared to the other 6.9 billion people on the planet, share some of the oxygen and know that you might be a Duckweed.

2. If your business coach has repeated for the 23rd time that you need to validate your sales forecast, kiss your chances of getting a loan goodbye and entertain the possibility that you might be uncoachable.

3. If, in any given calendar year, you make more a dozen trips to your lawyer’s or MLA’s office for nefarious reasons, accept that you’re too busy fighting the world to have time to run a business, and know that you might be a Duckweed.

4. If you find that folks are screening your calls and texts and emails, including your therapist and your mother, say goodbye to network building and know that you might be uncoachable.

5. If you already own a business, you think all employees are bottom-dwellers, and you’re on a first name basis with the entire Employment Standards staff, say no to any thoughts of growing a business and know that you might be a Duckweed.

6. Finally, if more than 3 people suggest you read this blog, I rest my case.

Business is all about networking. An ability to be somewhat of an independent thinker is necessary to take the helm of your own business. But on digging deeper, we soon realize that entrepreneurs build true momentum by leveraging through other people. Duckweed’s ability to scale a business up will be severely restricted without a solid network to help.

Businesses succeed because their owners have an amazing ability to attract and motivate the right people to become part of their team. If you don’t have the ability to inspire followers, don’t go into business.

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