Fly Me To The Moon 2

by Michael Walker on October 24, 2011

Fly Me To The Moon 2

Yesterday, in my first Fly Me To The Moon post, you learned about the coaching challenge I faced from Art, a brilliant, innovative scientist who pushed me harder than anyone ever had.

You remember that Art was tired of wooing investors and having to play tag with them for weeks afterward to get them to put some money into Art’s company.

After going through the specifics of how he approached investors and analyzing his entire process of delivering his presentation, I could clearly see the one item missing that was preventing him from achieving his goal.  I was excited to deliver the news to Art.  He was much closer to the success he desired than he realized.

We met the day before his flight to New York to meet with investors, and I shared my coaching advice with Art.

He looked at me like I had lost my mind.  “That’s it?  That’s all you’ve got for me is one stupid thing?”

I assured him it would work.  But Art wasn’t buying it.

“I can’t believe this! I put all my trust in you, and all you can come up with is this?”

Things got really tense, but I stuck to my guns.

“Art, you remember when no one wanted to listen to your ideas at NASA?”

His eyes bored into me. “Yeah, who cares? What’s that got to do with anything?”

I knew if I were going to get Art to heed my advice and get the breakthrough he so desperately wanted, I’d have to hit him right in the heart.

“I’ve got a way to quickly get you more money for your company and give you a lot more time for your research.  But you won’t even give it a try because it’s so outside the box that you can’t see why it’d work.  You’re treating me just like NASA treated you. I’ve become you. I have the crazy idea no one thinks will work and you won’t even try it.  You’re a scientist.  Aren’t you supposed to test ideas before you reject them?”

He stood there with his fists clenched, his eyes just staring at me.  The air was so quiet. Time seemed to stop.  It felt like I was staring into a fun house mirror where one moment the room was expanding away from me and then the next moment the walls and Art’s face were quickly closing in on me.

“You’re right,” he whispered.  He turned and walked to the door.  “I’ll give it a try.”

Three days later, the phone rang.  It was Art.  I was afraid to ask, but I had to know.

“How’d it go?”

His voice cracked with excitement.

“You are a genius!”

“Art, what happened?”

“Michael, I took your coaching advice. I did exactly what you said.  It was unbelievable.  They gave me more money in one day than I’d gotten all last year after months of begging!  I can’t believe it!”

I was beaming with pride.

“You did it, Michael.  I can’t thank you enough. You did it!”

I was shaking my head.

“Art, I only gave you the coaching.  I gave you the tool you needed. You’re the one who put it to use.  I didn’t do it. You did it, Art.  You did it!”

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Clare Delaney October 25, 2011 at 11:07 pm

Nice one Michael, not just getting to the heart of problem and solving it, but also framing it correctly so your mentee accepted your advice and acted on it – perfect!

Thanks for sharing!



Boomer Singles Dating Expert October 25, 2011 at 11:14 am

Hi Michael,

Art is right. You are a genius! What a great coaching story as well!

Happy Dating and Relationships,

April Braswell
Dating Relationship Expert Mature Singles


Reading body language of a first date October 24, 2011 at 11:14 pm

Michael, it is always good to see a student take what they have learned and then use it in a way that makes them better, or even to see that they are willing to be coached and try something new.
Scott Sylvan Bell


Cherie Miranda October 24, 2011 at 4:48 pm

Another wonderful story from my favorite writer. Do you still take on private coaching clients? Sounds like you’re the best!

Cherie Miranda


Body Language October 24, 2011 at 4:42 pm

I love this story, if only I had one that was this good…

Mark Hogan


Kevin Bettencourt October 24, 2011 at 2:39 pm

There is nothing more rewarding than watching someone you coached use the tools you gave them to make the big play. The arena makes no difference.


Sonya Lenzo October 24, 2011 at 12:58 pm

Great coaching in action….wonderful post! Your metaphor was spot on for Art…he was acting just like NASA.Even more than your idea, getting him to try it was the art of coaching in action.
Sonya Lenzo


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