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100 day plan with Group 8020: Kickoff

On August 9th covering ,

I had my first phone meeting with Group 8020’s Mark Hollander yesterday. I’m blogging this to reflect on the process in real time, to learn about the consulting/coaching process as well as to discern what Mark’s special sauce might be. Isn’t that what a lot of it’s about? We all need to discover our special sauce. (Let us not dwell on this vaguely disgusting metaphor too closely).


I won’t be regurgitating the details here. We covered a lot of ground rapidly, reviewing my situation and rapidly agreeing on some big goals. Mark’s diagnostic process is quick and direct, though somehow not superficial. It’s more in the clarifying spirit of let’s-not-ignore-the-obvious.

In my case, it pertains to the fact that I am interested in many different things, I’m full of curiosity and love to make connections between things that superficially look different. This is why psychoanalysis is the right line of work for me. But the downside of this is a propensity to become distracted by shiny objects and a failure to discern between important & unimportant, which makes me spin my wheels in developing new endeavors.

This also means that when I have some time to accomplish something I’m always in doubt about whether I’m doing the right thing at the moment. (I love seeing patients … in part because I know what to pay attention to… I can dig in and get something done, it’s great). The point here is for me not to fight my nature, but to make virtue of necessity — capitalize on my predilections rather than fighting them.

It’s not by accident that Mark’s company is called Group 8020, referring to the mythic Pareto principle that 20% of one’s efforts bring 80% of the results. If he can actually help me put my effort where it will do the most good, the value will be inestimable.

I was expecting the homework from Mark to require a big burst of effort — but actually, in involves letting go of a lot of efforts that weren’t helping me toward my goal. He gave me a brainstorming project pertaining to the intersection of two of my big interests. This has been easy to start, and a lot less work than choosing every day which of my 500 ideas I should pursue. So I’m temporarily allowing Mark to guide me so all my effort can go into implementation. Simple but profound.

There’s a paradox that some of my projects get stuck because I lack patience. I feel that Mark is urging me to go slowly, just focus on one thing this week, in order to make rapid progress. Can you beat it?

The clock is started. Already it helps me to see it out of the corner of my eye and get back on track. Time and tide, dude.

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