The situation: an epidemic of GURU FLU
The “Info Gurus” are KILLING our coaching profession.
And spreading an epidemic of GURU FLU!
This is no joke.
Here is how it happens…
They write a compelling marketing piece describing amazing results and personal transformation created by their program.
Then they allegedly “deliver” these amazing results and transformation by providing yammering webinars, teleclasses, videos and eBooks. And piling on $10,000 BOGUS (oh did I mean BONUS?) programs for $99 etc.
And they often call it a “Coaching Program” (this is the part that really gets me agitated!)
To them, coaching is a revenue stream at the bottom of a funnel and they sign up people in droves for “coaching” programs with NO REAL COACHING!
And the customer ends up with a wicked case of GURU FLU!
GURU FLU is when you participate in a guru program, listen to yammering mind-manipulating webinars, go to the ubiquitous “complimentary” pitch-fest live event (worth $997 of course!!), end up with no results and definitely no transformation BUT ASSUME it must be your fault because the information was so great and the Guru was so confident and entertaining. “And one or two people seemed to really do amazing things… so it must be me.”
Here’s a News Flash!
There is almost NO – ZIP – ZERO correlation between information and results!
Information does not create results. Period.
The gap between information and RESULTS in GINORMOUS!!!! (gigantic + enormous = Ginormous)
There is a NEGATIVE correlation between information and transformation!!!
In other words more information actually HINDERS transformation!
Guru YAMMERING webinars and $10,000 BOGUS programs for $99 will NEVER produce results or transformation for 99% of the participants.
NO REAL COACHING = NO SUSTAINABLE RESULTS! = NO TRANSFORMATION!
To be fair, many of the Gurus mean well. However, they believe that information creates transformation, which it does not.
Secondly they THINK that coaching is telling people what to do and, quite frankly, that is the worst kind of coaching there is.
But the WORST PART of all of this is that their NO-COACH, NO-RESULT, NO TRANSFORMATION Coaching Programs are giving us REAL Coaches a BAD NAME!
I am agitated!
I KNOW WE CAN DO BETTER.
REAL COACHES MUST RISE UP!
To learn more about what WE – the REAL Coaches – can do…
Click here… Ultimate Marketing CAMP
first off … i love love love how you call a spade a spade. i am chuckling madly while reading this. very funny!
second i could not agree more and i loathe that cr–.
third, i am working on my thesis in which i am researching the benefits of coaching methodology as applied to equine-assisted learning to create equine-facilitate life coaching. it seems there are many coaches out there with no training working in this field – with Lisa Murrell being one of few certified coaches via ICF (i think). she gets buckets of credit from me for being “legit”. this obviously is my soap box.
so just wanted to say i agree with this email of yours and find it so refreshing.
Dear Dave, Wow, am I glad to read your post. You are right on! I have been thinking about this for quite some time, but, you really put it together perfectly. Well said! I totally agree with you.
Thank you for speaking out about ‘real coaching’. The kind where we are committed to meeting our client where they are, discovering what a beautiful life would look like and be for them, and coaching their magnificence inner genius to create and be that empowered spark of life.
There is this model that others are following of getting a program together and then get clients. Not to say that is bad, but it does not make you a coach. Good training makes you a real coach, skill building makes you a real coach. Practice makes you a real coach. Client success and results make you a real coach. Your heart and listening skills make you a real coach. 32 hours of coaching a week make you a real coach.
You help others to be a real coach.
Hours and hours of on going coaching education, becoming certified, studying with you and Thomas, the desire to be the best, and lots of clients have made me a real coach. It is my calling and my path.
Here is to REAL Coaches! There are lots of us making a living and changing the world, one soul at a time.
Thank you for your important blog.
Kathy Nelson, CPPC
This is beautiful. thank you.
Thank you for posting the article, Dave. It may be true that some programs sell nothing more than B.S. — and they are truly not “coaching” programs at all — but on the other hand there are a few good programs as well.
Again, I wouldn’t call them coaching programs.
If they are passing B.S. off as coaching can’t ICF do something about it?
One of these days I’m going to write a book. It will be titled, “How to make a make a million dollars”. It will contain one sentence that says “write a book titled ‘how to make a million dollars'”, sell it as $10 download to 500k people. Easy peasy…I’ll be a business and marketing guru in no time and I can stop working so hard trying to get clients 😉
I just bought a program from a leading “expert” guru. It was really expensive. I was curious how this person did it with out any “real” coaching training. The truth is he just outlined a motivational all, step by step, market plan. We do need to rise up as a profession. Transformation is a real process. How can we use this epidemic to our advantage?
How can we use this epidemic to our advantage? This is a provocative question. well done.
I hope to answer your question as the story unfolds.
@Melissa, I love this question about how to use this to our advantage. I used to struggle with my branding and marketing because of the high volume of gurus out there claiming that we should all identify ourselves as “experts.” I kept thinking “but I’m not here to be an expert and tell people what to do, a lot of my job is listening and asking questions, what does that make me an expert in?” I have found this “expert” notion counter-intuitive to the idea that real coaching comes primarily from a place of inquiry, not top-down thinking. I finally figured out that part of my brand and conversation about my business is to tell people how much of an expert they are on themselves. Most people I run into find this kind of honesty refreshing (that I’m not out there claiming expert status on how to “fix” anyone). My willingness to show up as “vulnerable” in this way is part of my brand. I am anti-guru, anti-expert, anti-one size fits all models/answers, and I allow it to show up in my marketing. This is how I am leveraging the epidemic to my advantage. I’d love to know other’s ideas on this, too.
Is it really so black and white? What about the coaches who offer coaching programs, in which they do both ‘real’ coaching and guide people through an agenda or series of how to modules towards a specific outcome? I’ve seen ICF certified MCC coaches offer programs like these. They’re a mix of coaching, mentoring and teaching. Are they part of this ‘guru flu’ problem?
Hey Sue!! Great question. If the program includes real coaching then it is not “Guru Flu” in my opinion.
Also, training and mentoring are PART of REAL coaching in my opinion as well.
Right – information can be overwhelming, but dished out appropriately it can be transformative. I’ve had many aha moments from reading or listening to a ‘potent point’. I’ve also been paralyzed by too much information, even though I always seem to crave more – I guess that is my comfort zone!
I love Sue’s question. Would you address that? I’ve heard ‘gurus’ teaching that it is good practice to have a system that you coach people through – with lots of room sidesteps for iner freedom etc, I would hope!!
You hit the nail on the head! No surprise there… These so-called gurus claim to be raking in piles of money with their crap….are their claims crap, too?
I love how you call the epidemic “Guru Flu”. and the flu is spreading like wild fire.
I appreciate Melissa’s question: how can we use the epidemic to our advantage? It is obvious that people are hungry for information (what do they do with it?) and are looking for leaders to lead them to success…why not us?
Thanks for sharing your rant!
Well, just as the “quick fixers” and marketing addicted smart guys (and girls) of NLP corrupted this discipline with their high speed courses sending a load of “certified NLP Master´s” loose on the needy public, served as a catalyst for the birth and growth of the coaching industry, so the coaching industry may be giving birth to a new discipline (like Quantum Psychology or Matrix Energetic´s maybe….who knows..? This is inevitable, in a society of “survival of the fittest mentality” and huge cash flow as an indicator of spiritual maturity…..What to do? Keep up the good work, keep congruent and deliver solid coaching for those in need, maybe marketed as Genuine Coaching rooted in the Original Mind Set or something like that…Maybe….Who knows? 😉
Wow, what a brilliant piece of writing AND truth telling! Wading through the bs (belief system) of all the bells and whistles tat one “must have” is very daunting. I do not have a gazillion clients. The ones I do have, get real results, AND they refer others to me. They leave happy, fulfilled, and ready to bend over backwards to spread the word. Me thinks I do some things very right for the folks who are right for my style of coaching.
I do appreciate, welcome and respect your perspective. Thank you.
So true, Dave. Thank you for your poignant honesty. We all need to do our best to be transformation and have it take place for those around us.
You hit the head on the nail. I’ve been saying this since Thomas J. Leonard transitioned.
However as you’ve said there are a handful that are actually trained coaching and providing
marketing and business training along with coaching that does transform.
But the majority of the Guru’s provide a deep hole into their wallets that never ends
for those that buy into these hyped “mind numbing” propositions of self-development
and personal growth.
I was wondering when coaches would stand up and say no more and protect this
industry from sham and scam.
I am with you on this one Dave.
Wow, Dave, This is fabulous, inspiring, exciting, uplifting, motivating, awakening visions of a movement about to happen that I’m 100% on board for, then instead you simply proved that Guru Flu is contagious with no less than 10 repetitions for the famous Guru hallmark, “HOW TO…” and your own Guru marketing offer.
I feel totally slammed down. Maybe I missed the point or saw a false vision of illusion? Reminds me of the old stories of people on drugs taking uppers to get up and depressants to get down.
Still, my mind is racing with your description – before the marketing piece – and realizing, “Inspiration without implementation leads to depression,” I’m going to keep working the seed of the idea you planted here.
Thanks for raising this point. In trying to create awareness and curiosity for a new idea without dumping a bunch of information, I may have left out a key point!
The difference is that the “How To’s” in the program I am proposing will be learned through practice and coaching. Not info-loading. And I am no marketing guru. What we are going to do is practice and master the fundamental skills as a team.
Here’s the sad thing – the target market for these “info gurus” are coaches – and many coaches are spending money and wasting time on these “marketing”, not coaching programs. I heard one of the “pitches” where they were saying “they”, this big group of marketing gurus had gotten together during a coaching conference to talk about jumping in on this hot new profession and market to them while you can- really sad.
Dave, What an excellent post. The term Guru Flu isn’t only clever and memorable, but also dead-on. If one has the knowledge base to be considered a guru, I’d rather they prove it with results than a self-anointed title.
The bonuses that so many offer in order to make the purchase a “no brainer”, just muddy the buyer’s mind with information overload. Your quote said it best, “more information actually hinders transformation.”
Hope many more get the same “fever” that you have and eventually turn the tide on all the hype. All the wise commenters here are a great start.
You read my mind. This has been frustrating me to no end – I call it the “Walmarts of Coaching” – the self-proclaimed experts who drown their willing subjects in information that they have no clue how to apply.
Unfortunately the average client can’t discern the difference and their less than successful encounters with these Gurus end up leaving them suspicious of anyone else who calls themselves a Coach.
I’ve been routinely educating prospects on the difference between information marketing and coaching – you are right in that we “real” Coaches need to stand united behind getting the message out. Thanks for vocalizing what many of us have been thinking!
Great piece Dave and most of it is true.
But what about that shameless plug at the end:
REAL COACHES MUST RISE UP!
To learn more about what WE – the REAL Coaches – can do…
Click here… Ultimate Marketing CAMP
Click here…. come on Dave, that’s sneaky marketing. Great article, great replies. Sneaky link tactics.
But I guess if you really need to market, you might as well market like the Guru’s, right?
We are a gaggle of volunteers and starting a new scheme in our community. Your website provided us with helpful information to work on. You’ve performed a formidable activity and our whole group shall be grateful to you.