Daniel Batten’s history

17 Jan 2006 I was at my father’s tangi. The kuia who’d been conducting proceedings came up to me after the eulogies had ended and said “Daniel – it’s your responsibility to continue your father’s teachings.” Dad was an internationally acclaimed coach. He’d helped people into their creative genius in over 40 countries for close to 40 years.

I, through fear of living in my father’s shadow, was running a tech company I founded. This is a noble job for the right person. But I was doing it for the wrong reason.

Our product was about to hit #1 on Apple’s Ap store and was on course to change the lives of 500,000 molecular biologists around the world. But I knew she was right. My calling was not to run a single company, but to help lift up an ecosystem of tech-entrepreneurs and visionary leaders.

I had no idea how I was going to do that. But I hired a new CEO to run the company and set down a whole new path anyway.

Because of my background, finding tech-CEOs wanting mentoring was not hard. But I soon realised that I, like other mentors, had no right to mentor anyone.

Why? Because I hadn’t done the necessary introspection to work out “What worked for me at that time, but not for others now?”, and “What did I do that didn’t work at all?” Until I answered those questions, I could be leading companies down the wrong path. That was not an option.

There were no books on this. So I had to answer it the hard way: through intense introspection. That took a long time!

Some years later, I realised a second problem with mentoring: “It’s limited to my experience. What if there are vast oceans of relevant knowledge I know nothing about?”

Good question. So I asked myself “How would I find out if I did have big knowledge-gaps?” I decided the answer was to learn how things such as leadership, pitching, sales and resilience is traditionally trained. For 5 years I worked as an associate with a 3 leading consulting companies in parallel, facilitating courses with corporate clients, running workshop after workshop on these topics. I realised my intuition was right: there were huge gaps in my knowledge, and I was grateful I’d gotten to discover how huge these gaps were before I started mentoring tech-entrepreneurs again. My first couple of workshops were a bit rough. But through constant practice I ended up becoming a highly sought-after facilitator and trainer.

But I realised something else, the knowledge I was learning would only work for corporates, not startups. So I developed over 5 years a system specially for tech-entrepreneurs. I threw out a lot of what I was exposed to. I adapted other bits. I borrowed other bits from fields as left-field as the mindfulness movement and improvisational theatre.

But I still had a question I hadn’t answered “How do I coach on this knowledge to other tech-entrepreneurs?

Unless I answered this question, I could still only tell other tech-entrepreneurs what to do and hope they listened. That wasn’t good enough.

This question led me to a small city a couple of hours north of Los Angeles and the one coach in the world who could answer that question satisfactorily for me. After three years I was ready to disrupt the tech-ecosystem. During this time I set a super-bold goal for myself “lift the standard of coaching that a tech-entrepreneur receives to be as high as the standard an All Black receives.”

 

I’ve been humbled by what’s happened to my clients in the 4 years since. All of them are experiencing exponential growth their companies (compared to a 20% industry success rate).  Gaining capital, 9 from 9 investment rounds won (industry average for 2018 in NZ was 10.4%). Importantly, every founder works regular hours, they don’t sacrifice relationships, or other important aspects of their identity to achieve their success. They are changing the world each day. But having dinner with family each night.

 

If you’re interested in an All-Black-like level of coaching support – click “let’s go” below, and we can see if there’s a fit.

 


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