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There Is A Coach In Every Leader

It’s been said time and time again, “every coach needs a coach.” Managers, executives, business owners and entrepreneurs, hold essential leadership roles within their organizations that require on-going  coaching to continuously lead with a fresh perspective, expand knowledge, increase confidence to manage with heightened decision-making skills.

My question to you, who is coaching your leadership?

One skillset in a leader’s toolbox must be the ability to coach. Coaching leaders cultivate their followers for the times ahead rather than just current business tasks and immediate objectives. Focusing on coaching requires relationship building and constant dialogue that makes clear employee expectations and how their work contributes to the organization’s vision.

Coaching leaders focus on personal development and employee perspective which leads to synergy and team collaboration. Using coaching techniques brings out the best in people so that the people bring out their best in work environments. Whitmore, in his book, Coaching for Performance, agrees that coaching draws out the best in teams and individuals leading to improved performance and productivity. Research has also shown that there is a 21% business improvement when coaching leaders are in action.

As a consultant, I’ve learned that the idea of improved performance and increased productivity is glamourous to many leaders. However, when one must do the work to produce the outcome, glam turns into gloom. Coaching is not gloomy but rather misunderstood.

Let’s breakdown the misnomers of what coaching really is. I’ll start with what it is not.

  1. Coaching is not consulting. Consultants give advice by making strategy recommendations. When consultees receive advice, they are not able to make their own considerations and these experiences decrease their ability to successfully problem solve in the future.
  2. Coaching is not counseling. Counselors are licensed to provide treatment to individuals as a means of healing traumatic past events that act as barriers for reaching the counselees’ potential in the present.
  3. Coaching is not mentoring. Mentoring is sharing experiences, adding value to and abridging the gap between what’s happening in the mentees life now and what the mentee wants to see happen soon.
  4. Coaching is not discipling. Discipling is where one gives advice and/or biblical content. The disciple’s focus is on growing their faith in Christ, obedience to God’s word and spiritual growth. The transformational process stems from a supernatural perspective.

Conversely, coaching is a powerful transformational process where the leader as coach uses the questioning “key” to unlock the personal and professional potential in their followers. This leads to the extraction of the coachees’ barriers, improved thinking, awareness, responsibility, and the ability of the coachee to make stable and sustaining choices for future success.

There is a coach in every leader. It’s time to unleash it.

The Law of Significance

It’s 2015 and my intent is to help groups and organizations build successful teams. Over the next few months, I will discuss and summarize the book, The 17 Indisputable Laws of Teamwork: Embrace Them and Empower Your Team by John C. Maxwell, Published in Nashville, Tennessee by Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2001.

There is no secret that I enjoy working in, building, and developing teams.  My life experiences are real examples of my passion for making a positive impact, particularly with teams of people who work together to accomplish goals.

As a former student-athlete and student leader, I have had a strong appreciation for teamwork.  As a certified leadership speaker, trainer and coach with the John Maxwell Team I work with companies, professional groups, sports teams and nonprofit organizations to equip them for personal and professional growth. I use personality strengths, proven leadership principles and the teamwork laws to take groups to an elevated level of excellence. This leads to positive team relationships fostering genuine connections that ultimately allow teams to reach their vision effectively.

So let’s dig in! Read more

Growth & Leadership

Obtaining The Latter

I constantly remind myself of the belief, “the latter will be greater than the former.”

There are few words to truly describe my final season of indoor track and field as a member and co-captain of the Purdue University Women’s Track & Field Team in 1999.  If I had to assign a label to the physical and mental rigors of being a student-athlete while balancing personal issues, my description would be a culmination of inconsistency, exacerbation, being humbled, pain and stress. Literally, my emotions were all over the place. I recall a period of over three months when I oftentimes found myself sad, angry, and disgusted.  A number of other seemingly gloomy adjectives could easily describe the myriad of emotions that I felt at any given moment.   As a young woman, I held on to a firm belief that I should not physically wear my emotions, so I chose to conceal them.  By my senior year in college, I had become an expert in concealment and a specialist in functioning through my mental dysfunction. There were days that I wanted to “check out” of the reality. I wanted to drink that pain away, isolate myself, and not be responsible for being responsible. But, because I am a woman of faith, I know that God continues to cause my tenacity to increase; and my ability to tactically and tactfully handle, negotiate and commit to the process of obtaining my latter to intensify. Read more

Why Tension is Great: The Proper Tension Creates Remarkable Results

In July 2014, I attended the USA Track & Field (USATF) Level II Coaches Education Certification Program, an intensive week-long training course which focuses on three – sports science,

technical-event specific instruction, and hands-on training. During the training course, I began to reflect on my own athletic career and the lack of biomechanics awareness that I exhibited early in my career as a discus thrower.  As a high school state track and field championship qualifier, my focus was rooted in activating technical instructions from my throws coach, the late Dr. Ira L. Judge.  In doing so, I never questioned physical mechanics and the resultant muscle tension that is required to execute a great throw.

I carried the same instructional driven approach into my collegiate years as an invited walk-on to the Purdue University Women’s Track and Field Team.  My throws coach at Purdue, Gene Edmonds, spent time familiarizing me with techniques that required me to stretch my body in a manner that would have my upper body flow in one direction while my lower body flows in the opposite direction – hence creating tension that would result in the discus whip (a whipping motion that creates a powerful, elongated throw). During my throwing tenure at Purdue, I medaled at the B1G outdoor track and field conference meet four times in the discus throw – earning second place, first place, second place, and third place, respectively. While, after disciplining my body, I was able to implement the proper taut and tight positions and receive extraordinary results, it was not until years later that I began to understand why tension created those great results. Read more