Archive for November, 2010

Coaching Leader Quality 12 – Ability to Be Consistent

Consistency is going to be a key contributor to both trust and high levels of results.  The bottom line is that excellence comes through consistency.  Consistency in your word, energy, attention to detail, and focus on results are essential to being a coaching leader.  You’ve got to be consistent if you are going to produce high results.

See full size image John Wooden, head coach of the UCLA men’s basketball team and one of the most respected and successful coaches of the 20th century, was known for his impeccable consistency about every aspect of the team’s practice and game preparation.  Wooden’s teams won an unprecedented ten national championships over a twelve year span.

Coaching Leader Quality 11 – Always Come From a Coaching Mindset

A coaching mindset is always resilient, optimistic, and looking to close the gaps needed for a higher level performance.  If you listen to great coaches, the lens they look through is always about what went well and what can improve.  It is usually a balance between those two and never too one-sided.  A coach knows that you should never think that you have reached perfection, but at the same time, if you are too critical and negative you will not foster confidence and determination.

Coaching Leader Quality 10 – Know How to Hold People Accountable

Great coaching leaders know how to hold people accountable in a way that is firm yet fair, though not unreasonable and demanding.  You get the picture?  If we are going to achieve high results then we obviously have to be very good at creating accountability.

Troy Aikman, the former quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys, tells a great story about Coach Jimmy Johnson’s ability to hold people accountable.  After winning their first play-off game in years, Aikman was detained by jubilant reports.  Coach Johnson, realizing that the team’s star performer was not on the bus on time, instructed the driver to leave the stadium.  Aikman said that he was never late for the bus again.

Coaching Leader Quality 9 – Ability to Articulate a Clear, Compelling Vision

A great coaching leader creates a clear and compelling vision that inspires unprecedented levels of creativity and performance.  They know the power of words and use them masterfully to declare new and bold futures for the team.
Take President John F. Kennedy’s famous declaration, “We will put a man on the moon by the end of the decade,” as a powerful example. Many who were involved later confessed, “we had no idea how we were going to get it done, but we somehow rose to his challenge.” Great coaching leaders create compelling visions that inspire their teams. 

Coach to Win the Leadership Game

Pete Walsh's new book cover

Our new book is now available to order online at or

Coaching Leader Quality 8 – Strong Communication Skills

Communication skills are at the heart of great coaching. Great coaching leaders have the ability to convey not only the big picture vision, but also the minute details of techniques.

Communication skills obviously are critical in relation to creating accountability and drive for excellence. 

Coaching leaders are constantly reinforcing key messages that focus energy and effort on winning in the marketplace.

Communication skills include being a good listener.  Coaching leaders are constantly listening to their team members and the team energy overall as they develop and decide upon the right messages to help their team succeed.


Coaching Leader Quality 7 – Emotional Intelligence

Great coaching leaders develop strong emotional intelligence. They know that reading people, connecting, and maintaining healthy relationship energy is the key to trust, commitment, and high-level performance.

In his groundbreaking research, Daniel Goleman proves that emotional intelligence can be developed and learned. Specifically, two competencies are critical to the coaching leaders. Empathy is about being able to connect with others and understand their concerns and motivators. Nurturing relationships is being able to develop meaningful and emotionally rewarding relationships that endure over time. If you want to be a successful coaching leader, you will develop these two competencies along with the other three competencies: emotional self-regulation, emotional motivation, and emotional awareness.

Coaching Leaders Quality 6 – Has a Strong Achievement Drive

Great coaches are great pace setters. They are the ones who want it as much or more than anyone on the team. That kind of energy is contagious! The drive for excellence shows up in every-thing they do. Great coaching leaders are rarely distracted or discouraged in the face of adversity. They lead by example in terms of their own willingness to continually stretch themselves and their team. I think one of the great bonuses of being a coaching leader is that you always get to be holding the mirror up and working on yourself as well. For some of you that may not be very appealing! The bottom line is that great coaching leaders have an unending desire to get better, and they know that the quickest way to ruin a coaching relationship is to not practice what they preach.

That is not to say that you cannot show your faults. Transparency is a very important and endearing quality of great coaches. It is not to say that you are not going to have a breakdown or letdown occasionally. How you handle them will be very critical to your success, and will show determination and commitment to the vision at all times. Just be real; you can have faults.

So when I say, “working on you,” I am not saying that you have to be perfect, but you should expect of yourself what you expect of your teammates. Those expectations may be hard work, determination, focus, and professionalism.

If you are going to have a coaching culture and be a coaching leader, I would suggest that you engage in a formal coaching relationship. One of the best insights I received in my career was from a mentor, Larry Snead. He told me, “The organization mirrors the leaders.” As a coach, your team is only going to be as good as you are. You are the center spoke of a wider wheel, so keep working on you. 

Consider getting your own coach to help you work on you, and also consider giving others in your organization permission to coach you. Your humanness and transparency will be one of  the greatest ways to endear yourself to your team and build a high level of respect for you.

Coach to Win the Leadership Game

The book is out!  What an amazing process to write my book, Coach to Win the Leadership Game.  It will be available online at and other online book sites soon.  Stay tuned!

Here is your sneak peek –

  • Posted by Pete Walsh
  • Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010
  • 1 Comment »

Coaching Leader Quality 5 – Produces High Levels of Personal Results

There is something I have always believed: you cannot teach what you do not know. In coaching, as in most things in life, if you are unable to personally produce a high level of results, those around you are not going to have great respect for you as a coach or as a leader. That does not mean that you have to produce the same type of results and the same type of work that those you are coaching produce, but you do have to produce at a high level in the things you are responsible for. You need to be able to model high-level performance if you are going to ask for it from others. If you were previously a high-level producer in the type of work that the people you are coaching do, that is even better, but not essential. The bottom line is you’ve got to be able to produce at a high level to garner the respect of the people you are coaching.