Archive for December, 2011

Coaching Pitfall – Overemphasis on Money

Some organizations talk about wanting to grow and develop people, but at the end of the day, all of the decisions seem to be made relative to finances and shareholder value.  If we go back to the trust issue that we talked about early on, if people do not trust you they are not going to allow you to coach them. 

When a company puts too much emphasis on finances, the coaching never feels genuine or takes hold.

Coaching Pitfall – No Patience to Allow Coaching to Develop, “It Takes Too Long” Attitude

I hear this from a lot of leaders.  I believe this is the wrong way of looking at it.  Yes, it does take you a few more minutes to coach than it does to manage or to just do it yourself.  Remember, coaching is about building capacity in others.  The investment and time you make on coaching should pay major dividends down the road.

Coaching is not a quick fix. It is a mindset and general philosophy about leadership and business. If you do not have the patience or fundamentally do not believe in coaching, do something else.

Coaching Pitfall – The Uncoachable

This is the person who is so stubborn and hard headed that they just won’t be open to new ideas and new ways of doing things.  I do not know why some people are so damn stuck in their ways.  One of my first teachers said, “Why is a booby prize!”  In other words, it is not worth looking for why people do certain things. 

There are people I have come across over the years who just seem uncoachable.  They are not open to new ways of doing things.  For a while they will tell you that they are willing to change, and they will pretend like they are, but they never really commit to anything different.  Do not waste your time coaching those people.

One test we use for this is “How hard am I working on the coaching?” If you are working a lot harder than the Coachee, something is wrong. The Coachee should be the one breaking a sweat!

Coaching Pitfall – Keeping Poor Performers

One of the cultural contexts of our country is loyalty and fairness.  Both of these are wonderful qualities, but as we get into the ultra competitive world we are in today, we may not have the luxury of keeping poor performers.

This person has been with the CEO from the very early stages of the company, they are now one of our most long-term and loyal employees, but for any number of reasons their skill set and ability has not kept up with the complexity of the company or the competitive market. The company has tried to coach the person. They may have even tried reassignment, but this person is not able to perform at a level that is required today.  It is time to manage this person out of the business.

Deliberate Practice – Reflection


Shut off all of your electronics and take some time to REFLECT on what you have accomplished in 2011 and set some goals for 2012.  Really reflect on what you did well and where you have room for improvement.  Don’t take the easy way out and say that you did everything well in 2011 and there is nothing that you should work on in 2012.  You and I both know that would be a LIE!!!  Is that really how you want to start out the new year? If you really want to challenge yourself, go a step further and ask a co-worker, friend or mentor to hold you accountable on what you have committed to for 2012.