Posts Tagged ‘coaching leader’

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 – 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.

Coaching Pitfalls and Joe Paterno

Joe Paterno’s situation amplifies pitfall #8 from Coach to Win the Leadership Game…Assistant coaches who betray the coach’s core values.

8. Misaligned Assistants
I have worked with organizations that have senior executives who are able to model the company’s values, yet allow a few of their mid-level managers to act in ways that are not in alignment with company stated values. The most common reason for this is that the mid-level managers are technically excellent or produce high levels of financial results, but are unable to model the company’s values.
You can see the slippery slope this creates for senior executives. This behavior sends the message, “We really believe in our core values and want everyone to follow them but when it comes down to it we are tolerating misalignment because certain people produce great (technical or financial) results and we are unwilling to draw a line in the sand.” That is a recipe for disaster from a leadership standpoint.

Stay tuned since we will discuss the other 7 pitfalls that will undermine coaching!

Deliberate Practice – Be Reflective (Steve Jobs)

Like so many leaders, business people and other human beings, I was spending time in the last 24 hours reflecting upon the life and leadership lessons we could all learn from Steve Jobs. In this 2 minute video I share what I learned.

How can we use what we learned from him to be better leaders and human beings?  He encouraged everyone to follow their heart and their intuition because they already know who you want to become.  That is pretty powerful!  He also tells us to love what you do and it will keep getting better everyday.  Do you love what you do?

Take some time and be reflective on what you could learn from Steve Jobs and how you might use it as a coaching leader to keep getting better.

Small Business Challenges

The biggest challenge I see my small business clients facing is leadership in the “new normal” business climate.  Their staffs are constantly bombarded with negative economic news, mounting economic pressures and increased workloads.

Leaders need to find a way to help their teams be focused, resilient and ready to compete in this new economy.  The brain scientists have proven that stress seriously limits people’s access to their own creativity and effectiveness.  Today’s business leader needs to understand how to create the right mindset, mood and messages that will create a focused and highly competitive business team.  Most small business owners reach their position because of their passion for the business, not their the leadership prowess.  The most successful leaders know their team’s winning record will be a direct result of their leadership effectiveness.

Leaders who can become Coaching Leaders will learn from the best lessons of effective sports coaches. They’ll learn how to coach people to be more successful and competitive and at the same time build loyal teams. When you are a demanding boss you are a jerk…when you are a demanding coach you are respected and loved. Think about it.

The Best Play of the Year Goes Unnoticed All Too Often

I can’t tell you how many times I see this scenario play out.  My client this morning recounted an exciting moment and breakthrough with his boss.  His boss spoke in their meeting in a way that showed great clarity, leadership and vision.  My client reported that ,”it was a watershed moment” in the boss’ leadership.

My question –  Did you take time to acknowledge the boss so that he knows how great he did???

The answer (the same answer I hear way too often).  No I didn’t (acknowledge him).

This could be a great teaching and learning moment for the boss.  It could be a case of unconscious competent  for the boss. You know, that moment where he hit the target, and he’s not sure what he did to hit it.

So if my client goes back to his boss and acknowledges him (not a thank you, but an acknowledgement) the boss may have a chance to repeat the same action more often.

When anyone in your life; coworker, spouse, significant other, or child, does something that you think is great you should take the opportunity to acknowledge them for their success.  By acknowledging the behavior, and doing it in a way that is very specific, you take a giant step towards building their confidence and reinforcing the behavior.

Think about it.  How often do you make a conscious effort to acknowledge good effort from others?  Why don’t you do it more often?  What would be the impact if you were more mindful and deliberate about acknowledging right behaviors and techniques with others?  What would happen to your team?  What would happen to you as a leader?

Great coaching leaders are constantly acknowledging good behavior as a method of reinforcing and deepening the learning.  Acknowledgment is the positive side of feedback.  Coaching leaders are consistent and well versed in both the positive side (acknowledgment) and the constructive side coaching for performance.  A good balance of both will build stronger performance, loyalty and business results.

Coaching Leaders give acknowledgments not thank yous

Acknowledgment is a form of feedback coaching leaders use to reinforce right behaviors, mindset and technique.  Many times we see “thank yous” handed out but they are not nearly as effective as a well constructed acknowledgment.

Let’s explore this further.  For demonstration, let’s pretend I am the leader of a team of project managers in a construction company.  At this morning’s meeting one of my project managers, Carl, spoke up and showed his support for the new project management software we’re trying to implement.

After the meeting I go to Carl and say that ”thank you for standing up and showing support for the new software I really appreciate that,” (a typical thank you handed out by a leader when they have the presence of mind to give a thank you).  Thank yous can be easily deflected by the recipient and have little impact.

Now listen to an acknowledgment:

I go to Carl and say, “I want to acknowledge you for showing your support of the new software.  By standing up, you demonstrated leadership and courage and commitment to our ongoing change initiative.  The difference that made was that it helped me as a leader and I’m sure helped convince others of the value of the new software.”

Acknowledgment focuses on the qualities someone demonstrated and the impact it has.  Unlike a thank you, a well-crafted acknowledgment is harder to quickly dismiss and reinforces the qualities you’re looking for in your team members.  Coaching leaders know the difference between acknowledgments and thank yous and use acknowledgements as one of their primary tools for building right behaviors and right mindsets.

Commit to practicing giving acknowledgements.  You’ll build better business results, lasting behaviors, loyalty and commitment from your team.

  • Posted by Coach Pete
  • Wednesday, August 17th, 2011
  • Comments Off on Coaching Leaders give acknowledgments not thank yous

What does the World Cup have to do with leadership?

Fresh off the excitement of the USA Soccer World Cup victory in the semi-final match last week, I am feeling like I need to reach out to all of the leaders in the world.  Well, maybe not in the world, but at least in my blog world. 

There is so much to be learned from the Team and the Coaches!  Just like our teams in the boardroom or the office, we simply must work together to achieve our goals.  There cannot be one star on the team to get us where we need to go long term.  Today we saw 11 stars on the field putting their egos, personal biases, and feelings about any coaching decisions aside.  These 11 amazing athletes use some of the same skills we have mentioned in our blogs and bookDeliberate practice, direct feedback, listening, honesty, trust and teamwork, to name a few.  We should follow their lead and try some of them at work.

As a leader, can you imagine coaching these athletes?  They are the best of the best.  They have been doing this for years.  What could you possibly add to their game?  How do you get them to play as one?  So far it appears that their Coach has the answers to these questions.  A commentator mentioned the other day that the Coach changed the style of play from previous coaches.  That was a daring move, but she has different players than they did years ago.  Once she recognized that, she decided to focus more on skill that purely athleticism.  This would be a change for some of the veteran members of the squad.  How the Coaches presented these changes and helped the players adapt can make a big difference to their ultimate success.  She has carefully chosen her starting line-up and substitutions, prepared the team mentally and physically, and then, most importantly, she lets them play the game.  This is an important leadership lesson that we need to be reminded of sometimes.  Coach your employees, don’t boss them!  Give them the tools they need to succeed and offer them feedback as needed.  Many athletes and employees have said that they would do absolutely anything for their Coach or boss because of how that person has inspired and respected them. 

Would your “team” say that about you?  Our book, Coach to Win the Leadership Game, has a clear, step by step strategy to help you be the coaching leader your team deserves!

Coaching Leader Quality 18 – Ability to Be Innovative and Creative

When we study many of the greatest coaches, we see that they were pioneers in the way they approached their craft.  Lee Strasbergmade actors go to deep dark places within themselves to find their voice.  Bill Walsh of the San Francisco Forty Niners, National Football League, invented a fast and short passing style that revolutionized the game and became known as “The West Coast” offense.

Great coaching leaders are not afraid to blaze a new trail in their profession, in fact, they see it as a big part of who they are.   For some this innovation is a result of one of their other qualities such as drive for achievement or resilience.  Any way you get there, you might think about your level of innovation and creativity.

  • Posted by Coach Pete
  • Tuesday, December 21st, 2010
  • Comments Off on Coaching Leader Quality 18 – Ability to Be Innovative and Creative