Posts Tagged ‘coaching’

Who Is Your Bill Shover?

Bill Shover is a coach and central character in my story and made an indelible mark on my life.  In fact, he is still an important influence.  The truth is, when I was a 12-year old and met Bill, I was not in a great personal situation.  My father had serious personal challenges and was pretty much out of the picture.  I did not have a lot of reason to be confident in who I was, although from an early age I was mesmerized by sports and spent hours in the front yard shooting hoops and imagining that I was making the final shot to win the NBA championship.

 Bill Shover took me under his wing in the Kachina Little League in 1974.  I got a sense pretty quickly that Bill had a process for what he was doing, a great spirit about what he was up to and a real compassion for the underachiever.  I really felt like I was fortunate to be picked on his team. 

Bill was encouraging and compassionate from the very beginning.  His coaching approach was about working on the fundamentals and understanding the game.  This approach instilled a certain amount of confidence because we kept repeating the fundamentals. 

As Bill and I met recently, (30 years after being coached by him in little league), he recounted this story.  He said, “When I started working with you, you were really not a very good hitter, but if you remember, we kept working and working on the fundamentals and eventually you began to get the bat on the ball and get them into the outfield for some very nice base hits.  You really became a good hitter!”

He also shared that he was coaching his older son in American Legion ball at the time and that he was arm-twisted into taking a team in the minor leagues. Here I thought I had been so blessed to be picked by Bill Shover, but the truth of the matter was he got a minor league team with the bottom of the barrel players (the early version of the Bad News Bears).  Luckily his son TA was a good ballplayer and Bill knew how to make ballplayers out of young boys who were a little lacking in the talent department.

That was an important step in my life.  Through his patience, encouragement, support and process of practicing the fundamentals, I did in fact become a decent hitter.

A really great thing about Bill and his process was that he knew how to have fun.  This is something I have carried through into my life and my executive coaching.  When we have fun, or lightness as I like to call it, we tend to be better learners and are free to bring out our natural energy and talent.

Early on, Bill made it very clear that he was about playing players who worked hard.  This was an expression of one of his values, a critical piece of coaching. I knew if I showed up at practice, worked hard and applied myself, Bill was going to give me my fair share of playing time and perhaps start me, even though I probably was not at the top of the talent list.  Bill rewarded hard work and determination.

All of this led to a greater sense of self worth from my perspective.  It felt good to have a champion like Bill rooting for me in my corner.  He would cheer any time we did something right.  He would also make sure to point out if we missed the mark.  This is another hallmark of a great coach.  They are attentive to details, both the positive details and the details for areas with room for improvement.

I was fortunate enough to have Bill draft me in a second and third season.  By now he knew my commitment to improvement and I knew his system.  I was a loyal fan, and he was a devoted coach helping me improve my baseball skills and personal confidence. 

When Bill and I had lunch recently, he said to me, “I had 334 kids and not one of them tried harder than you.”  Imagine how great that felt and here he is in his 70s, I am in my 40s and he is still coaching me and contributing in a very positive way.  What a special relationship.

Coaching Embraces Transparency and Access to Information

Look at the media, internet, etc.  We pretty much know all there is to know about everybody.  Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, it’s all right there to see.  Part of the story that a coaching leader conveys is that there are no secrets.  Coaching leaders say “Let’s get our performance out in the open so we can see it, be accountable, and find ways to improve.”  One of the cornerstones of a great coaching leader’s organization is that everyone is accountable for their piece of the puzzle and we can all see each other’s pieces.  Not that we want to make anyone wrong or find blame, on the contrary if we are going to be a great team it is critical that we all know what everyone is doing.

Coaching is an accelerator for learning and development.  If it is, in fact, a very competitive world, and we must continue to get better, then we must find the best tool to help us get better.  That is coaching.  Coaching is all about:

  • Accelerating development,
  • Holding people accountable for results, and
  • Winning in the marketplace.

Technology and systems are important, but the most important resources in an organization is human capital.  It is one of the resources that is the trickiest to impact and again why coaching is so critically important.

  • Posted by Coach Pete
  • Tuesday, August 31st, 2010
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Leadership and Competition

Opportunity for a New Form of Leadership

By now we have a clearer picture about the world in which we lead.  In every crisis is an opportunity.  People are looking for teachers and a beacon of light in this tumultuous world.  Leaders who can understand this opportunity and adjust to the new form of leader will create the most competitively vibrant teams and financially successful organizations.  In my new book you will learn about the coaching leader.  This new form of leader knows how to inspire, engage and hold people accountable to higher levels of performance and business results.  But more importantly, in the coaching and development process, both leaders and team members experience a much higher level of personal satisfaction and reward for their work.  Coaching is deeply rooted in helping people understand their true talents, gifts and how to use those to reach their potential.  This new form of leadership will create higher business results and greater levels of personal satisfaction for you and your team’s needs. 

Competitive World

It is a competitive world. Just look around,  you see new organizations popping up all of the time and at the same time you see old stalwarts like General Motors, that we thought were unbeatable, falling to the wayside.  It is an extremely competitive world.  Survival of the fittest is really what it comes down to in our economic system. Believing that there is room for charity or keeping organizations around for sentimental value is unrealistic. Only the most effective, competitive and profitable organizations will succeed.  The sooner we understand that as leaders, and the sooner we can convey that message to our staff in a way that they can hear it; the better off we are all going to be. 

Average equals extinction is reality. Think about it, if you are only maintaining the status quo; you are probably not going to survive.  So the challenge from a leadership perspective is to continually have your organization staying ahead of the pack.

 How do you do that?  That is why coaching is so critically important.  Coaching focuses on performance, improvement and potential.  Getting better and higher levels of performance really isn’t an option anymore.  It is the only option!  I am not saying that the highly competitive world is the right world, but it is the world we live in as business leaders today.  To deny that reality would be poor business strategy. 

You would be better off to understand that this is the world we are in and the sooner you can create a highly effective and competitive team, the sooner you are going to enjoy success, profitability, loyalty and retention.

Why we avoid difficult conversations

The most common challenges that we see in teams and organizations is the avoidance of difficult conversations.

The top reasons people avoid difficult conversations:

#1.  They are afraid they might open a big “can of worms”

#2.  They think that what they’re going to say might hurt someone

#3.  They don’t believe saying anything is going to make a difference

#4.  They think based upon the history with this person nothing will change

#5.  They are afraid of the emotions will come up

Here’s the five Coaching perspectives we take about those reasons:

#1.  True you may open some sort of can of worms, but remember ignoring problems generally don’t make them go away.  In fact there’s that old saying that when it gets buried, it’s going to cause an even bigger crater when it blows up!

#2.  You can’t control how someone else feels about what you’re going to say.  What you can control is how you say it like with some compassion and thoughtfulness.  Sometimes people do get a little bit hurt by what we have to say but we still need to say it and solve our problems and differences.  Not doing so usually causes bigger problems like people leaving the relationship (or organization).

#3.  Again, if you spend a little time and learn how to deliver hard messages that may actually impact whether your message is going to make a difference.  Secondly, one of the most common sources of frustration is the stuff we hold back and don’t communicate about.  So even if it’s not going to make a difference there is still value in getting it off your chest (remember when you do it correctly!)

#4.  You never know when one more hit of the hammer is going to knock down the whole wall.  Don’t give up on people and don’t ever stop saying what you need to say.  You can’t predict based upon people’s moods, emotions, and current life situation, when one of the things you’re going to say is going to finally make a difference.

#5.  Emotions do come up and quite honestly shouldn’t be avoided.  They don’t have to be all messy and uncontrollable.  Emotions are real and something we have to deal with.  Once dealt with it can make all the difference in the world.  Don’t forget a little emotional intelligence coaching wouldn’t hurt now and then either.

If all else fails, why don’t you let us do one of our Difficult Conversations Coaching Workouts led by Master Certified Coach, Pete Walsh.

Coaching – A Sacred Trust

One of the greatest coaches of all times, John Wooden, (lead UCLA men’s basketball team to 7 consecutive championships) knew how important it was to be trusted as a Coach.  Here’s what he said “I considered it a sacred trust: helping to mold character, instill productive principles and values, and provide a positive example for those under my supervision”.  He obviously knew something about Coaching!

We incorporate many of the all-time great Coach’s philosophies into our CEO Coaching, Leadership Coaching and Family Business Coaching.

Top 5 ways to be a trusted Coach and achieve peak performance:

#1.  Model the way (right actions, attitude, determination)

#2.  Listen – the only way to understand what motivates your followers

#3.  Show you care – pay attention and ask about the details of their lives

#4.  Be consistent – reliability is the center of trust

#5.  Expect greatness from your followers before they even believe in it

Great coaches are coaching ALL of the time!

One of the most common mistakes I see leaders make is sitting down with some of their key performers infrequently and sporadically to discuss performance issues either positive or negative.

Great Coaches are Coaching all of the time!

Let me say that again – Great Coaches are Coaching all of the time!

If you’re going to be the kind of leader that inspires great levels of effort, performance and results, you have to be Coaching all of the time.  Frequency, consistency in your tone, message energy, and attention to detail – all of those things are going to add up to a great Coaching and great performance.

Tiger Woods Modifies His Swing Again

Many of you know a golf addict who, needless to say, was watching Tiger Woods in route to another victory at the Memorial tournament two weeks ago.  The commentator said “that swing change that Tiger made is why he’s hit every fairway this weekend.” In fact they went on to show viewers the video of the slight but high impact change Tiger made.

So once again — here’s the lesson.  The great ones never stop learning and modifying their approach!  Here is a guy once again who is arguably the best on the planet AND he pushes himself to find new ways to be even more effective.

I see two kinds of leaders in my executive coaching practice.  There are leaders who have an unwavering commitment to learning and developing new ways of leading in this challenging time, and also leaders who think they know leadership and are spending energy begrudging the changing world and workforce.

Which are you?  Maybe you should think about changing your swing.

  • Posted by Coach Pete
  • Monday, June 28th, 2010
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More Peak Performance in Business – Ric's Auto Body

I’m not exaggerating when I say that Ric’s provides the most impeccable service I have ever come across.  I have an eye for business performance and superior service and Ric’s has delivered time and time again.

Here are the fundamentals.  They do what they say they’re going to do, when they say they’re going to do it.  Wow, you would think the formula was more complicated than that, but it isn’t.  Yet most businesses screw it up several times along the way. Read the rest of this entry »