Posts Tagged ‘executive coaching’

Reviewing the game film – toxic, high maintenance superstars

I have the privilege of providing executive coaching to many successful leadership teams.  One team in particular that I have been working with over the past several years, had a noticeable breakthrough.  In our recent group coaching session it became glaringly evident that the departure of one of the leaders in the past year created a huge shift in energy, communication and teamwork. 

As we reviewed the game film (a process I use to make them accountable for results by reflecting and recounting their leadership performance) they all began to talk about how they had shut down, communicated less and worked in silos as a result of one leader’s isolationist mindset. 

Here’s the lesson –  Great coaching leaders identify and extract people from their team who don’t have the right mindset,  mood or team approach.  As it turned out the former toxic leader had some outstanding technical skills which, unfortunately, led to the CEO keeping him around longer than he should have. 

In the sports world, Bill Belichick recently threw Randy Moss off the New England Patriots. Moss is admittedly one of the most talented receivers in the league, but unfortunately he’s also one of the most corrosive and disruptive players to team dynamics.  Belichick was courageous and decisive about the team’s values and knew Moss had to go. 

As I sat there listening to my client, I thought about how much time and energy was lost as the CEO tolerated the wrong attitude and mindset.  Eventually, other factors led to the exit of the isolationist leader,  but it should have happened faster.

Great coaching leaders understand the intangibles– team chemistry, having like minded people and not tolerating high maintenance superstars.

I’m going to take this lesson and continue to push and challenge my other CEOs to be more courageous faster!

  • Posted by Coach Pete
  • Wednesday, December 15th, 2010
  • Comments Off on Reviewing the game film – toxic, high maintenance superstars

The 20 Qualities of a Coaching Leader

As a business leader, and an executive coach for more than 25 years, I have found that there are 20 qualities that emerge as the most critically important to be an effective coaching leader.

As you review each of these qualities think about whether or not the quality is:

  • An inherent strength (comes naturally to you)
  • A quality you possess (but have had to learn)
  • A quality you need to develop (not present yet)

As your coach, I believe you can develop any of these qualities.  I also believe that you will need to be aware and practice all of these qualities to achieve greatness.

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.

Effective Communication is the cornerstone of business performance

One of the backdrops of coaching and business coaching is performance.  Executive coaching and business coaching are designed to help participants find new awareness, techniques, and strategies so they can be more effective at what they do and reach higher levels of performance.

To be in a position to evaluate performance, we must first be able to define performance.  In the business world there are several ways to measure performance including:

  • Profitability and financial strength
  • Customer/client satisfaction and retention
  • Market share in comparison to the overall market

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