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One of my earliest memories of a coach was back in middle school. It was that small East Texas town where I met the man that seemed larger than life. If I remember him correctly, he was a little overweight (I am being kind), he wore nylon coaches shorts, chewed tobacco all of the time (his lip and chin were stained due to the tobacco juice that dripped from his mouth.) and had a way of instilling fear in young boys who wanted to play on the JV Football team. When I think of him now, I think that we followed his rules more out of fear than a desire to be better at football.

Looking back at my interaction with this coach, I am sure that he provided many encouraging words for each of us as we imagined ourselves playing in the NFL and catching passes from Roger Staubach, however, the only thing that I remember from his coaching, as I mentioned, was fear and running. I think that making us run was a way to prepare us for life as an adult. Or, it was his way of torturing us. I often wonder if coaches for youth sports are more focused on winning a trophy or if they recognize the impact they have on the lives they are coaching.

Today my idea of a coach is different than this early memory. As I travel and meet with leaders, I have found that everyone should have someone that is in their life that fills the role of a coach. I know that in my life I have a personal life coach that in his words “calls me on my crap.” I believe in personal coaching so much that I decided to get trained so I could coach leaders and be that encourager. This idea of a personal coach has helped me recognize the importance of assisting the person to become the best that they can be, living up to their greatest potential.

This week I wanted to share a few benefits that I think a coach would provide for you as a leader.

  • First, a coach can assist you in having clarity and focus. This is not just for your personal life but also for your team. Having someone who sees things from the “outside” allows for a greater view of the situation.
  • Second, a coach can assist you in defining goals and assist in developing a plan to turn those ideas into a reality. A coach can ask the correct questions and help you narrow down the many ideas into a few reachable goals.
  • Another benefit that I receive from coaching is that it helps me to expand my creativity. Just the ability to have a discussion with someone who cares about my success yet can speak freely into my life, and is not affected by my decisions, allows me to be more creative. The part of not being affected by my decisions allows for non-bias opinions and allows for fresh thoughts.
  • In addition to the above, I would add that the ideal coach can help you to see the opportunities instead of focusing on the problems which can result in a happier and more successful life.

The bottom line is that we as leaders need to have someone in our life to assist us to become the best we can be. Even if you are only a partial sports enthusiast, you recognize that the greatest athlete has a need for a coach in order for them to reach their full potential. If this is the case with an athlete, just think how coaching could help you to be the best leader possible?

My leadership challenge for you today is to consider getting a coach. Look into finding that person that can assist you in becoming the best leader that you can be.

If you are interested in taking it to the next level, and you realize that a coach can help you, send me a message and will help you find the right coach. I promise that he (or she) will not wear nylon shorts, nor will they have tobacco stains on their lower lip.