Bill Gates once said, “Everyone needs a coach. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a basketball player, a tennis player, a gymnast or a bridge player.” This applies in leadership as well. Coaching can take you to the next level. Why struggle with issues and challenges by yourself? I didn’t hire my own coach until later in my career. My coach helped me through a really tough time in my career and I owe her a big debt of gratitude. She helped me gain perspective on the situation, helped me see that I was holding myself back and restored my confidence. How could things have been different if I had found her earlier in my career? Maybe I wouldn’t have been ready for coaching at that point, but looking back now, I know it would have really helped me.
Going through the coaching experience helped me, but it also changed me as a leader. I learned how to lead in a completely different way and take on a coaching style of leadership. I listened and asked more questions when I met with my team. This approach gave my team the opportunities to show their leadership, ideas and capabilities to others. It was empowering for them and I could see them developing their leadership skills every day. I had become the type of leader that I had always wanted to be and it was all due to coaching.
What type of leadership style do you use with your team? Would you characterize your leadership style as one that incorporates coaching? Would you be open to trying it? It will require you to let go of giving out directions and having all the answers. Instead you can start listening to your team and asking more questions. You could be the leader who coaches your team to do their best and helps them grow immensely. Wouldn’t this be empowering for you and your team?
I am a huge advocate (as you can probably tell) for this type of leadership style, because I have seen the difference it can make for you as the leader and for your team. I will be sharing more on this topic over the next few days. If you would like to work with me as your coach to shift your leadership style, just let me know and we can make that happen.