I was visiting with a friend who trains coaches. He said he asks three questions:
Why do you coach?
Why do you coach the way you do?
What does it feel like to be coached by you?
I regard coach to be interchangeable with leader. And leader to be interchangeable with teacher. So, you could substitute lead or teach into each of those questions and consider them.
Here’s what intrigues my about the questions.
Many times, the answer to the question are these:
I lead because I have to do so, not because I want to do so.
I lead the way I do by choosing ways that I’ve been led.
I’m not really sure I know what it feels like to be led by me. I haven’t asked.
My friend tells me that coaches looking at these questions for the first time are often radically changed.
Considering why it’s worth leading effectively can add purpose to your approach. Leadership is so critical to life success, it can’t be relegated to a “necessary” evil.
If leadership is purposeful, you won’t rely on life experience to be your sole material for cultivating your methods. There are “effective practices” out there. A leader committed to becoming effective searches for them and implements them. A leader is always looking for another edge. Why do you lead the way you do? Because I’ve worked hard to learn all I can and use it. My journey in leadership never ends.
Finally, how does it feel to be coached by me? At the end, that’s the most important question. One effectively led, coached or taught reports that improvement was accomplished. That change occurred. That there is gratitude for the relationship.
Ask yourself the questions. Do you accept leadership as a priority? Do you have a plan for being an effective leader as well as continuing to develop?
Do people in your leadership charge report your leadership made a difference and they are appreciative of the relationship?
PalletOne CEO Howe Wallace
Since 2005, he has been sharing his thoughts on the organization, leadership, and communication in an online daily note to teammates called Daily with HQ.