Discover The Coach Within You

Written by Len McNally

Discover The Coach Within You

One ofrepparttar three basic roles of leadership isrepparttar 140678 coach or mentor. The best boss is oftenrepparttar 140679 best coach. (See: In sportsrepparttar 140680 coach is very conscious of his role but inrepparttar 140681 business world most coaching is unconscious or even accidental.

Just as many a dad learned to coach by jumping in with his son's baseball or hockey team or his daughter's basketball team most manager / coaches learnedrepparttar 140682 art through a baptism of fire. In recent years most sports organizations have begun to require some form of certification for coaches but even though there are several national and international organizations of business coaches, there is still no universal standard, even for professionals. The amateurs, encompassing almost every executive inrepparttar 140683 world, forrepparttar 140684 most part don't even realize what they are doing.

I have known executives who were great coaches who looked at me a little oddly when I told them so, but with a little introspection most come to realize that coaching is really what they do. Coaching is simplyrepparttar 140685 process of helping someone to become more ofrepparttar 140686 best he or she can be.

Most executives can improve their coaching skills with just a little effort and guidance from a professional. I'm often amazed atrepparttar 140687 performance increase that happens through focus alone, and focus with analysis, and constructive feedback from someone who knows what to look for -- well, have you ever gone to a golf pro, with a wicked slice that turned out to be simple to cure? I did, after years of playing out ofrepparttar 140688 adjacent fairway most ofrepparttar 140689 time!

Like many things inrepparttar 140690 business coaching is often learned onrepparttar 140691 job. I have learned a great deal about coaching from reading dozens of books onrepparttar 140692 subject but I also learned a lot from working for someone who was a great coach and mentor and I still learn every day fromrepparttar 140693 experience of coaching. You will find that, if you jump in with both feet, you will discoverrepparttar 140694 coach within -- and enjoy it!

So simply recognizing that you are a coach and applying a little of what you know from sports will make a big difference in your performance -- and inrepparttar 140695 performance of your people -- but a little "one on one" with your own coach might be a huge help. Until you get that opportunity, I sincerely hope that some ofrepparttar 140696 tips in this articles will get you started inrepparttar 140697 right direction.

Coaching A Team

Just as in sports there is a huge difference inrepparttar 140698 approach to coaching an individual, such as a golfer or tennis player and coaching a group or team as in baseball or hockey, so too is there a difference inrepparttar 140699 business world. Coaching a true team in business can be a rather complex business, often its even difficult to determine when a group really is a team and when it is not. Forrepparttar 140700 purpose of this discussion I am going to assume we are talking about a true team and trustrepparttar 140701 pieces to fall into place automatically. (Or perhaps with a little coaching?) (See )

For a team to be effective, it should be aware that it is a team (most ofrepparttar 140702 time) and all members should be committed to team objectives. Just as a ball player can receive major attention as a base stealer, an individual may stand out on a manufacturing team, but efforts must be seen to contribute to team goals and every one should recognize that every team member is necessary. (Whenever we can get along without someone, we should!)

Atrepparttar 140703 risk of pointing outrepparttar 140704 obvious (experience suggests thatrepparttar 140705 obvious often isn't) every team member should be aware ofrepparttar 140706 team's goals, objectives, and deadlines as well as of his or her role and whatrepparttar 140707 team expects from him or her, and what support resources are available. I am surprised at how often I find that shop floor people and even supervisors have no idea ofrepparttar 140708 goals of their team, department or branch and no idea of how performance is being measured.

The coach must always recognizerepparttar 140709 contribution ofrepparttar 140710 superstar but smaller contributions should also receive recognition and praise andrepparttar 140711 coach should encouragerepparttar 140712 superstar to acknowledgerepparttar 140713 efforts of those who support him as well. It isn't necessary to rave about great performance, it can be quiet and subtle but in many cases it should be public while keeping in mindrepparttar 140714 need to avoid embarrassing anyone. A good standard is to always criticize in private and often praise in public.

Leadership From The Top Floor To The Shop Floor

Another thing I often find is that managers are totally unaware ofrepparttar 140715 extent to which they are emulated by their subordinates. I heard a story about a clerk in a retail store who was called up in front ofrepparttar 140716 store manager after being rude to a customer. When asked for an explanation he shrugged and said, "Well ... that's how my bosses speak to me..." When people are treated with dignity and respect, they tend to treat othersrepparttar 140717 same way, and when they are treated as though they are too stupid to understand basic concepts they dorepparttar 140718 same with others -- and often takerepparttar 140719 attitude home.

I have seen concrete examples of companies where I could spend an hour onrepparttar 140720 shop floor and form a very good idea of whatrepparttar 140721 CEO was like and how he dealt with his senior people.


A Task Force is a Team That Recommends Things. It differs from other teams in several ways. First, and perhaps most importantly, a Task Force usually does not haverepparttar 140722 power or final say so in implementing action. Ratherrepparttar 140723 team examines all possibilities, evaluatesrepparttar 140724 pro's and cons from an unbiased perspective, and presents a report to a decision maker or decision making group with recommendations for action or no action.

A Task Force can be set up to look at one issue only or as an ongoing project to focus on specific objectives. For example a Task Force could be set up to determinerepparttar 140725 future of a specific branch operation in which it might recommend, closure ofrepparttar 140726 branch, sale ofrepparttar 140727 branch, re-equipingrepparttar 140728 branch, changingrepparttar 140729 focus ofrepparttar 140730 branch or even of maintainingrepparttar 140731 status quo. Once it's recommendations have been made -- perhaps torepparttar 140732 board of directors --repparttar 140733 Task Force is disbanded.

In another case a Task Force Could be set up to examine Health and Safety issues in a manufacturing facility in which case pertinent issues and concerns would be examined and evaluated, recommendations could be made on an on going basis for several months to establish broad guidelines and set up a policy and procedure manual andrepparttar 140734 Task Force could remain in existence on an ad hoc basis for several additional months and then be replaced by a Health and Safety Committee (a different kind of team) to oversee developments.

The Crisis Of Modernity

Written by Len McNally


Sincerepparttar beginning ofrepparttar 140677 industrial era our world has been facing what some historians call an ongoing "crisis of modernity". As fast as we adjust to new circumstances,repparttar 140678 circumstances change again, and,repparttar 140679 rate of change seems to be multiplying exponentially. Of allrepparttar 140680 demands imposed by twenty first century leadership, perhapsrepparttar 140681 toughest isrepparttar 140682 ability to not only manage change but to instigate it, control it and to be it's master. Dealing withrepparttar 140683 ever increasing rate of change may berepparttar 140684 leader's most potentially overwhelming task. Today's Change Agent is an agressive forward thinker.

The Industrial Age was supplanted byrepparttar 140685 Information Age andrepparttar 140686 Electronic Information Age has made even that seem like kindergarten stuff. The instant availability of information on virtually any subject has eroded our ability to pause, analyze and reason alternatives. Inrepparttar 140687 manufacturing world where only a few years ago, "better late than never" wasrepparttar 140688 watchword, todayrepparttar 140689 word is "better never than late." If your new product isn't first to market - forget it -repparttar 140690 chances of recouping R&D costs are just about nil.

We demand instant everything

Even beyond new product development, our customers expect instant response to every request. They demand that we be on our toes, ready and able to provide order status information NOW! They also expect us to deal with changes in specifications, quantity and scheduling without a hitch - and with no surcharge.

Is it any wonder that more and more people are sufferingrepparttar 140691 effects of stress -- an epidemic second only torepparttar 140692 virus of offshore competition -- and of stress induced illness? How can any person be expected to cope with a world where change takes place at supersonic speed, where nothing staysrepparttar 140693 same long enough to become familiar, where understanding happens only in retrospect?

To stay ahead of change, get behind it!

A fundamental aspect of Leadership Development is learning to not only cope with this epidemic but to turn it into a dynamic force for personal and corporate growth.There is only one way to cope with change. The only way to stay ahead of change is to get behind it! Those who promote change are in charge of it, those who oppose it are overwhelmed by it! Those who must be dragged kicking and screaming intorepparttar 140694 next set of changed circumstances will be crushed by those who push change ahead of them. To quote author H. Jackson Brown, "Inrepparttar 140695 confrontation betweenrepparttar 140696 stream andrepparttar 140697 rock,repparttar 140698 stream always wins - not through strength but by perseverance."

When we determine to become advocates for change we suddenly find ourselves inrepparttar 140699 position of pusher rather than pushee, we are more relaxed, more self confident, more self assured and we find that others are more willing to follow our lead. The great writer, teacher and consultant Peter F. Drucker summed it up this way, "The best way to predictrepparttar 140700 future is to create it." It's alsorepparttar 140701 easier way! If you believe you can hold backrepparttar 140702 snowball of progress, you are doomed to be swallowed up in something over which you can never hope to have any control.

All change is not good - all change is not inevitable

Please don't take these remarks to indicate that all change is good, or even that all change is inevitable. The prayer of St. Francis (longrepparttar 140703 watchword of AA) asks for;repparttar 140704 courage to changerepparttar 140705 things I can,repparttar 140706 serenity to accept those things I can not change and (most difficult of all)repparttar 140707 wisdom to knowrepparttar 140708 difference. The sky will remain blue, water will remain wet andrepparttar 140709 sun will rise inrepparttar 140710 east. The air we breathe however, will not remain clean, with a sufficiency of oxygen, our water will not continue to give life unless we changerepparttar 140711 way we treat our environment but most of us will never haverepparttar 140712 opportunity to make a major impact. We must change what we can and encourage others to dorepparttar 140713 same.

Of allrepparttar 140714 traits of leadershiprepparttar 140715 ability to produce lasting and meaningful change is so far out in first place that what ever is second doesn't really matter!

Make change your slave, not your master

How do we take control of this "crisis of modernity" and make change our slave rather than our master?

Leo Tolstoy said, "Everyone wants to changerepparttar 140716 world but no one wants to change themselves." The truth is that all change must begin with me. If I can not, will not, do not change - and demonstrate that change to allrepparttar 140717 world, I can not reasonably expect others to follow my advice to change. Ifrepparttar 140718 two are at odds people will follow my example while ignoring my words, no mater how eloquently they be phrased.. Only when thought, word and deed are closely aligned can I truly hope to be followed. Only then can I hope to be a leader.

It starts and ends with "ME"

To beginrepparttar 140719 process of personal change I must examine my self. I must understand what I believe and why, what I want to accomplish and why "The soul is dyedrepparttar 140720 color of its thoughts. Think only on those things that are in line with your principles and can bearrepparttar 140721 light of day. The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you do is who you become. Your integrity is your destiny - it isrepparttar 140722 light that guides your way." Heraclitus 535-475BC, Greek Philosopher


One ofrepparttar 140723 greatest obstacles to progress can often be our awareness of past failures. If we tried something a couple of years ago and fell flat on our faces (and especially if we were ridiculed or derided as a result) we tend to be reluctant to rockrepparttar 140724 boat again. When we believe that history will repeat itself, we become paralyzed by fear.

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