There is a fundamental distinction that separates the best leaders from the rest. It’s not based necessarily on IQ, strategy, vision, or even passion – although these are all important characteristics. The fundamental difference typically came down to one thing: They didn’t act like managers; they acted like coaches.
Like world-class leaders may not always have the best talent, but they always seem to get the best out of the talent they have. The main reason for this that they understand that the only way to systematically improve individual performance is by giving constructive coaching and developmental feedback. There is a direct correlation between the quantity and the quality of coaching a person receives and their level of improvement.
Coaching and developing people is an ongoing process that is tied to everything that you do as a leader. These best best practices have been simplified into a four-step process.
What you believe about who God is will determine your behavior. If you believe God is who He says He is, that will affect your day to day decisions. Another controller of your behavior is how you think. If you believe your job is to coach and develop your team in order to help them perform to the maximum of their capability, you’re going to behave like a coach.
Coaching is not just something that you must do, it’s something that you must become. When coaching becomes apart of your identity, your behaviors will automatically change.
2. Create the environment
Once your understand that your job is to get every ounce of potential from everyone on your team, then you’ve got to create the environment that allows coaching to take place. The first part of this involves an evaluation of your own leadership and asking, “How am I doing? What can I do better?”
As a coach, you set the standard for others to follow. Your personal example is the most powerful leadership tool you have.
3. Transform the conversation
Once the coaching environment is created, you’ve got to lay the foundation for weekly coaching conversations. Keep in mind…
- Celebrate small wins, not just big ones.
- Long-term success requires short-term focus.
4. Embrace mistakes and coachable moments.
Productivity can only be achieved through identifying and perfecting the seemingly small things consistently done right over time. But…we seem to learn more from our mistakes than we do from our successes. As you review and give positive reinforcement, it’s also important to take note of mistakes as well. But remember that the objective is to coach, not criticize.
19 For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. 20 To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. 21 To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. 23 I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings.
“The truth is, creativity isn’t about wild talent as much as it’s about productivity. To find a few ideas that work, you need to try a lot that don’t. It’s a pure numbers game.
—Robert Sutton, professor of management science and engineering, Stanford School of Engineering”
Nobody ever plans to fail in life. I’ve never met a single person who made it their life goal to be a loser, die young, and go through life all alone and depressed. Yet people do these things everyday. The lives of people we love are are full of addictions, bitterness, loneliness, depression, shame, and regret.
I’ve been asking myself what failure would look like for me personally. Not mistakes or mess-ups; those happen all the time. I’m talking about utter failure. If I don’t know what failure would be for me, then it will be difficult to avoid it. Here are 10 ways to fail.
1. Build a great ministry while destroying a great marriage
2. Compromise my convictions in a moment of weakness, and lose my family, my reputation, and my anointing from God.
3. See thousands of strangers believe the gospel when I preach yet watch my own children reject the gospel when they grow up.
4. Preach on being spiritually healthy while neglecting my own health for the sake of the ministry.
5. Be productive in my daily work while never working on my own personal relationship with Jesus.
6. Spend all my money and resources on my wants while neglecting the needs of my brothers and sisters, when it is in my power to help them.
7. Be efficient at training and teaching others in how to do ministry but lack effectiveness in preparing my children to live for Christ as His disciples.
8. Miss opportunities to bless, honor, and support other pastors and leaders because I am waiting on them to bless, honor, and notice me.
9. Never have fun because I was too serious about my calling, my preaching, my writing, or my ministry responsibilities.
10. Grow old without the deep, abiding love and friendships that I would miss if I never took the time to invest in people, beginning with my wife.
What would failure look like for you?