Remember your high school basketball coach? Or maybe it's your college football coach. Or your track and field coach. Or your hockey coach. Whatever sport you played - or play - think about the role your coach plays in your success.
Does he, or she, help you focus on what's important? Challenge you to hone your skills and practice those few things that make the biggest difference? Encourage you when you're feeling down, or weak, or dispirited? Cheer you on as you head down the field? Hand you a towel or a cool drink of water?
Most likely all of the above, at different times, depending on what you need.
Would you be (or would you have been) as successful without your coach? Would you have scored as many goals? Hit as many runs? Bounced back from defeat? Rallied your team?
And, has any athlete ever looked at his relationship with his coach as an admission of weakness, a crutch? I think not!
And yet, isn't that how many men look at a mindset coach? Call us what you will - mindset coach, transformation coach, leadership coach, executive coach, life coach - isn't there still a sense that working with a coach is an admission of weakness? I was both surprised and not surprised when a male friend said that to me recently. Why is it such a challenge finding male clients, I asked. Because no one wants to admit they're failing or weak, he answered.
Whaaaaaaa? Seriously? Weakness?!? Failure? Wow.
OK, time to shift. A talented athlete without a good coach will never be as good or as successful as he would be with a good coach. Similarly, a talented leader will never be as effective and as successful in whatever his chosen realm as he would be with a good coach. Why?
Because a coach in the leadership realm serves the same purposes as a coach in the sports realm. We notice the small things. Maybe it's language ("if" rather than "when", for example). Maybe it's a mindset around scarcity - "not enough time", "not enough money". Maybe it's what's not said, or not done.
We ask powerful, open-ended questions to support clients in finding or identifying their own answers - and, where appropriate, we provide subject matter expertise or information, just as a batting coach provides information on grip, stance, and a myriad of other factors essential to hit a home run.
We provide encouragement, acknowledgment, and support when you strike out - and a gentle push to get you back up to bat.
We're there with you in the trenches, excavating for what shift in your mindset, state, or behaviour/action would move you forward when you're stuck.
We're there in your corner, with your agenda in mind, holding a space for you to be as effective and successful as you're capable of - even when we believe it, and you don't.
So if that's weakness, I call B.S. Being open to what supports you in busting through your own barriers to get what you want, to be who you want, to do what you want - that's not weakness; that's powerful. Being smart enough to know when you could use a coach, that's a leg up on the competition. That's what wins games, not pretending everything's fine and hoping for the best.
So when will you step into your power and accept the coaching that would propel you further, faster, than you can get on your own? I'm here waiting, for whenever you're ready.