DRIVING GREATNESS: LEADERS AS COACHES

by Justin Calapp, Ph.D.

A prominent Industrial-age management mindset suggests that people must be watched, monitored, driven, and otherwise externally motivated in order to achieve maximum output. Remnants of this approach persist in everyday management practices. It follows, therefore, that a manager of employees must possess the specialized training to coerce or convince employees to produce the desired results or output. A leader’s responsibility, according to this mindset, is to monitor employees and transmit their knowledge to them in an efficient manner in order to get the desired output.

Contrast this with the “greatness mindset” of the more recent knowledge-worker age. The greatness mindset posits simply that “greatness” exists inside of each and every individual, regardless of culture, context, or social circumstance. If, like me, you believe this fundamental premise, then it follows logically that leaders need to UNLEASH, CAPTURE, and POINT that greatness toward a common goal/objective. Unlike the industrial age leader, the goal of this modern leader is no longer about imparting knowledge upon employees, nor is it necessarily monitoring employees (though leaders do have output and production reports to manage). Rather, a central focus as a leader is to understand the members of their team and ENABLE them to recognize their own greatness and to invite them to apply it toward a specific set of tasks in order to achieve a specific outcome. In short, leaders can be powerful by being effective coaches, using a coaching mindset, skillsets, and toolsets.

Michael K. Simpson has just released a phenomenal new book called “Powerful Leadership Through Coaching: Principles, Practices, and Tools for Leaders and Managers at Every Level.” Michael has effectively curated the principles, practices, and tools to enable leaders to UNLEASH the talent that currently exists among their team members. Michael establishes the need for leaders to be great coaches, and as a mode of interacting, adopt the “abundance mindset” to be successful leader-coaches. He outlines his 3D model for coaching (methodology and skills), and even provides a provocative Point of View (POV) toward coaching to a 7-Factor organizational change model.

The brilliance of Michael’s book is his ability to lay out the framework and tools for coaching, while also telling compelling stories and experiences from his client journeys. It is clear that Michael is a PRACTITIONER, with a practicality about him that belies his expertise as a successful executive coach and “success whisperer.” If you are looking to influence human performance within your organization, I highly recommend getting a copy of Michael’s book.

The reality is that training in-and-of-itself will do little to change behavior in the workplace. Real changes in human performance require a robust methodological framework, a success measurement feedback loop, and a mechanism for accountability in place.