You will never be able to maximize your potential in any area without coaching. It is absolutely impossible. You may be good. And you may even be better than everyone else, but without outside input, you will never become as good as you could be. Sweetheart, you will do better when someone is watching and evaluating. This is why you need a coach, a good coach.
Every top athlete and athletic team has a coach. In the world of athletics, nobody performs his way out of needing a coach. As it is in the world of athletics so it is in the world of leadership. You will never lead to a level where you’d stop needing a coach. In fact, the longer you lead, the more important is your need of a coach. There are many people, who have been leading for many years—who now think that they no longer need to be led. This is a very wide of the mark mindset.
As a matter of fact, it is dangerous to follow anyone who is not being led by anyone. Does your leader have a leader? If he does not have, you are sitting on a time bomb that will explode real soon. There are too many ‘self-made’ leaders today, who are not accountable to anyone in our nation and they do have millions of people following them. It is not ideal to follow a leader who is not following a leader.
For the umpteenth time, without a coach, you cannot lead at your best. You may lead better than everyone around you, but you will not be able to lead as much as you can consequent on your potential. Not long ago, I did read through a beautiful story of a student who was very good at a subject. He knew he was so good at it, his lecturer did know and everyone in his department did know too! One day, his lecturer tested all of them in the department. After the test, he knew he would score more than others, because he knew he was better than them all. But when the results came out, everyone in the class scored higher than him! As an effect of this, he became so furious and swimming in the pool of anger, he went to his lecturer to find out what went wrong. This is what his coach said to him: “I know you are better than them all, but you did not perform up to your potential…I did not grade you based on the performances of others, but I did grade you based on your own potential…” This is what a good coach would do for you. A good coach will continue to stretch you, so you can keep beating your own record. Without a coach, you will be comparing yourself and performance with others, doing better than others, but performing bellow your potential. The truth is, if you do not have a coach, you are living far below your potential.
In the world of business and leadership, we do operate under the misguided assumption that because we are leaders, we do not need to be led. There will not be a day in our leadership when we would stop needing leaders to lead us. I do have leaders and I will continue to have leaders till I breathe my last on earth. Remember, the day you stop being led is the day you’d stop leading at your best.
Also, to become the best there is in your field, you must enlist the relevant help of others. I have said this over and over that you can never become the best in your field while running alone. Every Andrew Agassi would need Gil Reyes to become the best in his field of sport. Mike Tyson also needed the help of his coach to become the best in the boxing ring. To become the best in your field of business, you will need to enlist the help of a good coach. This is non-negotiable!
Hussein Bolt’s coach cannot run as fast as he does, but he coached him to be the fastest man on earth! Your coach does not need to be as good as you are in your field, but he or she must be good enough to know your strengths and be adept enough to help you harness them. Remember, you are not running against the strengths of your coach, you are only running against your own strengths!
As I begin to coast home today, I am sure you know that there are men and women in the marketplace whom we look up to with the false assumption that they “make it” on their own, that they are what they are because of talent and discipline alone, but as you probe deeper into their stories, however, you will find out that each one often has one or two key people who coached them to success. The question is: do you want to become successful in life? If yes, then you need to understand that you cannot become successful without being coached to success.
In the world of athletics, the coach does not withhold his opinion until asked. Neither does he sit back and watch his protégé make the same mistake over and over without saying something. In the same way, a good leadership coach will do everything in his power to ensure progress. Like an athletic coach, a leadership coach operates as if he has something on the line. A win for the man or woman he is coaching is a win for himself as well. Wins and losses are personal. Good leadership coaches function as if they have something at stake in your performance. Once again, you need a good coach, but beyond that, you also need to become a good coach to others!
Lastly, there is something in many of us that resists being coached in the realm of leadership. We are willing to spend outrageous amount of time and money perfecting out putts, serves and wings, but when it comes to our leadership, we resist input. Maybe it is the way leaders are wired. Maybe it is pride. And maybe it is because we are unteachable. Remember, any leader who refuses to submit himself to the counsel of others is too dangerous to follow.
See you where great leaders are found!