Saturday, July 26, 2008

Coaching and being coached

A fundamental piece of me is my interest in learning. I want to learn and help others learn. One of my biggest pet peeves is interacting with someone who has taken the presumptive role as the person who already "gets it."

The best leaders lead with humility, in my opinion, and that includes an open acknowledgement of your need to improve.

I can't think of a role in the world where having a coach of one kind or another wouldn't be helpful.

Two examples from my own life:

I developed a mentor network. I asked individuals that I knew and respected from my work community if I could meet with them in a formal fashion on a regular basis. They would provide me with perspective and experience, I, hopefully, would give them an opportunity to share some of what they've learned. All were receptive, and it has been truly positive, I think for both of us in all cases.

My employer has generously allowed me to retain a coach. We talk about my perspectives and philosophy. He helps me refine the fundamental principles that govern how I act each day. Also, I can bring specific issues and he gives me specific, tangible implementation techniques that align to the philosophy.

A bonus third: My wife's advice on parenting
A bonus fourth: My pastor's sermons on knowing your priorities
A bonus fifth: Seth Godin's blog on marketing

The wonderful gifts we receive for the low, low price of being willing to listen.

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