Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Coaching - Is it in You?

I'm a sucker for libraries - at any given time I have 15-20 books checked out from my local library. I stop by once a week to drop off, pick up, and peruse the magazines. I'm also an easy mark for the used book sale at the front - at $1 for a hardback, how can you go wrong? I've even got it so bad that I drop by libraries of towns I'm passing through, or have clients in. One such trip this week turned up a gem almost 15 years old, but full of nuggets for the church leader. "Everyone's a Coach" by NFL coaching legend Don Shula and renowned business consultant Ken Blanchard is a great book that has a simple premise that leaders can put into practice today.

Whether it's sports or business - or the church - winning and losing don't depend on trick plays or new systems. The information your competition has is the same as yours. So what are you going to use to win? It comes down to creating a climate in which people work hard and prepare to play as a team. In a word, it's coaching.

At the heart of their book is a simple acronym that describes the qualities of an effective leader:

Conviction-Driven: Never compromise your beliefs
Overlearning: Practice until it's perfect
Audible-Ready: Know when to change
Consistency: Respond predictably to performance
Honesty-Based: Walk your talk

"Everyone's a Coach" unpacks these five leadership secrets with Shula describing how a coaching concept works on the football field and Blanchard applying that concept to your own leadership situation. A bonus feature is a self-test that helps you measure your personal coaching effectiveness.

ChurchWorld needs more leaders who:
  1. Stand for something - they are Conviction-Driven
  2. Are willing to roll up their sleeves and do whatever it takes to accomplish established goals. They believe in Overlearning.
  3. Have a game plan but are willing to adjust or change when circumstances dictate. They are action-focused but Audible-Ready.
  4. Are predictable in their response to performance. They praise, redirect, and reprimand appropriately, because they are Consistent over time.
  5. Are clear and straightforward in their interactions with others. Everything they do is Honesty-Based.

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