The study of top performers in nearly every field yields one consistent theme: We all need a coach. From athletic performance to leadership capabilities to presentation skills, we all do better when we receive expert coaching. We are the hero of the story of our life, but as with all heroes, we are weak, we lack confidence, and we struggle. And thus, like every hero, we need a guide. In fact, this is the foundation of all truly great stories.
- Luke Skywalker needed Obi-Wan and Yoda (Star Wars).
- Katniss needed Haymitch (Hunger Games).
- Rocky needed Mick (Rocky, obviously).
With a balance of authority and empathy, a guide acts as a coach. Coaches aren’t relegated to the unmotivated, the uneducated, or the undisciplined. Quite the contrary.
- Tom Brady has a Quarterback coach (Clyde Christensen).
- Oprah Winfrey has a life coach (Martha Beck).
- Alan Mulally (the affable CEO who turned around Ford Motor Company during the great recession) had an executive coach (Marshall Goldsmith).
- Steve Jobs had a business and life coach (Bill Campbell – To learn more about Campbell, a man that impacted so many of the executives in Silicon Valley that the book written about his life was titled, “Trillion Dollar Coach”; add this to your quarantine reading list).
I’m no Brady, Winfrey, Mulally, or Jobs, but I have a coach (or at least a guide) for nearly every aspect of my life.
I have had an executive coach for six years; we do a 90-minute, one-on-one, meeting once per month.
I have a coach that works with me and the leadership team at Discover Strength for the last seven years; he leads a full day off-site meeting once per quarter, as well as a two-day off-site meeting annually.
As my Golden Gloves boxing coach from the time I was 10 until I was 18, my father was one of the most influential coaches I’ve ever had.
I have had a coach for all of my strength workouts for over twenty years; I always get trained by a Discover Strength Personal Trainer. And although I think we need a coach in so many aspects of our life, the scientific research definitely supports the notion that we simply produce better results from our exercise when we are directly coached.
On a deep, human level, I think we all want to be pushed; we want to be encouraged, we want feedback, we want our blind spots exposed, and we want to be sharpened.
“Just as Iron Sharpens Iron, One Man Must Sharpen Another.”
We all need a coach.