Coaching

Stewardship at Work

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What pops into your head when I say “Steward”? Perhaps you think of a memorable wine steward (sommelier) at a fine restaurant. Or, you might think Stewardess, the outdated term for a flight attendant. In this context, a steward is person who serves.

Stewardship goes a little further than “hold my beer and watch this.”

There is, however, a higher meaning relating to stewardship. It is caring for what someone else owns, but has entrusted to us. [···]

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12 Things About Great Coaches

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I love Daniel Goleman’s article, Leadership That Gets Results (March-April, 2000 Harvard Business Review). You should re-read it. Goleman teaches about six leadership styles, but his take on coaching really resonates with me now.

“Although the coaching style may not scream ‘bottom-line resuts,’ it delivers them.” – Daniel Goleman

I am blessed to moderate an upcoming event sponsored by the North Dallas Chamber of Commerce about building great teams. The accomplished and highly-successful panelists are Walter Merrill, Tom Slone, and former NBA coach Del Harris. After meeting these men last week, I am very impressed with all of them, but have long been a fan of coach Harris thinking his courtside manner to be stately and dignified. (Stay tuned for more details about this event and the distinguished panel.)

Since teambuilding is on my mind, here is an excerpt from a column I wrote many years ago:

To cultivate a healthy, nourishing culture, leaders and managers have to be great coaches.

  • Great Coaches were (are) first good players.
  • Great Coaches demonstrate the correct way to do things by example.
  • Great Coaches are excellent teachers.
  • Great Coaches constantly help their players to drill, practice, and rehearse realizing it takes 25 times of doing something right to put it into “muscle memory.”
  • Great Coaches creatively craft “game-like” situations to provide relevant learning opportunities.
  • Great Coaches understand that to really develop others they have to sit on the sidelines and let the players play the game.
  • Great Coaches view mistakes as opportunities to learn—not as failure. They aren’t afraid to properly (and privately) correct their player’s mistakes on the spot.
  • Great Coaches are always looking for any sign of positive improvement and are liberal with their praise.
  • Great Coaches are master motivators and tailor their approach for each individual player and for each unique situation.
  • Great Coaches get more out of their players than the players themselves ever thought was possible.

“Admittedly, there is a paradox on coachings’ positive effect on business performance because coaching focuses primarily on personal development, not on immediate work-related tasks. Even so, coaching improves results. The reason: it requires constant dialogue, and that dialogue has a way of pushing up every driver of climate [culture].” –Goleman

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