In my work with leaders over the years, I’ve found that the most effective leaders are those who embrace their role as a coach – to their teams and to their individual employees. These are leaders who listen, who develop and empower their people, and who earn respect through their actions and how they treat others.
Developing your skills as a coach is one of the best ways to grow as a leader.
A great reference tool for this is the book, Trillion Dollar Coach, which profiles Bill Campbell, a football coach turned C-Suite executive who created a third career coaching some of the top CEOs in Silicon Valley. The book is written by Eric Schmidt, Jonathan Rosenberg and Alan Eagle, Google executives who witnessed firsthand “Coach Bill’s” ability to “build trust, foster personal growth, and inspire courage.” The authors interviewed more than 80 people to create a compendium of Bill Campbell stories, insight and wisdom.
Here are 5 key takeaways from Coach Bill’s principles that the authors shared.
- Your title makes you a manager, your people make you a leader. Build relationships with your team – show them that you care about them as people. Get to know them. Ask about their lives outside of work, their families. Be generous with your time, connections and other resources.
- Respect must be accrued, not demanded. The command and control style of leadership doesn’t work anymore. Treat your employees with respect. Listen to them. Be an evangelist for courage by believing in people more than they believe in themselves. Don’t tell them what to do – offer stories and help guide them to the best decisions for them.
- Honesty is key. Practice complete candor. Pair negative feedback with caring. And give feedback as soon as possible. If it’s negative feedback, deliver it privately. Feedback is necessary for growth, and your responsibility as a leader and coach is to help your people grow.
- Pick the right players. Look for those who have the ability to learn fast and are willing to work hard. Choose people with integrity, grit, empathy and a team-first attitude.
- Create a decision-making process that ensures all perspectives and points of view are heard. Look for the best idea, not necessarily consensus. If necessary, break a tie and make the decision.
Stay tuned for future blogs when we’ll talk about more ways you can grow as a leader.