Authentic Leadership Insights

My Coach Is A “Guide At My Side.”

Creating an Adaptive and Developmental Culture

By Bill Shirley, BT, MCC

“A Coach is someone who tells you what you
don’t want to hear, who has you see what you
don’t want to see, so you can be who
you have always known you could be.”
–Tom Landry (Coach, Dallas Cowboys, retired)

Executive Development:

Executive coaching, when performed well, looks so easy that it would appear that anyone can do it.  While anyone who makes the effort can grasp the basic skills; mastery, however, requires years of study and practice.

A masterful coach guides epic human development, both individually and organizationally.  Such effective coaching requires a seasoned blend of curiosity, intuition and finesse wrapped in a non-judgmental delight in our humanness.

First, some comments on the way we learn.  We only know what we experience.  What we learn from books and other people, including our coach, is only data and information, not knowledge.

Information becomes knowledge when it enhances or expands what we already know; when we integrate it into our existing knowledge through experience.

Our wisdom is knowledge that we have internalized in our heart.  It is knowledge we access without thinking about it.  It is accessed through our intuition: “Quiet knowing without conscious thought.”

Our knowledge becomes internalized wisdom through our “research,” that is, our choices that did not play out as anticipated, otherwise known as “failures” or “mistakes.”

Sometimes we internalize knowledge through insight – transformational insight – that flows from our deep experience of a book, or movie, or play, or some other art form that moves us deeply.  It is the power of art to connect our mind with our heart.

Other times, transformational insight occurs during meditation, or prayer — or when communing with nature in the stillness of the wilderness.

In all instances, a bit of quiet reflection is required for knowledge to become internalized wisdom.  It accumulates gradually in our quietly centered Core Essence.

Life is about lessons, not mistakes.  Sadly, many of our lessons must be repeated, sometimes several times, before we learn them.  Learning involves a paradox: the more gracefully we accept the necessity of repeating a lesson, the fewer times we must repeat it before it becomes part of our internalized knowledge.

Coaching is a sophisticated form of “guided discovery” which draws heavily upon the client’s knowledge and deepest wisdom. 

Your coach is a resource – a guide at your side – on your life journey; A Hero’s Journey where you create a life story worth telling: “a low-stress fulfilling life adventure of your own design.”

Finding a coach is easy.  Finding the right coach is not so easy.  It requires research and discernment to be certain the relationship will be honest, open and trustworthy.

Your time invested with the right coach is life changing, so invest the time required to make the right choice.  Seek recommendations from leaders who believe in executive coaching.  Interview more than one coach before making a selection.

Your coach must really care about you and be totally invested in your success.  Your coach must care about how your life goes and be with you for the long haul.  Your coach must be willing to tell you what you don’t want to hear!

Your coach can guide you in seeing the consequences of your choices, examine your perspectives, and develop alternative strategies as you create your own reality from the relationships you attract to your life.

Your coach can guide you in creating a more enlightened relationship with yourself.  It is both our birthright and responsibility to deeply like and love ourselves, be enthusiastically engaged in life and live from our self-renewing reservoir of abundance.

It is from this space we address the Central Question in every decision we make:

“What choice can I make and action can I take, in this moment, to create the greatest net value?”

It is our answer to this Central Question that determines our destiny.  As long as our heart beats and we breathe, we are never static.  We are either evolving or devolving, our world is either expanding or contracting, our knowledge is either incomplete and under revision, or complete, certain, and decaying.

Moment to moment, we are always at choice: we are either living or dying.  And it is this choice that then determines the perspective from which we make all the other choices that create our life story — our individual and unique reality.  It is our opportunity to:

“Create a Low-Stress, Fulfilling Life Adventure of Our Own Design.”


End Notes:

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